Theresa May to put Brexit plans in writing ahead of vote

  • 26/01/2017
Theresa May (Getty)
Theresa May (Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May says she'll publish her plan for Britain's exit from the European Union, as described in a speech last week, in a formal 'White Paper' document to allow Parliament to scrutinise it.

Last week, Ms May said Britain would quit the EU's single market when it leaves the union, charting a course for a clean break with the world's largest trading bloc.

A court ruled on Tuesday that the government must seek parliamentary approval before triggering the legal process of exiting the bloc.

Following her speech and the court ruling, many lawmakers, including some from her own party, said they wanted to see the plans set out in a formal 'White Paper' to facilitate greater scrutiny before a parliamentary vote on triggering .

White papers are policy documents produced by the government that set out their proposals for future legislation.

The government had responded to those calls by saying it believed the publication of a white paper was not necessary.

But, on Wednesday, Ms May changed her position.

"I set out that bold plan for a global Britain last week and I recognise there is an appetite in this house to see that plan set out in a white paper," Ms May told Parliament. "I can confirm to the house that our plan will be set out in a white paper."

The Institute for Government, a think tank, said there were no rules about what must be included in a white paper, and that any such document could simply repeat the contents of Ms May's speech.