CAROLINE Lucas will vote against Brexit if the deal is not right for her constituents.

The Green MP told The Argus she would defy the referendum result if a Brexit deal threatened the economy, environment or safety of Brighton residents.

Her comments come after a High Court decision yesterday stated MPs will get a vote on starting the formal process to leave the EU.

But the ruling has split Sussex MPs with Simon Kirby, for Brighton Kemptown, describing it as "disappointing" while Maria Caulfield, for Lewes, said giving MPs the decisive say would be a “slap in the face” to millions of leave voters.

Ms Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said she will look at the legislation and vote on its merits.

She said she was respecting the referendum result by not "just blocking anything" adding: "I will look at what is being proposed in terms of access to the single market, freedom of movement, social and environmental protections.

"These are the things that people in Brighton Pavilion care about and have made strong representations to me about."

She added: “Most of my constituents didn’t vote to leave the EU – and I’ll be sure to give them a strong voice in Parliament standing up for the many benefits of EU membership.”

High Court judges ruled the Government did not have the power “under the Crown's prerogative” to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Leave campaigners have warned the vote could delay Brexit by months although Theresa May said she had “no intention” of allowing the judgement to derail the process.

It is not clear exactly what MPs will be asked to vote on: if it will be a simple yes or no or based on terms of exit brought forward by the Prime Minister.

Ms Lucas said she spent yesterday unsuccessfully trying to find out.

A statement is planned for the Commons on Monday to clarify the matter.

The Prime Minister had hoped to trigger article 50 in March with the Government's Supreme Court appeal expected to be heard on December 7 and 8.

South East MEP Nigel Farage warned “a betrayal may be near at hand” and said further blocking and delaying could unleash mass public anger.

Speaking ahead of the decision, Lewes MP Maria Caulfield said the clear Leave victory by more than one million votes should be respected.

Ms Caulfield said: “People will feel it is a right slap in the face if Parliament gets to vote on article 50 especially as most MPs voted for remain.

“The Prime Minister has set up the Brexit select committee, there have been debates in Parliament and the British Repeal Act to come so Parliament will have plenty of opportunities to discuss exit from the EU.”

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said he was “disappointed” by the court’s judgment.

He added: “Although I personally voted to remain, the country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by an Act of Parliament and we should respect the result of the referendum.”

Hove MP Peter Kyle welcomed yesterday's news stating it was only right that Parliament has its say.


THE woman behind the High Court win over Brexit is a former Roedean schoolgirl.

Investment manager Gina Miller, 51, was born in Guyana but grew up in Britain, The daughter of the former Attorney General of Guyana, previously British Guiana, she was sent to the private girls’ school Roedean when she was 10. But she ran away because she “experienced racism for the first time” and “was bullied badly”, she said.

She went on to co-found the investment firm SCM Private in 2009.

Her charity, the True and Fair Foundation, formerly known as Miller Philanthropy, was launched in 2009.

The foundation says it supports smaller charities by providing funding and support.


Why does it matter whether it is the Prime Minister or Parliament that starts the process?

The Government argued that the Prime Minister can trigger Article 50 using royal prerogative powers and that Parliamentary consent was not required following the clear public referendum vote in favour of leaving the EU. If MPs and peers now have to approve taking that step, it could potentially be defeated, effectively blocking Brexit. Campaigners successfully argued at the High Court that Mrs May did not have the right to act without the prior authority of Parliament.

What does this mean for the Prime Minister’s plan?

Mrs May had promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of March next year. Unless the High Court ruling is overturned on appeal, she will now have to get the approval of MPs and peers before she can go ahead with that. The majority of MPs were in favour of remaining in the European Union so it is by no means certain that will be an easy process. But MPs will also be reluctant to be seen as trying to hold up or prevent Brexit following the decision of UK voters in June’s referendum.

What can Mrs May do now?

The Government will appeal against the judgement at the Supreme Court. If the ruling against the Prime Minister’s position is not overturned, she will have little option but to seek Parliamentary approval. The alternative could be taking the case to the European Court of Justice, which could take months and would infuriate Brexit campaigners who had argued that one of the main reasons for leaving the EU was to leave the jurisdiction of the Luxembourg judges.

If Mrs May is given permission – either by judges on appeal or by Parliament – to invoke Article 50, does that inevitably lead to Brexit?

There are differing views. The Article 50 process has never been used before and there is uncertainty about whether it is indeed irreversible. Lawyers on both sides in the High Court said it was irrevocable. But Lord Kerr, the diplomat who drafted the measure, has suggested it is not irrevocable.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has suggested the UK could pull out of the Brexit process, indicating that other EU leaders would be sympathetic and “if we have a chance to reverse this negative process, we will find allies”.

Even if the process is not reversed, it could still be extended beyond two years if there is agreement by all the other EU leaders.

Does this ruling make an early election more likely?

If MPs look like they could block Brexit, or make the process excessively difficult, Mrs May could call an early election in an attempt to boost the number of supporters she has in Westminster. She currently has a working majority of just 15 in the Commons and a healthy opinion poll lead over Labour, two factors which could influence her thinking.