PETER Kyle has warned that he will be among a "significant number" of parliamentary colleagues who will ignore his party leadership after it insisted Labour would not block a vote to trigger Article 50.

The MP for Hove said the shadow chancellor “ does not speak for me” after John McDonnell gave a speech promising to side with the government and help through Brexit.

Mr Kyle said Labour MPs had not been forewarned of the announcement by Mr McDonnell, saying: “It came completely out of the blue.”

Meanwhile Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called the speech a “premature capitulation” and called on the Labour party to think again.

In a speech on the economy yesterday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told Labour MPs that it would be contrary to the will of the British people to vote against a Parliamentary measure to trigger Article 50 and begin the formal EU exit negotiations.

Last month, three High Court judges ruled that Parliament - not the Prime Minister using powers originally vested in the Crown - must invoke Article 50.

The ruling, which is due to be appealed in the Supreme Court, raised the possibility that MPs - a majority of whom supported the Remain cause - could frustrate or even overturn the result of June's referendum.

However Mr McDonnell seemed to clear a path for the passage of such a vote.

He said: “We must not try to re-fight the referendum or push for a second vote and if Article 50 needs to be triggered in parliament Labour will not seek to block or delay it."

He added that to do so would: "Put [the Labour Party] against the majority will of the British people and on the side of certain corporate elites, who have always had the British people at the back of the queue."

But Mr Kyle told The Argus: “He doesn’t speak for me.

"There are a significant number of MPs who are putting their constituencies first by considering the impact of Article 50 on their own constituencies.

"They’re thinking in an independent way. It’s fair to say the views expressed by John today are not shared by the whole Labour Party.”

He added: “The Government are in a shambles over this. They can’t point to a better outcome for our economy and until they can I can’t vote for Article 50.”

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion said: “Labour’s premature capitulation on Article 50 leaves those of us who oppose a hard Brexit in a weaker position.

"As a result we now have less power to persuade the Government to give us proper details on their plans ahead of a vote.”

She said she was not trying to overturn the result of the referendum but added: “I’d urge Labour to rethink their stance on this.”


HOVE MP Peter Kyle’s insistence some Labour MPs will ignore their leadership over Brexit is another indication of the chaos engulfing both main parties on the issue.

It comes as a Supreme Court judge warned a raft of legislation may be needed before Brexit can begin, and a new report warns the scale of the negotiations pose an “existential threat” to Whitehall departments.

It had been assumed the PM could trigger Article 50, the mechanism to begin formal exit negotiations, using prerogative powers originally vested in the Crown.

But on November 3 the High Court ruled parliament must vote on the matter, raising the prospect of the referendum result being delayed or overturned by MPs and Lords who overwhelmingly favoured Remain. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s announcement on Tuesday that Labour would not seek to block any such bill seemed to pave the way for its passage but Mr Kyle warned the backbench rebels may pay no heed.

Now a Supreme Court judge, in a speech to students in Malaysia, has said it may not be enough for the Government to pass a simple piece of legislation authorising the triggering of Article 50.

Lady Hale said it might be necessary to comprehensively replace the 1972 European Communities Act which took the UK into the then European Economic Community.

Yesterday, a report from The Institute for Government said the PM’s “secretive approach” was causing problems for the negotiation preparations and warned that while Whitehall had the capacity and ability to deal with the process, it could not be relied upon to deal with Brexit on top of its day-to-day responsibilities.

On Tuesday a leaked report from a government-contracted consultancy firm alleged 30,000 extra civil servants may be required for the task and that the Cabinet faces major divisions on the ongoing issue. The Government denied it was drawn up or commissioned by Number 10.