U.K. Parliament Must Scrutinize Brexit Process, Lords Panel Says

  • Lawmaker role ‘critical’ to Brexit success, report says
  • Plea adds to pressure for parliamentary involvement in Brexit

U.K. lawmakers should examine all aspects of the negotiations over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, a House of Lords committee said on Friday. 

The scrutiny should cover informal discussions, the withdrawal accord and the agreement on a new relationship, the upper chamber’s European Union Committee argued in a report published Friday. It said parliamentary scrutiny is “critical” for the success of the process.

The recommendation is the latest call for parliamentary involvement following the vote to quit the EU last month. A lawsuit seeking to force Prime Minister Theresa May to consult lawmakers before triggering the formal start of Brexit talks may reach the Supreme Court by December.

"The negotiations are of immense significance to the future of the U.K.," Timothy Boswell, who chairs the Lords’ committee, said in an e-mailed statement. “We can’t afford to get this wrong, and we urge the government to ensure that effective scrutiny is placed at the heart of its plans."

May met with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande this week and was told there would be no preliminary talks with the U.K. government on exiting the EU.

“The EU treaties are very clear on this,” Merkel said at a joint press conference with May in the Chancellery on Wednesday. While the two will discuss the status of Article 50, the legal mechanism in the Lisbon Treaty for leaving the EU, no pre-negotiations will take place “formally or informally,” she said.