The prominent Remainer has said the Labour Party had a “clear view” to support the bill, which would trigger Britain’s departure from the EU, and that the referendum result needed to be “respected”
The former shadow foreign secretary said the Supreme Court – Britain’s highest court – judgement in favour of Parliament voting on Article 50 was not about whether Brexit was going to happen but who was going to push it through.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Mr Benn, who is the current chairman of the Commons Brexit Committee, said: “We’ve got a clear view as a party.
"We have to respect the outcome of the referendum although labour campaigned to Remain and therefore you have to give effect that the court case was simply about not whether we’re leaving, it was about whose fingers are on the button.”
Hilary Benn backs Brexit bill to be passed
We have to respect the outcome of the referendum although labour campaigned to Remain
Put to him that not all politicians would agree as some had already resigned and others, including possibly a third of the Labour Party, may vote against Article 50, Mr Benn, conceded even those whose constituents had voted to Remain in the European Union needed to respect the party’s stance.
The MP for Leeds Central said: “Members of Parliament in the end feel strongly about this, I understand why MPs who represent constituencies that voted heavily to remain may stand up and say, look I need to keep faith with my electorate.
“But the Labour Party’s position is clear as Jeremy Corbyn has set it out and I have no doubt at all that the House of Commons and, following it, the House of Lords, will vote to trigger Article 50.”
Discussion of amendments will take place during the three days of debate from February 6 as the legislation is fast-tracked through Parliament to meet Theresa May's deadline of triggering Article 50 and starting the formal two-year countdown to Brexit before the end of March.
Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal
Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
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Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
A series of changes to the Government’s 137 word bill have been placed by opponents including a “reset” clause by Scottish Nationalists which would end up with the UK staying under Brussels rule.
The plot by pro-EU politicians in Parliament has come after the Supreme Court ruled a bill would be required to trigger Article 50 which starts the process of leaving the EU.
Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron claimed the “majority” of Leave backers did not vote to leave the European Single Market and has repeatedly called for a second EU referendum.