Nick Clegg Alleges PM May of ‘Scandalous Dereliction of Democratic Duty’ Over Brexit

By Chatham House (The Rt Hon Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, UK) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister, has accused the government of trying to sideline the Parliament by planning to set an incomplete Brexit deal to the vote at the end of the discussion of Article 50.

Last month, MPs passed an amendment asking on the government of Theresa May to give Parliament a “meaningful vote” regarding the Brexit withdrawal deal that was agreed upon by British and European Union negotiators.

The amendment was tabled by Dominic Grieve, a Conservative MP. It was designed to make sure that the government will have to secure the approval of the parliament before signing off any final withdrawal deal on Brexit.

However, Clegg informed reporters that he expects that the Parliament will be shown an incomplete deal that is lacking important details on issues such as the Irish border, trade, and customs arrangements.

This week, the former Liberal Democrat leader informed reporters: “I don’t think the government has any intention of completing the next phase of talks before it invites MPs to make a judgment.

“And that would be a scandalous dereliction of democratic duty to expect MPs to vote on a deal which will be composed of little more than the fudge on the Irish border included in this December package, some warm words about the future, and maybe a little bit more detail on aspects of that future.”

Clegg continued: “The government’s clear intention is to try and lull parliament into signing away the future before it has spelled out what that future holds.”

Reporters spoke to the former MP for Sheffield Hallam during an event that was hosted by Islington In Europe, an anti-Brexit group.

During the event, Clegg said that he was unphased by the negative reaction of some figures regarding the recent news of his imminent knighthood.

He said: “You can hardly call it a backlash when the entirely predictable people don’t share my views on things and criticise.

“The Daily Mail is never going to agree with my worldview, and neither is Owen Jones. I don’t take it too seriously.

“I was included in the honours because of the work I did as deputy prime minister and I remain immensely proud of what me and my team succeeded to do in providing stability to the country at a time of immense turbulence and difficulty.

“It doesn’t really affect my pride in what we achieved that there are people on either side who want to snipe.”

Clegg also attacked the “absolutely pathetic” Labour Party for its failure to capitalise on the dithering of the Tory government over Brexit.

“Labour should be 20% ahead. A good opposition would kill this government in a week,” said Clegg.