Sterling firms as May offers scrutiny on Brexit, dollar buoyant


British Prime Minister Theresa May signalled on Wednesday (Oct 12) that she would let parliament scrutinise her Brexit plan before starting the formal European Union exit process but dismissed calls for a vote on the terms.

But Ms. May, under pressure from Labour, other lawmakers and global financial markets to offer them more than her catch phrase of "Brexit means Brexit", stopped short of promising a formal vote on her strategy before triggering Article 50 of the E.U.'s Lisbon Treaty.

But Conservative backbencher Bernard Jenkin, the chairman of the influential Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, dismissed the demands for a parliamentary vote on the Government's Brexit negotiating position. Many lawmakers seem to avour a "soft Brexit" or no Brexit at all and investors fear the "hard" option could hurt trade and foreign investment needed to fund Britain's huge current account deficit, one of the biggest in the developed world.

May has said she will trigger the Brexit process by the end of March 2017.

In the online poll, Reuters asked members of parliament's lower House of Commons - excluding the almost 100 who hold government posts and are therefore obliged to follow May's line - how they would vote if the challenge were to succeed.

Labour tabled 170 Brexit-related questions for David Davis last night, with an Opposition Day motion being debated in the Commons this afternoon.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, Mrs May told Mr Corbyn: " What we are going to do is deliver on the vote of the British people and leave the European Union.

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Results of the online survey opened the possibility that Prime Minister Theresa May might be able to win a vote in what has been a predominantly pro-EU parliament, although her government remains determined to prevent such a vote from happening.

Labour MPs have for Parliament to debate the direction of future Brexit negotiations, which they say would give the plans "proper scrutiny". "So Parliament's going to have every opportunity to debate this issue". What is Article 50 and when will it be triggered by Theresa May?

"While we commend and welcome parliamentary scrutiny, it must not be used as a vehicle to undermine the government's negotiating position, or thwart the process of exit", Davis said.

"Can I say to the right honourable gentleman congratulations on winning the Labour leadership election, and can I welcome him back to his place in this House, as his normal self", sparking loud jeers and shouts of support - largely from the Conservative benches. Thornberry said the secrecy was "nonsense", as numerous negotiating demands would emerge as soon as the United Kingdom starts talks with other European Union member states.

But, he says, "the most important thing is that the people are not animals to be herded around" - meaning that leaders need to time referendums carefully, prepare the populace, and not be overly dependent on the tool.

The disclosure follows a tumultuous day for the pound on the foreign exchanges which at one point saw sterling lose nearly 1% of its value against the dollar during the course of exchanges in the Commons before staging a rally.