There WILL be an early election if judges and remain campaigners do not back down in their bid to delay Brexit, warn Tory MPs

  • Tory MPs warn of ‘immediate’ election if Brexit plan is overturned
  • Prime Minister vowed to appeal High Court’s verdict over Article 50
  • Court ruled Government had to allow MPs to vote on the way forward 

Theresa May could be forced to hold an early election if judges and Remain campaigners do not back down in the war against Brexit, Tory MPs warned last night.

On a frantic day at Westminster, the Prime Minister vowed to appeal yesterday’s High Court verdict which would allow Parliament to frustrate or even scupper the process of Britain leaving the EU.

No 10 sent a clear message to the courts that 17.4million voters had backed Brexit and that they should not get in the way of ‘delivering the best deal for Britain’.

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Prime Minister Theresa May could be forced to hold an early election next year if judges and Remain campaigners continue to fight Brexit, Tory MPs have warned

Brexit Secretary David Davis, pictured, and said the 'people want us to get on with Brexit' Iain Duncan-Smith, pictured, said if the referendum result was blocked it would mean an 'immediate' General Election

David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said that – if yesterday’s verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court – a full Act of Parliament would be required to trigger Brexit.

This would allow MPs or unelected peers to table amendments that could dictate the terms of Brexit or even halt the process.

But Mr Davis warned that heading down this path would be a huge mistake.

And senior Tories said that, if MPs and peers did try to frustrate Brexit, a General Election was almost inevitable, suggesting Mrs May would have no option but to trigger an ‘immediate’ poll in early 2017.

Last night, Mr Davis said: ‘Parliament voted by six to one to give the decision to the people, no ifs or buts, and that’s why we are appealing this to get on with delivering the best deal for Britain.

‘Parliament is sovereign and has been sovereign, but of course the people are sovereign.

The High Court ruled the Government had to go through Parliament to activate Article 50 after a case brought forward by Gina Miller, pictured and other activists

‘This is about process not politics’: Gina Miller’s victory speech


‘The people are the ones who parliament represents…17.4 million of them, the biggest mandate in history, voted for us to leave the European Union.

‘We’re going to deliver on that mandate in the best way possible for the British national interest.

‘The people want us to get on with it and that is what we intend to do.’

Ex-justice minister Dominic Raab said the verdict had opened ‘Pandora’s box’.

He added: ‘I think the elephant in the room here is if we get to the stage where [Remainers] allow this negotiation to even begin, I think there must be an increased chance that we will need to go to the country again.

‘I think that would be a mistake and I don’t think those trying to frustrate the verdict in the referendum will be rewarded.’

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said that if peers or MPs overturned the Brexit verdict then ‘it is a General Election immediately’.

He added: ‘The Supreme Court is going to have to take stock of this mess. There has not been another time that I can think of when a court has behaved like this.’

In a decision that could spark a major constitutional crisis, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas (pictured) sided with Remain campaigners who argued Parliament must have a vote before Article 50 is triggered, which starts a two-year process for leaving the EU

He was aided by 'Master of the Rolls' Sir Terence Etherton He was aided by Lord Justice Sales

He was aided by ‘Master of the Rolls’ Sir Terence Etherton (left) and Lord Justice Sales (right)

Mr Duncan Smith warned of ‘a constitutional crisis – literally pitting Parliament against the will of the people.’

Tory MP Steve Baker, a leading figure in Vote Leave said: ‘It’s conceivable that we could end up in General Election territory.’

And Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said: ‘I think most MPs accept the will of the people and will vote for Article 50.

‘If that turns out to be wrong, it’s definitely a matter of confidence and there would have to be a General Election.

‘If the Lords was obstructive we would just have to create 1,000 peers.’

Economists at Deutsche Bank last night told investors that Mrs May is likely to have to call an election next year.


The cross-bench peer who wrote Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the means by which Britain leaves the EU – last night suggested the country could still change its mind after triggering it.

In an interview with the BBC, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard said it was ‘not irrevocable’ and renewed calls for Parliament or the public to be given a chance to stop Brexit.

‘If a country were to decide we don’t want to leave after all, everybody would be very cross about it being a waste of time,’ he said.

‘They might try to extract a political price but legally they couldn’t insist that you leave.’

Bookmakers also shortened the odds on a 2017 poll to just 2/1.

Mrs May is personally resistant to the idea of an early election and her spokesman was last night emphatic there would be no poll before 2020.

Ministers are still hopeful that, when their appeal is heard next month, the Supreme Court will overturn yesterday’s verdict.

However, should the Supreme Court uphold it, ministers believe they would be required to introduce a full Act of Parliament to trigger Article 50.

Remain MPs would have the opportunity to amend legislation – demanding, for example, that we stay in the single market.

Alternatively, MPs could demand that the Government spells out its negotiating strategy before Article 50 is triggered.

No 10 has been clear this would be unacceptable, as it would hand a negotiating advantage to the EU.

Labour remained in chaos yesterday over what to do next.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn – who had previously called for Article 50 to be triggered straight after the EU referendum – said the wishes of the public must be respected.

Mrs May will spend today phoning European leaders to tell them she remains committed to starting the process by March 2017.

Meanwhile, the deputy leader of the DUP, Nigel Dodds, expressed his disappointment at the ruling.

He told those attempting to block Brexit they must respect the will of the people.

His party’s votes could prove crucial if Mrs May is forced to seek parliamentary approval.

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Lord Kerr of Kinlochard credited with writing Article 50? According to Zooie O’Brian writing in the Daily Express and quoting from an interview with Giuliano Amato, a former Italian Prime Minister, he claimed Britain must “lose” when it comes to finances – so they are forced to stay in the single market. Mr Amato told a conference in Rome, he had inserted the get-out clause specifically to prevent the British from complaining that there was no clear cut, official way for them to bail out of the Union. He said: “I wrote Article 50, so I know it well. “My… Read more »


I feel we must give the supreme court a chance to sort this mess out and if they don’t we should ignore the judges and effectively sack them. Declare our independence and leave the EU, or we are going to me locked in having to ask parliament (who are supposed to serve the people, not the other way around,) if we can leave the EU and then also ask the EU as well. What if they both say no? Then we will have to just walk away. We do not need the EU’s permission and nor do we need Parliaments… Read more »

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