This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Delay triggering Article 50 until after voters vote on the UK EU Exit Package.

The UK shouldn't be forced to leave the EU on terms nobody voted for. Therefore, Article 50 should be delayed until after the people have had the final say by voting on whether to accept the terms of the deal or to stay in the EU on current terms.

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Triggering Article 50 on 31/3 hands back the UK's EU membership giving the remaining 27 EU member 2 years to decide a UK Exit Package which suits them & discourages others leaving. The UK only has power to negotiate before Article 50 is triggered. The EU incentive to negotiate before a UK vote on the Exit Package is that if it were rejected the UK stays in the EU. Hence, UK should negotiate the deal terms & let the people vote to accept the deal or to stay in the EU before triggering Article 50

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

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Government responded

This response was given on 14 February 2017

The people voted to leave the EU in a referendum and we will respect that decision. Under the EU treaties, the negotiations with the EU can only begin after Article 50 is triggered.

Read the response in full

The Government is committed to delivering on the will of the people as expressed on 23 June 2016. We are leaving the European Union.

There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union, and it is the duty of the Government to make sure we do just that.

Under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the arrangements relating to the UK’s withdrawal are to be made between the UK and the EU in a withdrawal agreement. Our efforts will be focused on getting the best deal possible for the UK in the negotiations with the EU.

From the UK side, we are embarking upon a programme of engagement at official and ministerial level with the EU institutions and Member States to understand our partners' concerns and priorities in order to prepare for these negotiations and ensure that they succeed. The meetings did not seek to open negotiations, which can only begin after Article 50 is triggered, but to lay the ground for a constructive dialogue and a smooth and orderly exit which is in the interests of all parties.

On 17 January 2017, the Prime Minister set out the 12 objectives which will guide the Government in fulfilling the democratic will of the people of the UK. These are:

1. Providing certainty and clarity;
2. Taking control of our own laws;
3. Strengthening the Union;
4. Protecting our strong historic ties with Ireland and maintaining the Common Travel Area;
5. Controlling immigration;
6. Securing rights for EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU;
7. Protecting workers’ rights;
8. Ensuring free trade with European markets;
9. Securing new trade agreements with other countries;
10. Ensuring the United Kingdom remains the best place for science and innovation;
11. Cooperating in the fight against crime and terrorism; and
12. Delivering a smooth, orderly exit from the EU.

The Prime Minister has set out the timetable for triggering Article 50 by 31 March and we remain committed to that timetable. Delaying the triggering of Article 50 any longer simply extends the period of uncertainty. It is important to provide stability and reassurances for business, the public sector and the general public which can only be done by entering into negotiations with the EU.

The Government will bring forward a motion on the final agreement to be approved by both Houses of Parliament before it is concluded. We expect and intend that this will happen before the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.

Department for Exiting the European Union