Government accepts call to publish Brexit plan, asks parliament to respect timetable

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May waits to address sailors on deck of HMS Ocean in Manama, Bahrain December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The British government has accepted the opposition Labour Party’s call for it to set out its plan for leaving the European Union before formal talks begin, but has asked parliament to respect its Brexit timetable.

Prime Minister Theresa May had faced a rebellion among her own lawmakers when parliament debates on Wednesday whether she should set out her plans before triggering Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty to begin the exit process.

Labour’s motion called on May to commit to publishing the government’s Brexit plan but also said there should be “no disclosure of material that could be reasonably judged to damage the UK in any negotiations to depart from the European Union”.

The government has tabled an amendment to Labour’s motion, saying that parliament should respect the result of the June 23 EU referendum and back May’s plan to invoke Article 50 by the end of March next year.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Elizabeth Piper)