Brexit – another spanner in the works

In the latest twist in the Brexit saga, the High Court has ruled that the Government does not have the power to trigger Article 50 without the approval of Parliament.  

This follows Theresa May’s recent announcement that she would trigger Article 50, the formal withdrawal procedure to leave the EU, by the end of March 2017.

Article 50 states that a member state may leave “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”. However, it is not clear what the UK’s “constitutional requirements” are for the purposes of Article 50.

The question put before the High Court was whether the government can use the Crown’s prerogative powers to give notice of the UK’s withdrawal of the EU. The government insisted that they could, but campaigners argued that they needed parliamentary approval before beginning the process.

The High Court agreed with the campaigners. The Court was, however, very clear that they were dealing with a question of law, but in no way does this ruling merit or demerit the UK’s decision to leave the EU or have any impact on governmental policy or strategy.

The Government will appeal the decision at the Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in the UK, in December.

We will keep you up to date with the latest developments of this case.

 

Director of Legal Services

James Tamm

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