Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Britain Will Require Parliamentary Vote To Leave EU After Supreme Court Ruling


In a bombshell decision in the Supreme Court today, justice Lord Neuberger revealed Prime Minister Theresa May “does not have the power” to trigger Article 50.

Now Britain cannot leave the European Union without the consent of MPs in a new parliamentary vote.

A Bill on Article 50 will have to be passed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords – despite the historic vote to leave the EU on June 23 last year.

The verdict will leave Mrs May's plans for leaving the Union in tatters and increases the chances of a snap general election.

The Supreme Court judges voted by a majority of eight to three that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without the consent of parlaiment.

The ruling reads: "In a joint judgment of the majority, the Supreme Court holds that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise ministers to give Notice of the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union.

"Each of the dissenting justices gives a separate judgment."

Although the government lost the ruling, Neuberger said Theresa May does not have to consult devolved parlaiments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Article 50.

In response to the ruling, Brexit Secretary David Davis told parlaiment that the process would not be delayed.

He told MPs that the government hopes to put forward legislation to both Houses "within days".

He added: "I trust no one will use [the Bill] as a vehicle for attempts to thwart the will of the people or to frustrate or delay the process."


Speaking after the ruling, David Green, lawyer for campaigner Gina Miller said the decision was a "victory for democracy".

He said: "Today’s decision vindicates his role in shining a spotlight on the rightful process as well as the role the law plays in ensuring

“The legal issues were often clouded by a polarised and a politically charged backdrop.

"But today it’s clear this is not a case about whether we should have Brexit – but a technical legal case.

“The result is a reassertion that we live in a parliamentary democracy.”

Fund manager Gina Miller, who brought the case to High Court, said the rulling will give MPs a valuable chance to have a say.

She added: "No Prime Minister, no government, can expect to be unanswerable or unchallenged. Parliament alone is sovereign."

But the ruling, which found Mrs May cannot use her perogative powers, has left the government and Brexit campaigners fuming.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright said the Government was "disappointed" by the Supreme Court ruling but will comply with it.

In a statement, No10 stood defiant, saying: "The British people voted to leave the EU, and the Government will deliver on their verdict - triggering Article 50, as planned, by the end of March.

"Today's ruling does nothing to change that."

The clock is now ticking for Mrs May to pass the Bill through both Houses before her activating Article 50 on March 31, her self-imposed deadline.

A number of contingency plans have been put in place to deal with the verdict, Downing Street revealed last night.


In response to the verdict, her official spokeswoman said: “The PM has been very clear we will be sticking to the Article 50 timetable of delivering it by the end of March.”

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary, branded the Supreme Court case a "waste of public money".

He said it was wrong to deprive MPs of a vote on the issue of triggering Article 50.

Now experts told Daily Star Online the vote could force Theresa May to hold a snap general election.

The government face an uphill struggle to pass the Bill through both Houses.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has launched an audacious bid to thwart the will of 17 million Brits and break-up the UK.

The SNP leader revealed the Scots will try to slow down Brexit with all 56 MPs chucking amendments at the bill – which will now be voted on in Parliament.

The party promised to lay down some 50 "serious and substantive" amendments to the bill needed to leave the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he will not look to frustrate the will of the 16 million people who voted for Brexit.

But he added that his party will amend the Bill if unsatisfied.

A spokesperson for Mr Corbyn said today: “Labour respects the result of the referendum and the will of the British people and will not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50.

“However, Labour will seek to amend the Article 50 Bill to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven off the coast of Europe.

“Labour will seek to build in the principles of full, tariff-free access to the single market and maintenance of workers’ rights and social and environmental protections.

“Labour is demanding a plan from the Government to ensure it is accountable to Parliament throughout the negotiations and a meaningful vote to ensure the final deal is given Parliamentary approval.”



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