Latest posts by Anastasia Moroz (see all)
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The High Court ruled that Theresa May must receive parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50.
Soon after 10:00 a.m. London time, three of the country’s most senior judges, amongst whom is Lord Chief Justice John Thomas, ruled on a unanimous basis that Prime Minister is legally obliged to pass an act of parliament before proceeding to the UK’s formal exit from the EU.
A spokesperson for the government stated that it would be appealing the verdict, which means that the case will be passed to the Supreme Court in December this year.
A spokesperson for the government claimed: “The Government is disappointed by the Court’s judgment.
“The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the Government is determined to respect the result of the referendum. We will appeal this judgment.”
The irony of it is that in case the Supreme Court does not carry out a verdict on the government’s appeal, it is obliged to transfer the case to the European Court of Justice— the European Union’s highest court.
The government added that the ruling did not have any impact on the Prime Minister’s intention to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.
May’s spokesperson said to journalists: “Our plans remain to invoke Article 50 by the end of March.”
“We believe the legal timetable should allow for that.”
This was the High Court’s official conclusion:
“The Court does not accept the argument put forward by the Government. There is nothing in the text of the 1972 Act to support it. In the judgment of the Court the argument is contrary both to the language used by the Parliament in the 1972 Act and to the fundamental constitutional principles of the sovereignty of Parliament and the absence of any entitlement on the part of the Crown to change domestic law by the exercise of its prerogative powers. The Court expressly accepts the principle argument of the claimants.”
“For the reasons set out in the judgment, we decide that the Government does not have power under the Crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union.”
The legal team representing the government’s interests argued that May can take advantage of her royal prerogative to trigger Article 50, an archaic privilege allowing UK government to take an action without first referring to parliament.
May’s intention to trigger Article 50 in five months’ time can be hard to follow through in case either of the legislative houses delays the process.
According to the data provided by Deputy Political Editor at The Times Sam Coates, some parliamentarians will not support the act of parliament if the government doesn’t reveal the details of its Brexit negotiating stance.
Nigel Farage, The ex-UKIP leader, who greatly contributed to supporting leaving campaign, released a statement soon after sharing his concerns parliamentarians would take advantage of the verdict to delay or even block Brexit.
The pound soared straight after the news became public, jumping up more than 1.2% against the dollar at the speed of light.