Brexit by Convention- fallout from the Supreme Court Ruling
Last year, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she would invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in March this year. However, on 24 January 2017 the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament must vote on whether the Government can start the Brexit process.
Without the Parliament vote, the plans Ms May had to commence talks with the European Union cannot happen until she has the Parliamentary vote.
Campaigners debated that without the UK Parliamentary vote, the process was unfair and it would amount to a breach of constitutional principles and by triggering Article 50 would mean overturning existing UK laws. However, the Government retaliated stating that under the Royal Prerogative, it had the right to make this move without the need to consult Parliament.
Supreme Court President, Lord Neuberger said: “By a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court today rules that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without an act of Parliament authorising it to do so.” He added-
“Withdrawal effects a fundamental change by cutting off the source of EU law, as well as changing legal rights. The UK’s constitutional arrangements require such changes to be clearly authorised by Parliament. Relations with the EU are a matter for the UK government.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis, stated that Brexit would go ahead as voted by the people in June 2016, which was backed by 51.9% of voters. “It’s not about whether the UK should leave the European Union. That decision has already been made by people in the United Kingdom.”
“There can be no turning back” he said. “The point of no return was passed on 23 June last year.”
A spokesman of Downing Street stated; “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.”
In our opinion, Brexit is likely to go ahead, however we now await a Parliamentary vote before Article 50 can be triggered.
We will continue to post regular updates. In the interim, if you require assistance with EEA applications in order to secure your rights to stay in the UK, please contact our office on +44(0) 20 3318 5794 or via email at email@example.com.