Only Parliament Can Trigger Brexit, High Court Rules
“Taking back control” is a lot more complicated than it sounds.
The UK’s high court has ruled that MPs must approve the Brexit decision before Article 50 is triggered.
After a two-week legal battle, the court decided against the government, who argued that Brexit negotiations could begin without a Parliamentary vote.
The judgement, delivered by the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, is unambiguous in its phrasing:
The government can appeal the decision. But if the decision carries, the ruling could slow the process of leaving the EU. In October, Theresa May announced that the government would trigger Article 50 by March 2017 — and insisted the government alone had the right to do so. The court’s decision throws a spanner in the works.
How do people feel about it?
A spokeswoman for No. 10 has said: "We have no intention of letting this decision derail our timetable for triggering Article 50," but admitted the government was disappointed by the decision.
Liam Fox has told the House of Commons that the government will appeal the decision.
I now fear every attempt will be made to block or delay triggering Article 50. They have no idea level of public anger they will provoke.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 3, 2016
Court rules Parliament must vote on Article 50. A huge victory for our parliamentary democracy. This is what real sovereignty looks like.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) November 3, 2016
“Labour respects the decision of the British people to leave the European Union. But there must be transparency and accountability to Parliament on the terms of Brexit. Labour will be pressing the case for a Brexit that works for Britain, putting jobs, living standards and the economy first." (Source: BBC)
Taking back power means giving parliament a vote. My comment on the Article 50 legal case. pic.twitter.com/DXdf7TwUmZ— Tim Farron (@timfarron) November 3, 2016
And the markets?
The value of the pound rose by 1% after the ruling was announced.
and here's the pound pic.twitter.com/kaaJWdIiF8— Edward Evans (@evans_edward) November 3, 2016
So does Brexit still mean Brexit?
It's difficult to say what this means for Brexit. After a referendum campaign centred on “taking back control” and Parliamentary sovereignty, the court has concluded that Parliament rules. But many argue that it is unlikely Parliament will vote against the referendum result. Rather, the decision will allow Parliament to influence the kind of Brexit the UK will negotiate, and when it will happen. The ruling has reignited the debate on what Brexit really means — will it be a hard Brexit, or a soft Brexit? A fast Brexit, or a slow Brexit — or no Brexit at all?