UK Supreme Court to rule on Brexit soon

Dec 14, 2016, 04:14
UK Supreme Court to rule on Brexit soon

Having insisted in the referendum campaign that Westminster had to "take back control" from Brussels, they now demand that a government edict take precedent over Parliament.

At least five MPs were expected to break ranks with their colleagues and vote against a Government motion to trigger Article 50 in March, arguing it was an attempt to strong-arm the Commons. "In effect, it gives a blank cheque for us to invoke article 50 by March without any of us being any the wiser about the Government's intentions", Bradshaw said.

Emma Reynolds, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, was unable to cast her vote due to attending a meeting of the Brexit Select Committee.

But David Pannick, one of the lawyers arguing against the government, said Wednesday that the government does not have the power to take Britain out of the European Union - removing rights granted to citizens by membership in the bloc - without the approval of lawmakers.

"It seems to me there may be some force in the argument that when Parliament comes to face up to this issue they say: 'We'll let the British people vote, "' he said on Wednesday.

James Eadie QC, for the Government, said their decision "cannot possibly be sustained" and worldwide treaty-making powers under the prerogative could lawfully be used to trigger Brexit.

Though the courtroom drama is unfolding in cool legal language, it has set public passions simmering.

Mr Davis, who will reply to the debate for the Government, is also likely to face questions about the apparently accelerating timetable for negotiations, after the EU's lead Brexit official warned the United Kingdom will have to reach a deal within 18 months. Perhaps the Daily Mail will be branding them "enemies of the people" next.

Echoing comments made by her lawyer to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, lead challenger Miller said she did not believe the motion in parliament had any bearing on the case.

"Nigel, where are you?" they sang mockingly, in reference to former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, a prominent voice in the leave campaign.

May's office said the vote does not affect the Supreme Court case.

Two anti-EU protesters held placards, one calling the case an "establishment stitch-up".

Nothing in law suggested that, following victory for the Leave campaign, the Government's decision to give Article 50 notice required further legislation.

The Lord Advocate said that was "a matter of significance and not simply a footnote" and it would be unlawful for the Article 50 process to start without a legislative consent motion from Holyrood under devolved legislation. "It was nearly the most divisive political event that has happened in the last several decades", he said. And so, he said, an act of Parliament was needed to take Britain out of the bloc.

The government agreed late Tuesday, fearing defeat at the hands of the opposition and rebellious, pro-EU Conservative lawmakers.

Mance asked this question because one of the key assumptions at the heart of the government's legal argument is that MPs will get to have a big say on how Britain leaves the European Union once Article 50 has been invoked.

Opening the hearing on Monday, the court's top judge, David Neuberger, said the case is about legal issues, not politics. Given that Miller and the other challengers' case is all about involving Parliament, some judges questioned the need for the courts to intervene.

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