Saturday

3rd Dec 2016

MPs must vote on Brexit process, judges say

  • The government immediately pledged to appeal the High Court's verdict (Photo: Nick Garrod)

The UK government cannot trigger Britain's exit from the EU without a parliamentary vote, the British High Court has ruled.

”The most fundamental rule of the UK’s constitution is that the parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses,” the court said on Thursday (3 November).

The verdict means MPs must agree before the UK triggers its EU divorce proceedings by invoking article 50 of the EU treaty.

The High Court also rejected the government’s claim that it was not competent to judge on the issue.

Whitehall immediately said it would appeal the ruling.

The Supreme Court is expected to hold a hearing on the case on 7 December, but if it is upheld, it could alter future EU-UK relations.

A majority of MPs in the past opposed Brexit.

It would be difficult for them, in political terms, to overturn the referendum result, but they might force the government to take a more EU-friendly approach in exit talks.

The British pound rose 1 percent on Thursday in anticipation of a softer Brexit.

Prime minister Theresa May had previously said that the referendum, in which 52 percent of people voted to leave the EU, gave her the authority to trigger article 50 when she saw fit.

She aimed to do it at the end of March next year.

She said she would hold parliamentary debates on her Brexit plan, but that MPs views would not be binding on her actions.

May, and members of her cabinet, had also indicated that they were willing to forsake access to the EU single market in order to curb immigration.

Two anti-Brexit campaigners - wealth manager Gina Miller and hairdresser Deir Dos Santos - initiated the High Court case.

“The result today is about all of us. We all voted for the best country and our future", Miller told press in London on Thursday.

She said greater parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit would “bring sobriety to the process".

UK trade minister Liam Fox said the government was "disappointed" by the ruling.

He said the government was "determined to respect the result" of the referendum in which the "country voted to leave” the European Union.

Column / Brexit Briefing

All hail the new establishment

Blair's return to British politics and Farage's likely lordship indicate that a new establishment is taking shape in Britain.

Brexit to hike British debt by €69bn

Britain’s decision to exit the EU is to prompt €69 billion of extra borrowing, a UK watchdog has said, leaving poorer families less well off.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security