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Brexit: UK Supreme Court Says parliament Has Final Decision

Contrary to decision by British Prime Minister Theresa May to start the process of Britain exiting the European Union in March, as decided by its nationals last year, the country’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the parliament must vote first whether or not to begin the process.
According to Lord David Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, “Majority of 8 to 3 Supreme Court rules government cannot trigger article 50” without Parliament.
The government had appealed a November High Court decision and Supreme Court judges deliberated the case over four days in December before giving their verdict Tuesday.
Campaigners argued that denying the UK Parliament a vote was undemocratic, but the government said it already had the powers to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – getting talks under way – without the need for consulting MPs and peers.
Tuesday’s decision is a complication for Prime Minister Theresa May, who wanted to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty — the legal mechanism that begins the process of leaving the EU — by the end of March. Doing so would open the door for EU negotiations, which are likely to last two years.
Gina Miller, one of the campaigners who brought the case against the government, said Brexit was “the most divisive issue of a generation”, but added that her victory was “not about politics, but process”.
The court held that the legal consequences of leaving the EU were great enough to require an act of parliament to start the process, noting that proceeding “otherwise would be breach of settled constitutional principles stretching back many centuries,” Lord Neuberger said as he read out the ruling.
But the court, however, also decided that the UK government did not need the approval of the governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to begin the negotiating process.
May had promised lawmakers a vote on the outcome of the talks, but wanted to begin the process without a decision in parliament. The government must now introduce legislation to the House of Commons, which could delay May’s timetable.
Brexit Secretary David Davis is billed to make a statement to Members of Parliament later on Tuesday.
Once outside the court, BBC quoted Attorney General Jeremy Wright as saying although the government was “disappointed,” it would “comply” and do “all that is necessary” to implement the court’s judgement.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Labour respects the result of the referendum and the will of the British people and will not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said he would press for a second referendum on the final deal reached between the UK government and the EU.
The case against the government was brought by Ms Miller, an investment manager, and hairdresser Deir Tozetti Dos Santos.
The Supreme Court’s judgement backs that given by the High Court last year, against which the government appealed.
Sources: BBC/CNN

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