BREXIT JUDGEMENT REINFORCES THE SUPREMACY OF PARLIAMENT

The Observer
6 November 2016

In a landmark legal decision on 3rd November, the high court upheld a legal challenge brought against the government by Gina Miller and others, and ruled the government cannot use the royal prerogative to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, and so formally commence the process to leave the EU, without parliamentary approval. The court’s judgment means that the process must be subject to parliamentary control and oversight.

This ruling was a strong judgment, by a powerful trio of judges including the lord chief justice, and its reasoning looks hard to overturn. If the ruling stands, it means that a Bill will have to be introduced in Parliament. Although it is highly unlikely Parliament will vote against triggering article 50, Parliament could seek to impose certain conditions on the government.

The June referendum resulted in a vote for the UK to leave the EU. However, it did not determine the way in which the UK leaves the EU. The court’s judgment means that Parliament will have a role in debating and deciding many matters, rather than their being determined in private by the executive.

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