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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Brexit: UK Government does not have power to trigger Article 50 to Leave EU, Court rules

Brexit Legal Challenge: UK Government loses Article 50 court fight!

Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the European Union, the High Court has ruled.

”Government ‘determined’ to respect referendum result” – Liam Fox

High Court challenge to Brexit process succeeds Ruling says MPs, not just PM, must approve Article 50 process Government widely expected to appeal against decision!
-High Court challenge to Brexit process succeeds
-Ruling says MPs, not just PM, must approve Article 50 process
-Government widely expected to appeal against decision!
Investment manager Gina Miller, who brought the Brexit challenge, said the case was about parliamentary democracy and not about process
This means the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – beginning formal discussions with the EU – on its own.

Theresa May says the Brexit referendum and ministerial powers mean MPs do not need to vote, but campaigners argue this is unconstitutional.
The second female Prime Minister in the history of British Politics! Theresa May becomes Britain’s Premier as David Cameron tender resignation to Her Majesty Queen on Wednesday. 13/07/2016
The second female Prime Minister in the history of British Politics! Theresa May stepped into Britain’s Premiership as David Cameron tendered resignation to Her Majesty Queen on Wednesday. 13/07/2016.

BBC Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith says the High Court ruling has thrown an almighty spanner in the works for Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for Brexit.Norman Smith
This means that Parliament will have to give consent to the process of triggering Article 50 for Brexit.

The government is expected to appeal.
 Nick Robinson, Presenter Today, BBC Radio 4, who was  formerly BBC Political Editor on Thursday tweeted ”Will MPs now take back control of Brexit thanks to verdict of unelected British judges? What an extraordinary year this is”
Conservative Michael Fabricant becomes the first member to ask Liam Fox about a High Court judgement, a few minutes ago.
He asks Liam Fox if he will join him in “deploring” the High Court’s decision that Article 50 must be triggered by Parliament.
Minister for International Trade, Liam Fox said the government is “disappointed” by the ruling and that the “country voted to leave” in a referendum sanctioned by Parliament.
He says the “government is determined to respect the result” and will “consider it [the judgement] carefully”
Reactions are currently trailing the court ruling.
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Press Association highlighted that ”unless overturned on appeal at the Supreme Court, the ruling threatens to plunge the government’s plans for Brexit into disarray as the process will have to be subject to full parliamentary control.
Government lawyers had argued that prerogative powers were a legitimate way to give effect “to the will of the people” who voted by a clear majority to leave the European Union in the June referendum.
But the Lord Chief Justice, Thomas of Cwmgiedd declared:

“The government does not have power under the Crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union.”
The government has been given the go-ahead to appeal against the ruling at the Supreme Court but made no immediate announcement about whether it will.
The prime minister has said she will activate Article 50, formally notifying the EU of the UK’s intention to leave, by the end of next March. This follows the UK’s decision to back Brexit in June’s referendum by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%.
The EU’s other 27 members have said negotiations about the terms of the UK’s exit – due to last two years – cannot begin until Article 50 has been invoked.
BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said, if the court’s decision is not overturned, there could be “months and months” of parliamentary hurdles ahead.

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The government is expected to appeal against the decision, with a further hearing to be held in the Supreme Court. Nigel Farage
Breaking News image
Senior judges heard a challenge last month from campaigners who argue Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without MPs’ approval.
The PM has promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.
Its author, Lord Kerr, has told the BBC he believed it was “not irrevocable”.
Some of the leading figures in the legal world are involved in the historic case, which is expected to be appealed against to the Supreme Court whatever the verdict.
The announcement will be made by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales.
The government insists it does not need to consult Parliament before triggering Article 50, which begins two years of formal Brexit negotiations.
-Gina Miller,  was chosen as the lead claimant
Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, presided over the three-day hearing
It argues there is an established constitutional convention for the executive to use ancient powers of royal prerogative to withdraw from international treaties – and that the referendum result has given ministers the green light to begin Brexit.
But the claimants – led by investment manager Gina Miller – argue that rights granted by the 1972 European Communities Act cannot be taken away without the explicit approval of Parliament.
A number of MPs have also been calling for Parliament to be given a vote before Article 50 is triggered, saying the government has no mandate to decide the terms of Brexit.
But Mrs May has said their demands are akin to trying to “subvert democracy”.
The government has said it is likely MPs will get to vote on the final Brexit deal reached after the negotiations – but campaigners say this is too late.
The prime minister has refused to give details of her key demands for the talks.

‘Factually objective’

Among those calling for Parliament to be given a vote is the Scottish peer who wrote Article 50.
In a BBC interview, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard said he believed Article 50 was “not irrevocable”, adding that the UK could choose to stay in the EU even after exit negotiations had begun.
Meanwhile the head of the civil service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said it might be decades before the full impact of the referendum result on the UK was known.
Setting out the challenge facing Whitehall in his blog, he said Brexit had “few, if any, parallels in its complexity”.
He also defended the civil service’s role during the referendum campaign, when Brexit-supporting ministers were barred from seeing some documents under special rules allowing members of the government to campaign for either side.
“During the official referendum campaign, we were scrupulous in making sure that all documents issued were factually correct and objective,” he said.
Exiting the EU will involve almost every government department and thousands of civil servants, he said.
Reactions are currently trailing the court ruling.

Credit: BBC

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