24 January 2017

Supreme Court rules UK parliament must vote on Article 50 for Brexit

The UK Supreme Court ruled today that the UK government must obtain parliament’s authorisation before starting formal exit proceedings from the EU by invoking Article 50 of Treaty of the European Union. The Court dismissed the government’s argument that it could use its executive powers known as “royal prerogative” to do this.  The Supreme Court also ruled that consent of devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was not required.

Niek Biegman, resident partner of De Brauw London: “The political impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling should be relatively limited. I expect a majority in both houses of parliament to vote in favour of brief legislation for the authorisation to trigger Article 50. The evolved attitudes in parliament towards the invocation of Brexit proceedings and the government’s pledge to submit the end result of Brexit negotiations to parliament both point in that direction. It therefore looks unlikely that the government’s plan to trigger Article 50 by the end of March will be affected by this ruling”.

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