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Brexit: UK Supreme Court rules government cannot trigger article 50 without act of parliament

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The Supreme Court by a majority of 8 to 3 dismisses the Secretary of State’s appeal (Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption and Lord Hodge in the majority with Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath and Lord Hughes dissenting). In a joint judgment of the majority, the Supreme Court holds that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise ministers to give Notice of the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union. Each of the dissenting justices gives a separate judgment.

On the devolution issues, the court unanimously concludes that neither section 1 nor section 75 of the NIA [Northern Ireland Act] is of assistance in this case, and that the Sewel Convention does not give rise to a legally enforceable obligation

 

Parliament must vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The judgement means Theresa May cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers give their backing – although this is expected to happen in time for the government’s 31 March deadline.

But the court ruled the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies did not need a say.

Campaigners argued denying the UK Parliament a vote was undemocratic.

But the government said it already had powers to get talks under way, without the need for consulting MPs and peers.

The judges rejected the case put by ministers by a majority of eight to three.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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