High Court Halts March Brexit

High Court Halts March Brexit

A High Court ruling has judged that parliament must approve the triggering of Article 50, and therefore Britain leaving the EU.

Following the results of the EU Referendum that took place on 23 June 2016, there has been much deliberation as to whether the Government has the power to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without the approval of Parliament.

The Prime Minister, Teresa May, had intended to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017. It was her opinion that her powers as Prime Minister, coupled with the referendum decision to leave the EU, meant that a vote by Parliament was not required to trigger Article 50.

Today in a High Court ruling, the Lord Chief Justice has said that if the Government were to trigger Article 50 without the approval of Parliament this would be “contrary to fundamental constitutional principles of the sovereignty of Parliament”. As such, the Government is unable to begin the process of leaving the EU without the approval of Parliament.  It is expected that the Government will appeal the decision and this issue is likely to reach the Supreme Court.

Given that the people of Britain have voted on the issue, it is unlikely that Parliament will block Brexit. The need for Parliament to approve the triggering of Article 50 will however, likely delay Britain’s exit from the EU. There are many questions that are yet to be answered regarding the process that will now need to be followed to obtain Parliament’s approval. It is not known whether legislation will need to be passed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords, or whether a vote will be sufficient to obtain Parliament’s approval.

The Brexit saga is to be continued…