Brexit – Article 50 Supreme Court Hearing

Last month the High Court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot invoke Article 50 without putting it to an MP’s vote in the House of Commons. This ruling is today being challenged and the court is being asked to overturn it, with the Government arguing that they can use the royal prerogative to invoke Article 50 and begin the process of the UK formally leaving the EU.

The opposing argument is that the Government cannot use executive powers (the royal prerogative) to override the rights enshrined in domestic law by statute, in this case the European Communities Act 1972 that took the UK into the EU, and that doing so would undermine parliamentary sovereignty.

The hearing is expected to last four days and all 11 current Supreme Court judges will sit and decide the case, with a decision expected to be announced in January 2017. The case is significant as it will decide how the process of Article 50 can be invoked.

If the Government’s appeal is unsuccessful it would mean that their timetable for invoking Article 50 by the end of March 2017 would be in disarray as they would either need to appeal further, to the European Court of Justice, or to introduce a bill in Parliament, with both scenarios expected to take several months.

We will update you as to the decision when it is announced in January.

Posted in English on Dec 05, 2016.