Parliament Approval Needed to Trigger Brexit, UK Supreme Court Rules

The UK Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament’s approval before she begins Britain’s formal exit from the European Union.

The highest judicial body of Britain refused to accept the argument of the government that Prime Minister Theresa May was entitled to utilize her ‘royal prerogative’ the executive powers to make Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty of the European Union operational and commence the exit talks that would last for two years.

The Court, however, refused to accept the arguments that the delegated legislative bodies of the UK in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland must give their nod prior to the evoking of Article 50.

President of the UK’s Supreme Court David Neuberger said that the referendum that was held to elicit public vote on Brexit was of huge political significance. But the act of the British Parliament that established the referendum never specified the course of action after the outcome of the voting. The verdict was passed with an 8-3 ruling that went against the government, as quoted by the Times of India.

Thus any modifications to the legal framework to make the referendum operational should be done only in the approved manner in the constitution of the UK which is the act of the nations’ Parliament.

Theresa May has often stated that she will make Article 50 effective before March 2017 but the latest court verdict implies that she will have to first obtain the consent of the lawmakers. This will result in her plans being either delayed or amended in spite of the statement of Labour Party, the chief opposition party that it will not create hindrances for her schedule.

Theresa May had elaborated her action plan for Brexit talks last week that implied complete severing of ties with the European Union that were a part of her agenda of 12 points that focuses on free international trade agreements, setting the tone for tough Brexit.

The sterling had initially strengthened on the news of the court’s verdict that went against the government. But it later fell by half a cent to lower against the euro and dollar after the court passed another verdict that the consent of delegated assemblies of Britain was not required to initiate Article 50.