Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Theresa May must get parliamentry approval to initiate Brexit

The British Supreme Court has ruled the government must seek parliamentary approval before formally initiating the process to leave the European Union.

Tuesday's decision, which affirms an earlier High Court ruling, is a setback for Prime Minister Theresa May, who intends to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the bloc by the end of March this year.

The UK's 11 most senior judges voted by eight to three to reject the government's appeal against the earlier ruling.

In his statement, the presiding judge, Lord David Neuberger said the act of parliament establishing the referendum to leave the EU did not say what should happen as a result.

"Any change in the law to give effect to the referendum must be made in the only way permitted by the UK constitution, namely by an act of parliament," he said.

Adding: "To proceed otherwise will be a breach of settled constitutional principles stretching back many centuries."

The ruling means May must put legislation forward to initiate Brexit to MPs for approval, a vote she would almost certainly succeed in passing as the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is expected to order his MPs to vote in support of it.

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