In one of the most constitutionally significant cases, the Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot trigger Article 50 – the formal procedure for leaving the EU – without an Act of Parliament which authorises it.

It also ruled that the UK government does not have to ask the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before triggering the process.

Background

There have been many questions about Brexit, but one of the most lingering since the referendum has concerned how we officially get the process of leaving the EU started.

A group of campaigners, spearheaded by investment banker Gina Miller and hairdresser Dier Dos Santos asked the High Court whether the government could trigger Article 50 using royal prerogative powers.

The High Court found against the government arguing that the Government does not have the power to trigger Article 50 without the approval of Parliament. The government appealed the decision, but ultimately the Supreme Court has upheld the High Court’s decision.

What next?

However, it is not expected to delay the Prime Minister’s plan to invoke the Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

Brexit Secretary, David Davis, already made the following statement: “I can announce today that we will shortly introduce legislation allowing the Government to move ahead with invoking Article 50, which starts the formal process of withdrawing from the European Union.”

He continued that they would be submitting “the most straightforward Bill possible”. It is anticipated that this will be rushed through and not require significant amendments by MPs.

We will keep you updated with all the twists and turns of Brexit in the coming months.

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