UK High Court want parliamentary approval for Brexit

November 3, 2016 6:30 pm

A Union flag flies in the wind in front of the Big Ben clock face and the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament, central London, November 3, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The High Court has banned the government from setting the process in motion before getting the Parliament’s approval, a decision that is likely to further prolong the ’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU).
The court delivered the message to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, casting uncertainty over a decision by nearly 52 percent of Britons to end the UK’s membership in the 28-nation bloc, during a referendum in July.
The ruling means May would not be able to trigger the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without parliamentary approval. She had planned to start the process by March 2017 and bring it to completion in two years.
May, who insists that a referendum needs no such approval according to the constitution, said she would appeal to the Supreme Court. A hearing would be held in December.
May’s spokesman said the government was “determined to continue with our plans,” and had “no intention of letting” the ruling “derail Article 50 or the timetable we have set out.”
Investment manager Gina Miller, who brought the case to the High Court, said the premier should make the “wise decision of not appealing.”
“The result today is about all of us. It’s not about me or my team. It’s about our and all our futures,” she said.
May’s ruling Conservative Party holds a slim majority of 329 seats in the 650-seat Parliament. Although, according to British law, the results of a referendum are not binding, overturning the decision would severely damage the government’s public image.
Following the court’s verdict, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who campaigned against leaving the EU, called on May’s government to “to bring its negotiating terms to Parliament without delay,” urging “transparency and accountability” to the Parliament over the issue.
In the Leave camp, UKIP leader Nigel Farage warned about a possible “betrayal” to the majority vote, and voiced concern at the prospect of a “half Brexit.”
Aside from strong opposition in the Parliament, London’s decision to push ahead with Brexit has also been met with resistance from the other three devolved nations—Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU during the referendum, fearing that leaving the bloc would cut their access to the EU single market.
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