The Supreme Court has ruled the government cannot begin the process of leaving the EU without a vote in parliament.
Last October the High Court ruled the government could not trigger Article 50 and begin the process of exiting the EU without holding a vote in parliament.
The government challenged this ruling in the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Theresa May (pictured) wanted to bypass a parliamentary vote and use royal prerogative, or the authority of the Queen, to trigger Article 50 before the end of March.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has already told his MPs not to vote against triggering Article 50. Along with the support of the majority of Conservative MPs, this means the government is unlikely to lose a vote.
However, the majority of MPs campaigned to stay in the EU before the referendum last year. This has prompted speculation that paty rebels within Labour and the Conservatives, as well as SNP and Liberal Democrat MPs, could at least stall the process of exiting the EU.
The president of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, speaking at the Supreme Court this morning, said the ruling was not a comment on the result of last June’s referendum result.
‘The issue of these proceedings has nothing to do with whether the UK should exit the EU, or the terms or times of that exit. The main issue is whether the government can trigger Article 50 without the prior consent of parliament,’ he said.
The Supreme Court also found in favour of the government on the issue of putting Article 50 to the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in favour of staying in the EU last June.
Gina Miller, founder of investment management group SCM Private, was the lead claimant in the High Court battle and was at the Supreme Court this morning.
‘No prime minister, no government can expect to be unanswerable or unchallenged. Parliament alone is sovereign,’ she said.
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