England’s High Court has today ruled that Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU.
It means the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – to commence the formal exit-negotiations with the EU – without allowing Members of Parliament to firstly vote on it.
British Prime Minister, Theresa May had insisted that the referendum – and existing ministerial powers – negated any requirement for British Members of Parliament (MPs) to vote on the issue. However, campaigners called this unconstitutional and they took their case to the High Court which today ruled in their favour.
The government says it will appeal the decision , with a further hearing expected next month.
A parliamentary statement is due to be made to MPs on Monday but an official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office today said that “the government is disappointed by the Court’s judgment. The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the government is determined to respect the result of the referendum. We will appeal this judgment”.