On the 3rd November 2016 the High Court ruled that Parliament must vote on whether Britain can begin the process to leave the European Union (EU). But what does this court ruling actually mean?
Put simply, the Government cannot currently begin exit negotiations with the EU. However, this does not now mean that Britain will not be leaving the EU.
Lets start at the beginning…. On the 23rd June 2016 a Referendum was held to decide whether Britain should leave the EU. The results were incredibly close, with 52% of voters wanting to leave compared to 48% of voters who wanted to remain. Britain therefore voted to leave the EU.
In order to begin the process of leaving the EU, Article 50 would need to be triggered which would give Britain and the EU two years to agree the terms of Britain’s exit.
Campaigners who opposed the Referendum outcome to leave the EU back in June 2016 say that it is unlawful for Britain to leave the EU without MPs voting on the decision. They therefore challenged the Prime Minister, Theresa May’s, right to trigger Article 50.
The High Court ruled in favour of the campaigners yesterday and stated that Britain could not leave the EU without the MPs agreement that the Prime Minister can start the Brexit negotiations. Although this could mean that the MPs can decide not to allow negotiations to start, it would be unlikely due to the Referendum result and the fact that the majority of voters wanted to leave the EU.
The court challenge could delay the start of the process to leave the EU as the Prime Minister had planned to begin exit talks with the EU by the end of March 2017.
The Government is appealing the High Court decision, with the next Hearing expected to start in December 2016.
Although the outcome of Brexit is still unknown, we can guarantee that we are open for business to serve you in our community. If you require legal assistance do not hesitate to call us on 01953 883535 or 01603 813920 for a quote today.