UK ‘must consult Parliament’ before quitting the EU
England’s High Court ruled yesterday that the British government requires parliamentary approval to trigger the process of exiting the European Union, complicating Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans.
The government said it would appeal against the decision and Britain’s Supreme Court has set aside December 5-8 to deal with the matter. The Sterling rose on the news, with many investors taking the view that lawmakers would temper the government’s policies and make an economically disruptive “hard Brexit” less likely.
“The most fundamental rule of the UK’s Constitution is that Parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses,” said Lord Chief Justice John Thomas, reading out the ruling. May’s government said in a statement it was disappointed by the court’s judgment.
“The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum ap- proved by Act of Parliament. And the government is determined to respect the result of the referendum,” it said.
In theory, Parliament could block Brexit altogether. But few people expect that outcome, given that the British people voted by 52 to 48 per cent to leave the EU in a referendum in June.
However, the ruling makes the already daunting task of taking Britain out of a club it joined 43 years ago even more complex.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May during a bilateral meeting with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos in London on Tuesday