UK ‘must con­sult Par­lia­ment’ be­fore quit­ting the EU

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

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.

/REUTERS

Bri­tain’s Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May dur­ing a bi­lat­eral meet­ing with Colom­bia’s Pres­i­dent Juan Manuel San­tos in Lon­don on Tues­day

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