Court rules Parliament must vote on Brexit
LONDON: The British government still plans to trigger formal divorce talks with the European Union (EU) by the end of March and does not believe a court ruling demanding parliamentary approval will derail that, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said.
The High Court ruled yesterday that the British government requires parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty which starts up to two years of talks for Britain’s exit from the bloc.
“Our plan remains to invoke Article 50 by the end of March, we believe the legal timetable should allow for that,” the spokeswoman told reporters. “We have no intention of letting this derail our timetable.”
May has said she does not plan to trigger Article 50 before the end of this year to allow the government time to prepare its negotiating position and the spokeswoman said that work would continue despite the court ruling.
The British government said it will appeal the High Court decision.
“The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament,” a government spokesman said in a statement.
“The government is determined to respect the result of the referendum. We will appeal this judgment.”
The High Court said it has granted the government permission to appeal against the ruling before the Supreme Court, which has set aside Dec 5-8 to deal with the matter.
A panel of three of the most senior judges in the country ruled that the government could not trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty without approval from Parliament.
Sterling surged to a four-week high close of US$1.25 after the court ruling. Against the euro, sterling rose much as 1.9% to hit a four-week high of 88.595p.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England raised its economic growth forecast for next year, as it froze its key interest rate at a record-low 0.25% and left stimulus unchanged. It raised its prediction for 2017 gross domestic product expansion to 1.4% from 0.8% as early fears of a sharp slump due to the shock of the June Brexit vote failed to materialise. – Reuters, AFP