What Is Article 50? High Court Rules Theresa May Must Ask Parliament Before Triggering Brexit

But the country’s top legal officer, Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC, said parliamentary consent for Article 50 was not required following the clear public referendum vote in favour of Brexit.

The Government was seeking “to give effect to the will of the people” and that was “wholly within the expectation of Parliament”, he said as he appeared on behalf of Brexit Secretary David Davis.

James Eadie QC, another senior member of the Government legal team, said any new treaty agreement with the European Union following Brexit would “very likely” have to be ratified by Parliament.

In submissions that caused the pound to rally, Mr Eadie said the “view at the moment” was that ratification was likely if the royal prerogative was used to launch the Brexit process.

What Happens Now?

While Remainers have undoubtedly been given a boost by the court ruling, the government was immediately given the go-ahead to appeal against the ruling at the Supreme Court, meaning any parliamentary vote is on ice.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said he was “disappointed” at the High Court decision, adding: “the Government is determined to respect the result of the referendum”.

A further hearing is now expected next month, but even if the court decision is not overturned, it’s unclear if there would be a snap vote in parliament.

Parliament is still highly unlikely to block Brexit given the June 23 referendum result – but the ruling does give MPs the ability to demand greater detail from the government on what its negotiating strategy with Brussels is and what new relationship with the EU it will seek to forge.

Downing Street also claimed today it was still possible to trigger Article 50 by March 2017.

Read The Full Court Ruling.

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