Brexit Article 50 judgement LIVE: Supreme Court hearing as AG warns don't defy EU vote
10.28 UPDATE: What will the Government’s argument be?
Jeremy Wright QC, Attorney General for England and Wales, will say: “The court is being invited by the lord advocate and the counsel general to stray into areas of political judgment rather than legal adjudication. The court should resist that invitation, particularly where the underlying issue is one of considerable political sensitivity.
“The premise of the 2015 [referendum] act was the continued existence of the government’s prerogative powers to act on the international plane – including, specifically, to give Article 50 notice as the first step to implementing a ‘leave’ vote. That was the clear understanding of all concerned and the basis on which people voted in the referendum.”
10.20 UPDATE: Scotland and Wales could decide on Article 50
Scotland and Wales’ parliaments could get a say on Article 50 if the Supreme Court takes the view that their devolved powers allow it.
How likely it is that Scotland would veto Brexit for the entire United Kingdom remains to be seen because, as Alex Salmond said, it would trigger a “constitutional crisis”.
10.10am update: How could the court rule?
The Supreme Court could back the High Court’s ruling that Article 50 must go through parliament before it can be enacted and, if so, the Government will have no choice but to accept it.
Theresa May is likely to keep the bill extremely short to avoid room for deliberation but Labour have already said they will seek to ammend it to ensure access to the single market is within the Government’s negotiating package.
Labour will, however, vote in favour of the bill even if their ammendment is unsuccessful.
The Liberal Democrats, led by Tim Farron, look set to oppose the bill along with the SNP no matter what.
It could overrule the High Court and allow the Government to invoke Article 50 of its own accord – because there is no legal precedent for this case, there is nothing to say the Supreme Court will not take a completely different stance to its subsiduary.
The largest ever panel of justices has been convened to listen to the Government as it appeals the decision of the High Court that only parliament as a whole has the ability to trigger Article 50 and set the Brexit wheels into motion.
The Government claims executive powers, stemming from what was once known as the royal prerogative, grant it the power to initiate Article 50 itself.
The 10 man and one woman strong panel of law lords will begin hearing the case today at 11am and it will conclude on Thursday.
But the justices are not expected to deliver their verdict until January, giving them time to consider their judgement.
Published at Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0000