The High Court has ruled that Parliament have to vote on when the UK can begin the process of leaving the European Union.
Lord Chief Justice Thomas said that Prime Minister, Theresa May, did not have the right to begin the formal negotiations to leave the EU without putting it to an MPs’ vote first.
The PM’s aim was to begin the process of triggering article 50 (the official start of the proceedings for Brexit) next March, but the court ruling today now appears to be a significant setback.
The Government has announced that it will appeal the decision, and looks set to battle against the ruling at the Supreme Court in December.
After the court proceedings today, Nigel Farage – the current stand-in leader of UKIP, stated his concern that Britain was heading: “For a half Brexit.”
He said: “I worry that a betrayal may be near at hand. I now fear that every attempt will be made to block or delay the triggering of Article 50. If this is so, they have no idea of the level of public anger they will provoke.”
51.9% of voters in the referendum decided that Britain should leave the European Union when it took place in June. The triggering of article 50 was planned to take place in March 2017 by current Prime Minister Theresa May.
Despite the court’s decision today, a government spokesperson said that they had no intention of letting the ruling:
Derail article 50 or the timetable we have set out. We are determined to continue with our plan.
Unless the Supreme Court overturns the decision after the government’s appeal, then it will be down to MPs to choose when article 50 should be triggered and when the UK should begin to formalise the Brexit proceedings.
However, roughly two-thirds of MPs voted remain during the June referendum, so some may be reluctant to overturn the public’s decision.
The one clear outcome from today’s court ruling is that Brexit is still extremely likely to take place, but for it to happen the government must face a series of obstacles in order to invoke article 50 so that the UK can officially leave the European Union.