UK Government Begins Legal Fight Against Ruling That Could Derail Brexit

UK Government Begins Legal Fight Against Ruling That Could Derail Brexit

A FIGHT has broken out outside the Supreme Court between pro-and anti Brexit protesters as judges gathered inside to hear the landmark case.

Mr Wright said the legislation enabling the European Union referendum had been passed with the "clear expectation" that the government would implement the result, and that Parliament had had the opportunity to restrict the government's power to trigger Article 50 but had chosen not to do so.

Within the chamber, Attorney General Jeremy Wright said that the power ministers want to use to begin Brexit talks - the so-called royal prerogative - was an essential mechanism to "maintain control over strategy, policy and operational matters in conducting our. global relationships".

The UK's Supreme Court has begun hearing an appeal over whether members of parliament must approve the decision to trigger Article 50, sparking Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.

The Government's top law officer said that process was one in which Parliament had "resolved to put a clear and decisive question about our nation's future to the British people, and in which Parliament expected the Government to act on the answer they gave".

The case is due to last four days and for the first time 11 justices will sit on the panel.

While submitting the government's strategy and the official launch of negotiations to parliamentary approval could, technically, allow Brexit to be entirely derailed, most analysts agree such an outcome is highly improbable.

He said the prime minister's power to negotiate dozens of foreign treaties a year under the "royal prerogative" without parliamentary oversight is "not a relic".

Wright said the government wasn't using prerogative powers "on a whim or out of a clear blue sky" but as the result of a process in which Parliament had been "fully and consciously involved".

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The decision enraged Brexit supporters and some newspapers who accused judges of thwarting the will of the 52 percent who voted "Leave" in the June 23 referendum.

The court will also consider two separate but connected legal challenges to the exercise of prerogative powers brought by Northern Irish campaigners.

The case has been brought by multiple plaintiffs, but is led by investment fund manager Gina Miller.

The case, unfamiliar to most without - and even many with - a law degree, limited the power of the government to seize property under the royal prerogative without compensation.

However, the Prime Minister has made it clear she still intends to give an Article 50 notification by the end of next March to start the leave negotiations with 27 other European Union countries.

The Welsh Government's legal team "will argue that the judgment of the High Court should be upheld, and that an Act of Parliament is required for the UK Government to give notice under Article 50".

Some would go further, as does Sarah Helm in an opinion piece for The Guardian, where she describes the hearing as "perhaps the most important constitutional case in 140 years".

At the start of the hearing, Lord Neuberger, president of the court, said the Supreme Court exists to decide points of law which fall within its jurisdiction. The referendum had happened, he argued, in the "universal expectation" that the government would implement the result. In the weeks since the initial decision, Miller has received numerous death threats, abuse and hate mail.

The Labour motion to be debated by MPs on Wednesday calls on Mrs May to publish her Brexit plan before triggering Article 50, but acknowledges "there should be no disclosure of material that could be reasonably judged to damage the United Kingdom in any negotiations".

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