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Supreme Court Brexit decision: Parliament must vote on triggering Article 50

The Supreme Court has today decided that Theresa May must give Parliament a vote on triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Weightmans Partner and Director of Insurance Kieran Jones said:

"This is a decision of great constitutional importance – the reiteration that Parliament is sovereign and has the power to decide upon changes in UK law,‎ as opposed to the government using the historic royal prerogative power. The detail of the judgment will need to be digested over the coming days, and will form the basis of the exact course of action the Government may take when it comes to the draft legislation they put to Parliament.

"The judgment was largely as expected, although the decision that the Government would not have to consult devolved Parliaments is quite a contentious point, which is likely to come as a great relief to the Department for Exiting the EU. Allowing devolved Parliaments a specific opportunity for consultation, given the overwhelming vote to remain in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, would have opened the doors to even more scrutiny and potential delay – it will be interesting to see how the respective parliaments respond to this.

"This result should give Parliament the opportunity to debate the ground rules set out in the Prime Minister’s speech at Lancaster House last week, and it remains to be seen how much this debate will frustrate or delay the Article 50 process.  We keenly await the outline of the proposed legislation, which will impact the UK, the legal services industry and our clients."

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