09 December 2016
Brexit in a page - what do I need to know? Triggering Article 50
With the High Court deciding that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote, what will become of the devolved nations?
Triggering Article 50
- With the High Court deciding that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote, what will become of the devolved nations? This decision conflicts with the recent decision of the Belfast High Court who said neither the Westminster Parliament, nor the Northern Ireland Assembly, had to be asked for their consent before the British Government triggers Article 50.
- The appeal by the Government to the Supreme Court has commenced and is due to finish today although the judgment is unlikely to be available until the new year. A full compliment of 11 Supreme Court judges are hearing the appeal. The Scottish Government and the Welsh assembly were given permission to intervene.
- The Government however are underway with the drafting of the Bill to trigger Article 50 in the event of the Supreme Court not upholding their appeal.
- The House of Commons have passed Labour’s motion calling for “the prime minister to commit to publishing the government’s plan for leaving the EU before article 50 is invoked” by 448 to 75 votes – a majority of 373. The motion was amended by Downing Street to “call on the government to invoke article 50 by 31 March 2017”.
- Whilst the Prime Minister is firm that Brexit means Brexit, Lord Kerr, who wrote Article 50 has said that the country "might want to think again" when the Brexit terms become clearer. He has opined that Article 50 is not irrevocable and the UK can change its mind, even during the process, without being forced by the other 27 EU countries to leave. The Government seem to have accepted that once Article 50 has been invoked that there is no going back.
Brexit…spotlight on employment
- ITV has recently announced its plans to axe 120 jobs as a result of political and economic uncertainty, and particularly due to concerns over the possible impact of Brexit. General Motors have also warned of possible job losses after a $400m loss following the value of the pound crash post Brexit vote.
Brexit…spotlight on the education sector
- The Universities and Colleges Admission Service (“UCAS”) has released information which confirms that the number of EU students applying to study at universities in the UK has seen an early decline, with a 9% fall in EU applications to the early October deadline. The challenges for UK universities in a post Brexit world are numerous and universities now need to focus on their future and attracting overseas students.
- The decision of the Supreme Court is expected in January and whether the Government must then defer to Parliament remains to be seen.