09 Friday Dec 2016
The much-anticipated appeal on the Government’s right to invoke Article 50 has now been heard in the Supreme Court. In what has been widely-hailed as the most important constitutional case in recent generations, all eleven justices of the Court have heard from no less than thirteen eminent QCs, who have spoken on behalf of parties ranging from the UK Government itself to un-named children whose fundamental rights may be at stake as a result of “Brexit”.
The Court’s judgment is expected to be handed down early in the New Year. The judgment will decide once and for all whether the Government can invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union simply by using the powers of the executive under the royal prerogative, or whether Parliament must first give its approval.
There now begins a period of waiting. Until January, the UK and wider world can only surmise as to how the ruling will go on this key constitutional, and politically significant, issue.
This article considers what options may be open to the Government following the Court’s judgment, whether the appeal is allowed or dismissed.