Britain is heading towards a political crisis after three judges ruled today that the government must grant MPs a vote on Brexit before the UK can leave the European Union.
Brexit means more courts cases and and lots of legal arguments.
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) November 3, 2016
Led by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, the judges sided with Remain campaigners who argued that parliament must decide on the issue before Article 50 – which starts the two-year formal process for leaving the EU – can be triggered.
Prime Minister Theresa May believes the 17.4 million people who voted to quit the EU in the June 23 referendum makes the case for leaving the EU unarguable.
May does not agree that MPs – a majority of whom believe Britain should remain in the EU – should be allowed to interfere with the will of the people.
But this morning she was effectively overruled.
Downing Street said it is “disappointed” by the decision and said the Government will appeal it in the Supreme Court.
The court concluded it “does not accept the argument put forward by the Government”.
Tory MP and prominent Brexit campaigner Jacob Rees-Mogg said the judgement “turns on its head” convention over the Prime Minister’s powers – insisting Parliament had already been involved in allowing the referendum.
He told Sky News: “I’m very surprised. What’s surprised me is every court case brought against the European treaties, when powers were flowing to the EU, and the Government’s powers were upheld.
“Now, when it is powers being taken away from the EU, they rule against the Royal Prerogative.”
The case was brought by multi-millionaire businesswoman Gina Miller and Deir dos Santos, a hairdresser.
They claimed the Prime Minister acted improperly in refusing MPs a vote on triggering Article 50.
Ms Miller and Mr Santos said they had brought the judicial review in order to “answer a fundamental legal question about the powers that can be used by the prime minister and whether they can side-step parliament”.