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Green Liberal Democrats

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Brussels and Europe Liberal Democrats statement on the Supreme Court Article 50 judgment

January 26, 2017 8:10 PM

The Brussels and Europe Liberal Democrats (BELD) welcome today's Supreme Court judgment to uphold the High Court's decision that the UK Parliament must be consulted before the Government triggers Article 50 to begin the process of the UK leaving the EU.

In a majority judgment (8:3), the judges upheld the decision that rights embedded in the law by the 1972 European Communities Ac (which took the UK into what was then the European Community) cannot be removed by the government's royal prerogative powers. The ruling does not apply to the devolved nations.

BELD Chair Laura Shields, said:

"The Supreme Court's decision shows that the judiciary are the friends of democracy and due process. With millions of Brits in the EU and EU nationals in the UK banned from voting in the Referendum, it is absolutely essential that Parliament be consulted before the Government goes charging into negotiations on Brexit without a proper mandate on our behalf."

Laura Shields added:

"Theresa May clarified her Government's objectives last week: out of the EU, out of the Single Market and out of the Customs Union. This brick wall approach to Brexit is not only harmful to Britain but definitely was not on the ballot paper on 23 June".

"Parliament must act to protect the people. With no legal clarity on the revocability of the Article 50 process - crucially on whether the final deal can be rejected in favour of remaining in the EU - we call on both Houses to reflect very carefully indeed before voting to trigger Article 50".

Note to Editors:

The question of the revocability of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is to be tested in the Irish Courts in April 2017.