24 January, 2017
The Supreme Court has this morning passed a landmark ruling, holding that Parliament must first vote on whether the Government can commence with the Brexit process. The Supreme Court said that "By a majority of 8 to 3 … the government cannot trigger Article 50 without an act of Parliament authorising it to do so."
With implications that outreach the triggering of Article 50, the decision has been described as a victory for "democracy and the rule of law" as should the government have proceeded with Brexit, this would have set an unwanted precedent of enabling ministers to take actions and make decisions outside of Parliament, contravening the UK constitution.
Some reports have suggested that this decision could halt Brexit in its tracks altogether but the government's view is that this will not be the case and that Brexit would go ahead as voted for in the referendum. Whilst grabbing many headlines, today's ruling should therefore change little but does go to reaffirm the powers of Parliament when it comes to making changes the UK's constitutional arrangements.