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Brexit Legal Challenge Update

This morning the High Court has handed down its decision on whether Article 50 can be triggered without a vote by the Parliament.

The government insists it does not need to consult the Parliament before Article 50 is triggered for the two year period of formal Brexit negotiations to begin. The central argument of the legal challenge was that the royal prerogative power can be used to withdraw from international treaties.

It was held that the Government does not have power to give Article 50 notice for the UK to leave the European Union without the support of MPs. The High Court held that arguments put forward by the Government had been contrary to “fundamental constitutional principles of the Sovereignty of Parliament”.

This decision may result in a less risky Brexit, protecting the economy and jobs in the UK. However, it also raises uncertainties over the length of Brexit and poses a question whether or not MPs will push for amendments to any bill on Brexit or even vote to block it.

This extraordinary decision questions whether Theresa May will be able to leave the EU as previously planned by spring 2019.

The government immediately confirmed that this decision will be challenged in the Supreme Court in December. This will be the most significant decision in its 10 year existence. Currently, the possibility of further and final appeal to the European Court of Justice is unclear.

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