On Thursday evening in London ended the four-day hearings of the Supreme court of great Britain on the question of whether the right of the Cabinet of Ministers to initiate a process of Brexit (the country’s withdrawal from the European Union) or not. In early November, London’s High court ruled that the government must first obtain the consent of Parliament, to then have to start negotiations with Brussels on the terms of withdrawal from the EU.
The government with this decision not agreed and soon appealed to a higher authority — the UK Supreme court (Supreme Court). After hearing this week the arguments of the parties, with the following weeks of 11 judges will conduct closed meetings. A final decision is expected in a month, in early January, reports The Guardian.
Concluding the session on Thursday, the Chairman of the judicial Collegium of the Supreme court Lord David Noyberger did not name a specific date of announcement of the verdict, vowing to make it “ASAP”. He also noted that it is not about revision of results of the referendum, but the legal side of their entry into force. In June, for an exit from the European Union voted 51,9% of Britons.
Under the Lisbon Treaty, the request for withdrawal from the European Union serves a member state “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” However, the UK has no codified Constitution. Using this “legal loophole” that opponents of Brexit proved in court that the Cabinet’s intention to start negotiations on withdrawal from the EU is voluntarism, so the process needs to be somehow coordinated with the Parliament. The Parliament in 1972 adopted the necessary for entry into the European Union laws, and he is yet to decide when and how they will be cancelled.
On the first day of the hearings that occurred on Monday, December 5, attorney General for England and Wales Jeremy Wright as the representative of the government said that for negotiations on a Brexit, it may exercise the ancient right of the so-called Royal prerogative (quoted by bi-Bi-si). Since the nineteenth century, it was informally transferred to the government and allows in particular cases to act without the approval of Parliament. According to Wright, taking in 2015, the law on the upcoming referendum on Brexit, the Parliament did so “with full knowledge” that the implementation of its results lies entirely with the government.
On Tuesday, lawyers for the opponents of Brexit won the process in the High court (investor Gina Miller and Barber Deir, Tosetti DOS Santos), continued to insist that the accession of the UK in the EU has created a “unique legislative environment,” to eliminate that also can only be the legislature, transfers Bi-bi-si. According to the lawyer Lord David Pennica, or the act of 1972 or the act of 2015 did not give the Cabinet the right to cancel laws, and “prerogative” refers only to the right to make and to break international agreements.
In the third and fourth day of the hearing were representatives of the authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Scottish and Irish lawyers (where the referendum was won by the proponents of the EU) noted that the final decision on withdrawal from the EU would require the consent of regional parliaments. A lawyer from Wales Richard Gordon (where supporters of Brexit won by a whisker) stressed that talk of a “Royal prerogative” dangerous from the point of view of transmission government of unlimited powers. Accordingly, the beginning of the process Brexit will require either the consent of Parliament, or of some special laws on the transfer of the rights of the Parliament to the Cabinet.
On Wednesday, the Parliament approved the beginning of negotiations with Brussels on quitting the EU no later than 31 March 2017. The vast majority of 461 to MP (71% of the house of Commons) was supported on 7 December the beginning of the process, provided that the government previously will present to deputies a detailed plan for the negotiations and their next steps on leaving the EU. As stated at the end of the hearing, the representative of the government, the Parliament’s decision is “extremely important” importance to the outcome of the appeals process.
The vote in the House of Commons was held on the initiative of the labour party, which is a consistent opponent of withdrawal from the EU. As explained by Financial Times, the MPs are too afraid of the label “enemies of the people” to right to deny the government in the conduct of the Brexit, but will try to delay and confuse the process, by appealing to the promise of open government (which is in contradiction with the need to keep secret the details of the negotiation strategy).
In the end, according to the FT sources in Parliament, even in case of defeat of the government Theresa may in court and the need to obtain the approval of Parliament may give consent to the talks in mid-March, shortly before the expiry of the promised date. Bookmaker Paddy Power assesses the probability that the negotiations between London and Brussels, Brexit will begin before the end of 2017, 80%.