6 March 2017
What happened in court?
The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot begin the process of leaving the European Union unless it has been approved by parliament. Repealing the legislation through which the UK joined the European Union would constitute a significant constitutional change and therefore the government does not have the sole authority to do so.
The case of R (Miller and Santos) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Appellant)  UKSC 5 (24 January 2017), upheld the first instance decision of the High Court. It is a landmark legal decision in British constitutional history.
What is being debated now?
The government has introduced the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2016-17 which, if passed, will provide the authority to the Prime Minister to notify the European Union of the UK’s intention to leave. This is being debated in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Once it is finalised and approved by the Queen it will become law. The government’s intention is that this will be prior to 31 March 2017.Return to Articles