The judgment of the supreme Court, traveled to eight votes to three, does not negatively affect the timing of the triggering of the article 50 to exit the european Union by Theresa May.
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The british supreme Court ruled on Tuesday 24 January that the government should consult with the Westminster Parliament before launching the negotiations out of the european Union (EU). the ” to Proceed otherwise would constitute a violation of constitutional principles “ uk, said the president of the Court, David Neuberger (the judgment is available here, in PDF).
Theresa May, the first british minister, has lost a political battle and legal, but it should be able to, as expected, engage the procedure of divorce with the EU at the end of march. For Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, on the other hand, the judgment delivered Tuesday sounds like a failure more net, at least in the immediate future : the Parliament of Edinburgh will not have its word to say on the commitment by Mme May to article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, the exit procedure of the Union.
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” A law passed by Parliament is essential “
solemnly Read at 9: 30 am precise by David Neuberger, the president of the highest court in the country, the summary of the lengthy decision-making after almost two months of deliberation, is net : the ” A law passed by Parliament is essential to allow the government to notify the decision of the United Kingdom withdraw from the european Union. “ This position, acquired by a majority of eight of the eleven members of the Court, done right for the most part to the pleas put forward by the complainants in the first instance, of citizens saying they are alarmed by the sidelining of the Parliament of Westminster, the historic heart of british democracy.
as long as it remains under the 1972 act which has recognised the accession to the european economic Community, have estimated the magistrates, it allows the EU to produce ” independent “ laws are automatically incorporated into the national legislation. This 1972 text ” transfer of part of the legislative power of the Parliament [of Westminster] the institutions of the EU, unless the Parliament decides otherwise “. The supreme Court considers that the Brexit ” results in a fundamental change in the device constitutional in stopping the source from the laws of the EU “. To it, ” the Constitution requires that such changes be decided by an act of parliament “.
” The Constitution requires that such changes be decided by an act of parliament “
The fact that the Brexit will deprive some of the rights of british citizens – those who reside in the EU – also excludes the possibility for the government to proceed ” without parliamentary authorisation “. , But the judges did not hold there. In an anticipated, which could be used later in the debate, they decide that, even if ” the referendum in 2016 has a big political importance “, the question posed to voters said nothing specific about the consequences of a vote in favour of Brexit. the ” The necessary legislative changes for the implementation of the referendum must be carried out in the only way permitted by the Constitution of the United Kingdom, that is to say, by the law. “
On this point, the judgment confirms that rendered on 3 November by the High Court in London. The obstinate refusal of Mme May to enter the Parliament had led him to appeal to the supreme Court, which confirms the first instance decision and rejected the request of the government.
Upgrade to the gap of the Parliament of Scotland
The appeal was allowed to the decentralized governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to join the lawsuit by claiming that their respective Parliaments are consulted for the Brexit. A judgment in their favour would be likely to derail the calendar of Mme May. Scotland has voted 62 % against the Brexit, and the nationalist government of Mme Sturgeon is determined to use this disagreement to push the cause of independence, and call a new referendum. The sidelining of the scottish Parliament by the supreme Court would provide additional arguments in favour of separation. As to the Northern Ireland (56%, compared to the Brexit), in full political crisis, it would not have been able to consult his Parliament because it is election campaign.
On these crucial issues, the ruling on Tuesday brings a great relief to Theresa May. the ” The regional assemblies do not have the right of veto on the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the EU “, strip the supreme Court. The judges believe that the laws of decentralization (transfer of certain powers to regional assemblies) ” had been enacted on the assumption that the United Kingdom is a member of the EU, but do not require that the United Kingdom remains a member “.
Disappointment for the nationalists : ” The relations with the EU and other external relations are reserved to the uk government and Parliament “, statue that still the Court. As for the convention Sewel, that requires the consultation of regional Parliaments in some areas (such as agriculture, a subject eminently european, argued the plaintiffs), it is not a law of the jurisdiction of the Court.
No carry-over expected for the activation of article 50
If the primary author of the original complaint, the fund manager Gina Miller, welcomed the judgment, stressing that” no prime minister, no government could claim to be immune to the dissent, ” Downing Street has not lost any of his phlegm. the ” the people of The uk voted to leave the EU, and the government will implement its decision by moving the article 50 as intended by the end of march. The judgment of today does not change this “, considered a press release immediately after the decision was rendered.
A short article of the law authorizing the prime minister to initiate the process of separation with the EU is expected to be filed very quickly in the Parliament. Concise, it should hardly leave taken of the amendments. By not making any requirements on this point, the supreme Court has facilitated the work of Mme May.
In fact, if the first minister is forced to enter the Parliament, where it has, it is true that a short majority, it is highly improbable that it will oppose a serious resistance. His speech to the iron fist of the Tuesday, January 17, where she promised to leave the single european market, completed to unite the conservatives around her. As for the mps, labour – two thirds of whom were elected in districts that gave a majority to the Brexit – they have no intention of upsetting their voters. Only a minority of mps, Labour, as well as the scottish nationalists of the scottish national Party and the tiny liberal democratic party, should vote against the engagement of article 50.
Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the labor party, has also repeated on Tuesday morning : ” The Labour party respects the outcome of the referendum and the will of the british people and will counteract not with the procedure in article 50. “Mr. Corbyn promises only to struggle during the parliamentary vote on the final agreement with the EU, expected in 2019 and promised by Mme May. As the house of Lords, where pro-Europeans are out in full force, it is unlikely that it will be a barrier. Non-elected, its members are poorly positioned to oppose a popular vote.
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