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24 January 2017

UK Supreme Court’s judgement on Brexit appeals

The UK Supreme Court’s judgment in the various Brexit appeals was published today, 24 January 2017.

The court has ruled, by a majority decision, that the government cannot trigger the Article 50 process to leave the European Union without the prior sanction of an Act of Parliament.

This will require votes from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It raises the possibility that members of either House may seek to amend the draft legislation, but it is too early to try to predict whether this would have any impact.

The legislation can be passed relatively quickly and it is unlikely that the legislative steps needed will delay the UK government’s timetable for formally starting the Brexit process by the end of March 2017.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that separate votes are not needed from the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.