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Eversheds comment: Article 50 judgment represents a monumental constitutional decision

  • United Kingdom
  • Global
  • Europe

    24-01-2017

    Commenting on today's ruling by the Supreme Court that the UK government cannot trigger article 50 without an act of parliament, Ros Kellaway, head of the Eversheds EU Competition and Regulatory Group, says:

    "While today's majority ruling will not change the UK's decision to leave the EU or say what our future relationship with Europe might look like, what it does do is strongly underline the absolute sovereignty of parliament in relation to the European Communities Act and therefore the UK’s membership of the EU. The European Communities Act is not just another act of parliament, it is part of our constitutional law. Furthermore, leaving the EU will remove some of the individual rights of UK citizens and only Parliament can do that. So only Parliament can sanction the giving of the Article 50 notice.

    "Much has been made about whether the judgment will delay the government's timetable and it remains to be seen just how swiftly such a landmark bill can pass through the House of Commons and House of Lords.

    "It will regardless serve as a stark reminder to devolved administrations of the limited powers they have when it comes to the very biggest constitutional challenges facing the UK."

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