Judges rule against United Kingdom government in landmark Brexit case

A panel of 11 judges found that the government can not trigger Article 50 unless authorised by parliament. "The government will comply with the judgment of the court and do all that is necessary to implement it", he said.

United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May will have to obtain the consent of parliament before triggering Article 50, the exit procedure from the European Union, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday (24 January).

The court also ruled that the government need not consult Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland on starting Brexit.

Why is the ruling significant?

The Brexit negotiations are expected to start after Britain triggers the formal talks by the end of March, ushering in a two-year divorce period.

As the appeal was being heard in December, May managed to win a parliamentary vote that MPs would stick to her March deadline for triggering Brexit in return for explaining her plans.

Now legislation will be prepared for MPs and Lords to vote on.

Political satire artist Kaya Mar with a painting depicting British PM Theresa May outside the Supreme Court in London, on Tuesday.

- David Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court.

How did the government respond?

"The prime minister speech [last week] very clearly set out the government's objectives", the spokesman said, according to The Guardian.

What the Supreme Court decision does, however, is to ensure that Parliament is empowered to make the government accountable for how it gives effect to that vote.

How did the opposition respond?

Britons are saying the ruling could lead to "soft Brexit" instead of a "hard Brexit".

More than 60 percent of German companies in the IW poll said they preferred a "soft Brexit" - essentially one that kept Britain in the single market.

"Let me be clear, what I am proposing can not mean remaining in the single market", May said. There is an opportunity for Labour and other lawmakers to have a greater influence on what the final deal should look like. This gives Britain and the European Union, sufficient time to agree on the terms of the split.

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to oppose Article 50 unless there is a guarantee of another referendum on the final Brexit deal that is agreed with Brussels, while the SNP has vowed to table 50 amendments to the legislation.

It seems possible but is highly unlikely.

Reading out the ruling, Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger said: "By a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court today rules that the Government can not trigger Article 50 without an Act of Parliament authorising it to do so". Conservative MPs have also pledged not to vote against leaving the European Union, saying they must respect the will of British voters.

"I recognise that there is an appetite in this house to see that plan set out", she told parliament's lower House of Commons in her weekly questions session.

He said a majority of the 11 judges had agreed that withdrawing from the European Union meant there would have to be changes to Britain's domestic laws, and therefore national parliament had to be consulted.

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