British Government Prepares Contigencies Before SC Decides on Brexit Trigger

By Mei Manuel, January 12, 2017 04:01 AM


On Tuesday, British newspaper 'The Guardian' reported that the British government expects to lose the legal proceedings to start the Brexit process without going to the parliament and drafted versions of a bill to put to lawmakers after the ruling.

The British Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next two weeks on whether the government can trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would mark the first step for Britain to leave the EU, without getting the parliament's approval first.

Citing unnamed sources, the Guardian reported that the ministers have privately conceded that they are likely to lose the case, and drawn two versions of a bill that would be presented to the parliament.The report also cited that the government asked the court for early sight of the ruling before it is made public to allow the government to plan accordingly regarding their next move.

During the SC hearings in December, government lawyer James Eadie said that if the judges ruled parliament had to give its approval first to triggering of Article 50, the solution would be a "one-line" bill.

The Guardian also reported that the ministers are hoping that the ruling would allow Prime Minster Theresa May to put forward a short bill or motion that would focus on Article 50 to make it dificult for lawmakers to counter.

Lawmakers are divided regarding how Britain should break away from the EU. Those who wish for a clean break with the EU had remarked they are worried the parliament would seek a water down minister's plan to achieve a "soft Brexit."

On the other hand, the government's opponents in the legal battle argued that triggering Article 50 would nullify the 1972 act of parliament that permitted Britain to join the EU. With this in mind, the parliament has to give its asset for its act to be undone.

In December, London's High Court backed the same argument cited by the government's opponents, which prompted the government to seek the Supreme Court's decision regarding the subject.

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