Brexit ruling: UK Supreme Court gives parliament Article 50 vote

London (CNN)Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled that the UK government must hold a vote in parliament before beginning the process of leaving the European Union.

The decision is a complication for Prime Minister Theresa May, who wanted to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty — the legal mechanism that begins the process of leaving the EU — by the end of March. Doing so would open the door for EU negotiations, which are likely to last two years.
May had promised lawmakers a vote on the outcome of the talks, but wanted to begin the process without a decision in parliament.

What the court said


Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the party would vote against the triggering of Article 50 unless the government promised a referendum on the terms of the final exit deal with the EU.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, the biggest opposition group in the House of Commons, said on Twitter that his party would seek to amend the Article 50 bill “to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven.”
But Labour has made it clear that it would not ultimately stand in May’s way, meaning the government is likely to win the eventual vote on Article 50.

Will Brexit lead to the breakup of Britain?

In their ruling, the Supreme Court judges rejected an argument that devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had the right to be consulted on the Article 50 process.
The UK government has previously said they would have an input in other way, but Sturgeon, the SNP leader, believes the UK government is not taking into account Scotland’s views fully enough.
Sturgeon wants Scotland to remain part of the European single market, and she indicated on Tuesday that a new Scottish independence referendum could be on the cards if the UK does not accede to her demands.
“Is Scotland content for our future to be dictated by an increasingly right-wing Westminster government with just one MP here — or is it better that we take our future into our own hands? It is becoming ever clearer that this is a choice that Scotland must make.”

Reaction to the ruling


One of the claimants in the case, London-based businesswoman Gina Miller, welcomed the decision, saying Brexit had been “most divisive issue of a generation.”
“Only parliament can grant rights to the British people and only parliament can take them away. No prime minister and no government can expect to be unanswerable or unchallenged. Parliament alone is sovereign,” Miller said after the ruling.
She told of how she had been harassed over the course of the case. CNN previously reported that she had received rape and death threats over the issue.
She said she was “shocked by the levels of personal abuse that I have received from many quarters over the last seven months for simply bringing and asking a legitimate question.”

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