British Government loses Brexit appeal on Article 50
The British Government will do "all that is necessary" to implement a ruling of the Supreme Court that Parliament must give its approval to trigger the process of leaving the EU, Britain's Attorney General Jeremy Wright has said.
Mr Wright said the Government was "disappointed" by the final decision in its historic battle over who has the right to authorise the start of withdrawal negotiations under Article 50 of the EU treaties.
But he said that ministers will comply with the ruling, which effectively means that MPs in the UK must be given a vote on Article 50.
Speaking on the steps of the Supreme Court in London, the Attorney General said: "The Government will comply with the judgment of the court and do all that is necessary to implement it."
The highest court in Britain rejected an appeal by ministers against a High Court judgment blocking their decision to begin the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
Supreme Court justices ruled, by a majority of eight to three, that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot lawfully bypass MPs and peers by using the royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the two-year process of negotiating the UK's divorce from its EU partners.
However, they unanimously rejected an argument that devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must be consulted before Article 50 is triggered.
The ruling is a blow to Mrs May, who has repeatedly said she intends to trigger Article 50 by the end of March following the clear majority in favour of Brexit in the June 2016 referendum.
But she will be buoyed by the decision on the devolved administrations, which could have been much more significant in upsetting her timetable if it had gone the other way.
The court case was won by a wide-ranging group of anti-Article 50 campaigners led by investment manager Gina Miller, 51, and hairdresser Deir Dos Santos. One of the campaigners was Gibraltarian Paul Cartwright.
Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger said: "By a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court today rules that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 without an Act of Parliament authorising it to do so."