Brexit may not mean Brexit: court rules MPs must have a say

Added 3rd November 2016

In a blow to the government’s ‘Brexit means Brexit’ rhetoric, the UK high court has ruled that Parliament must vote on whether or not to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Brexit may not mean Brexit: court rules MPs must have a say

The case that was brought before the courts by several ‘concerned citizens’ and were joined together at a hearing on 19 July when it was decided that the case brought by SCM co-founder Gina Miller would be the lead one.

The arguments centred on if the government could lawfully use its perogative powers to give notice to the European Union of its intention to leave or whether a vote in Parliament was required.

A government spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that the government would appeal the decision.

The landmark ruling is likely to delay any decision to leave the European Union and puts into doubt the timing announced by prime minister Theresa May, who had said she would trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

It is unclear whether or not a quick vote could take place, or if MPs would first be expected to examine the complexities of the exit ahead of time.

Nigel Farage, former leader of the UKIP party said in reaction to the decision: “While constitutionally this may be correct because the referendum was legally advisory, I would think that in terms of political morality, Parliament should want the will of the people to be carried out. I am becoming increasingly worried.”

Currency impact

In currency terms, the impact is perhaps slightly easier to predict. Martin Arnold, director, FX & Macro Strategist at ETF Securities said:“Today’s High Court judgement is likely to give fresh impetus to the Pound, as the ruling takes the decision about triggering Article 50 out of the government’s hand."

He added: “Optimism from investors is stemming from the fact that the UK Parliament will attempt to steer the UK further away from the ‘hard Brexit’ stance of the Conservative government, which will be less damaging for the UK economy.”

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About Author

Geoff Candy

Group digital editor

Geoff Candy joined Portfolio Adviser as News Editor in May 2014. He has been a financial journalist and broadcaster since 2005 and, in that time has worked in both South Africa and the Netherlands, covering everything from high street retailers and construction companies to mining and insurance.

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