Please see my latest wire for The New York Sun, ‘Supreme Court of Britain Insists that Brexit Vote Goes Through Parliament’:
Americans tired of presidential end runs around Congress will sympathize with the Supreme Court ruling out of London that Her Majesty’s Government cannot act alone but must pass legislation in Parliament before triggering Brexit negotiations to leave the European Union.
Following this summer’s referendum vote, Prime Minister May promised to initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin procedural talks for EU withdrawal. Opponents challenged the government before the High Court in early November, arguing that the executive, by acting unilaterally, was usurping parliamentary sovereignty.
The Government countered that, through executive power based on the royal prerogative and buttressed by the majority vote, its Brexit plans were constitutional. The High Court thought otherwise and ruled against the Government, which in turn appealed to the Supreme Court.
Complications ensued when the constituent countries of the United Kingdom joined in the mid-December hearings, contending that Whitehall diktat threatened the equal prerogatives of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which should have the right to consult on and veto future Brexit developments.
My thanks to editor Seth Lipsky of The New York Sun.