The Supreme Court will be hearing from government officials on Monday their appeal over last month’s ruling which made it compulsory for there to be a parliamentary vote on the triggering of Article 50 in the Brexit process.
The hearing is expected to play out over the course of four days, with the final judgement to be announced in January 2017. The case has generated a lot of public interest, and in response, extra seating is being provided for 115 members of the public as well as 70 journalists from around the world. In a statement on the Supreme Court website, the justices said they were “aware of the public interest in this case and the strong feelings associated with the wider political questions of the UK’s departure from the EU, which we stress are not the subject of this appeal”.
It is hoped by the government that the appeal will be successful. However, in the case that the court continues to reject Mrs May’s appeal to “prerogative powers”, the Conservatives do have a back up plan. A 16-word bill is being prepared which could be fast-tracked though Parliament, asking MPs and peers “to give permission” to the government to trigger Article 50 in time to meet the March deadline.
It seems that all signs are pointing towards a Brexit after all. As the Labour Party has similarly announced it has no plans to atop the Brexit process. Rather they propose a soft Brexit instead of a hard one, with the UK maintaining access to the single market and the protection of worker’s rights. Shadow Attorney General Baroness Chakrabarti stated:
“We have been completely clear that we are democrats and respect the outcome of the referendum, even though many of us – myself included – campaigned in the opposite direction.
“So this will happen, pursuant to the will of the people. But there is not a simple question of ‘in and out of the European Union’, there are many questions that Parliament has to scrutinise about what happens next.”