The Supreme Court has ruled that Parliament must vote to trigger Article 50 and leave the European Union, instead of just Government Ministers.
The Court ruled by a majority of 8 to 3 that Article 50 requires an Act of Parliament. This has brought up many implications for the Government’s Brexit Plan. The fact is that the Conservative Government are pushing for a Hard Brexit, leaving the European Single Market and possibly seeking trade deals elsewhere, like the United States or Asia. The Government plan to put forward a Brexit (Article 50) bill to Parliament soon after this ruling, but it is a definite that there will be numerous obstacles to this plan.
The Government’s eagerness to release a brexit plan is so that they can work their own timeline for Brexit and trigger Article 50 by March of 2017, and set the ball rolling for Britain leaving the European Union. It seems as if the Government hoped that Parliament wouldn’t get a vote, so that they could go about their Brexit business with their own agenda with minimum interference from the Opposition. Thanks to this ruling, this will change.
Parliamentary Scrutiny is now a major part of Article 50, and it will change the process drastically. The most prominent feature of the ruling was that Parliament will get a vote on when to trigger Article 50. This can cause the plan to be delayed as when the Government introduces the Brexit bill to Parliament, it will no doubt have flaws that the opposition parties will pick up on. This bill could be voted against in Parliament due to these flaws and the Brexit process could be delayed as the parliamentarians go to battle over Brexit. Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear that Labour will stand up for working people’s rights amongst Brexit and it is clear that the party will vote against any Brexit plan that damages working people’s rights. The same can be said for the SNP, who promised that they would put forward 50 Amendments to any bill that the Government propose regarding leaving the EU, and the Liberal Democrats seem to oppose Brexit altogether with calls for a second referendum. All of this will inevitably delay the Brexit process.
The delays to the process can be both advantageous and they can have their drawbacks. On the one hand having the right amount of parliamentary scrutiny will make sure that the brexit bill put forward to the EU is one that suits the country well, however, if it takes too long, the EU could become very impatient with the UK and become increasingly negative within negotiations.
Now, my personal opinion is that this Brexit Ruling by the Supreme Court is a great thing. If I’m honest, trust for PM Theresa May is something that I find extremely hard to possess (especially after the Trident misfire) and I really don’t have full confidence in her or the Government to deliver a Brexit Bill that will suit the majority of the public. I have doubts that any such bill that they propose will be meet the standard that the public really want.
This could lead to the government having to make changes to their Brexit bill, and conpromise to make sure that it can be accepted by the opposition and passed through the House of Commons.
I feel that given the chance for proper parliamentary scrutiny, the brexit bill that the government will deliver will have more protections for people and their rights. Although, in an ever changing political climate, who knows what might happen?