British Prime Minister Theresa May must give parliament a vote before she can formally start Britain’s exit from the European Union, the UK Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday (Tuesday night NZ Time), giving lawmakers who oppose her Brexit plans a shot at amending them.
By a majority of eight to three, the UK’s highest judicial body decided May could not use executive powers known as “royal prerogative” to invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty and so begin two years of divorce talks.
There will be riots if Parliament doesn’t follow the will of the people. But I think they will. What will be interesting is how Labour votes. Corbyn tried to institute a strict three line whip for the vote, but has backed down after a backlash from Labour MPs. This means that no one knows how Labour MPs will vote on the most important issue in a generation.
However, the judges did remove one major potential obstacle for the British government, saying May did not need the approval of the UK’s devolved assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before triggering Brexit.
That would have been near impossible, if required.