The UK Supreme Court rules that British Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament's approval before she begins Britain's formal exit from the European Union. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The UK Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday (January 24) that Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament's approval before she begins Britain's formal exit from the European Union. The UK's highest judicial body dismissed the government's argument that May could simply use executive powers known as "royal prerogative" to invoke Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty and begin two years of divorce talks. However, the court rejected arguments that the UK's devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should give their assent before Article 50 is invoked. "The referendum is of great political significance but the Act of Parliament which established it did not say what should happen as a result. So any change in the law to give effect to the referendum must be made in the only way permitted by the UK constitution, namely by an Act of Parliament," said David Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, which ruled by 8-3 against the government. May has repeatedly said she will trigger Article 50 before the end of March. She will now have to seek the consent of lawmakers first, potentially meaning her plans could be amended or delayed, although the main opposition Labour Party has said it will not slow her timetable.