Brexit legal challenge: What does it mean? Will the UK still leave the EU? All your questions answered

The High Court has ruled that parliament, not the Prime Minister, must trigger Article 50, but it raises as many questions as it answers

Tom Peck
Thursday 03 November 2016 11:18
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High court rules Brexit needs Parliamentary approval

Could Brexit be stopped?

Probably not, but it could certainly be delayed. According to the Lord Chief Justice, the Prime Minister cannot trigger Article 50 herself, but can only be done with parliamentary approval.

A huge majority of MPs in parliament are opposed to Brexit, but going rejecting the vote of the people in a referendum would be extraordinary, not least for the scores of Labour MPs whose constituents voted to leave.

If Theresa May would like a parliament to trigger Article 50 with a clear conscience, she may decide to call a general election.

How have the markets reacted?

The pound was up by one per cent against the dollar the second the judgement was revealed. Parliamentary approval of Article 50 increases the likelihood of a so called ‘soft’ Brexit.

Will it be challenged?

Yes. The government has already indicated it will appeal the judgement. Don’t expect it to end anywhere other than the Supreme Court.

Will MPs now be involved?

Yes, but it is still not clear whether a bill now required to pass through both houses in order for Article 50 to be triggered. It is also unclear what parliament could formally mandate the UK's Brexit negotiators to seek. Once Article 50 is triggered, it is still triggered.

What about when the Article 50 process ends?

The Prime Minister has already conceded there will be a vote on the deal at the end of the negotiating period. But that vote would only involve accepting the deal offered by the EU or leaving on WTO terms, not staying or leaving altogether

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