The legal challenge over whether Theresa May can activate Article 50, which would trigger negotiations concerning the UK’s departure from the European Union, is well underway. The case is seeking to force Theresa May to call a parliamentary vote, arguing that the power to trigger Article 50 is not a prerogative power.
The claim is being brought by Gina Miller and others by law firm Mishcon de Reya. The case is seen as potentially significant on a number of grounds, the main one being the possibility of blocking Brexit through Parliament. The case is also highly significant for constitutional lawyers and will likely clarify the current legal position of a number of core prerogative powers. Miss Miller’s lawyers argued that by triggering Article 50, Theresa May would be stripping British workers of fundamental rights conferred upon them by Parliament when they passed the 1972 European Communities Act. Government lawyers last Friday similarly conceded that leaving the EU would lead to some rights being “hollowed out”. Closing arguments by the Government’s lawyers were submitted today.
The case is currently being heard by three judges, however many legal academics and critics expect the court to return to the Supreme Court before the end of the year. An expedited court date has already been cleared in anticipation for the cases return.