In a case currently before the High Court in London brought by a group of individuals seeking a declaration that the Prime Minister is required to obtain a vote of Parliament before invoking Article 50(please see yesterday’s post), Government legal representatives have argued that the matter does not require a vote of the House of Commons.
However, there has been further debate in court regarding Parliament’s role during the two year negotiation period (that is, once Article 50 has been triggered). A lawyer for the Government has argued in court that in his view, all the Brexit negotiations themselves would very likely be subject to Parliamentary approval.
It is worth noting that UK law requires the Government to give Parliament the opportunity to consider treaties that are subject to ratification. However, opponents of this view (which include the applicants in this case)believe that once invoked, Article 50 is irreversible and even if Parliament were given a say on the final deal, it would be too late to refuse to ratify it. In other words, once Article 50 has been invoked, there is no opportunity to “uninvoke” it.
The news that Parliament may have a role in Brexit negotiations saw the Pound rally 1%, its biggest gain since mid-August as the market had been concerned with the Government’s “hard” Brexit approach but for now took solace hearing the news that Parliament could potentially block a British exit without a favourable trade deal with the EU.