The Supreme Court will hear the Government’s appeal against the High Court’s decision that MPs must have a vote on Article 50, on 5 December 2016. The appeal will be heard by all 11 of the Supreme Court justices, and will last four days. The decision by the justices is expected to be given in January next year.
The announcement comes in the wake of Brexit secretary David Davis’ statement to the House of Commons in which he confirmed that the judgment would likely be handed down in the new year. Davis reiterated the Prime Minister’s statements that the government will stick to the timetable of invoking Article 50 before the end of March 2017. Despite Davis’ assertions however, a ruling in January will leave a tight timetable for the Government to get a bill through both houses before March.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the Scottish government will intervene in the Article 50 legal case, as triggering Article 50 “will directly affect devolved interests and rights in Scotland” and will “inevitably deprive Scottish people and Scottish businesses of rights and freedoms which they currently enjoy”. Sturgeon confirmed that Scotland’s most senior law officer, the Lord Advocate, would lodge an application as soon as the UK government lodges its appeal. Sturgeon highlighted the fact that the margin for “remain” in Scotland was 24 points, an “emphatic and clear” statement that Scotland wished to remain in the EU.