Throwing the Brexit process into uncertainty, the UK High Court has ruled that the Briton’s exit from the European Union won’t be possible without parliament approval.
The order stated that the parliament must vote on whether the country can start the process of leaving the EU. Nearly 52 percent of voters in the country had approved the decision to leave EU in a June referendum.
With this order, Theresa May’s government does not have the authority to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the formal exit negotiations with the EU.
British Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier said the country is set to trigger Article 50 to leave the European Union by the end of March 2017.
The court order comes after a petition challenged challenged the government’s right to use “historic prerogative powers” to trigger Article 50.
“We hold that the secretary of state does not have power under the crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50… for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union,” the judgement said.
As invoking Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty will offer Britain a two-year period of time to reframe its relationships with EU, the UK was expected to leave the EU by spring 2019.
The new decision taken by court is likely to slow the process of withdrawal from the bloc. The British government has reportedly vowed to appeal the High Court ruling.
According to Theresa May’s spokesperson, she would be contacting Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission, to inform the government’s intention to stick to the March 2017 deadline for triggering Article 50, BBC News reported.
Brexit Secretary David Davis was quoted by the broadcaster as saying: “The people are the ones Parliament represents – 17.4m of them, the biggest mandate in history, voted for us to leave the European Union. We are going to deliver on that mandate in the best way possible for the British national interest.”