Does the Government need the consent of the British Parliament in order to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the two-year divorce process between Britain and the European Union? That’s the central issue at the heart of a four-day hearing at the Supreme Court, Britain’s highest judicial body.
Eleven of the most senior British justices will preside over the appeal by the Government that hopes to overturn a High Court ruling that said Theresa May’s could not use prerogative powers to begin leaving the EU. They said in their original judgement; “the powerful constitutional principle that the Crown has no power to alter the law of the land by use of its prerogative powers is the product of an especially strong constitutional tradition in the UK”.
It is not expected that the justices will reach their conclusion until January at the earliest, with whatever decision they make having potentially wide-reaching ramifications for the way that Britain negotiates its Brexit deal with the other 27 EU member states.
The Supreme Court case begins at 11am on Monday 5th December. Proceedings begin at 10.15am on Tuesday 6th December, 10.30am on Wednesday 7th December and 10.15am on Thursday 8th December.
It is also expected significant parts of the case will be broadcast on major British news channels including BBC News Channel and Sky News.