Ministers 'have prepared Article 50 legislation' ahead of expected Supreme Court defeat

Posted On: 
11th January 2017

Ministers have reportedly admitted defeat in the Government’s Supreme Court appeal on triggering Article 50 and have already prepared new legislation to put before MPs. 

Ministers reportedly expect the Supreme Court to rule against the Government on Article 50
Credit: 
PA

The Guardian reports that the Government believes at least seven of the 11 judges will rule in favour of the claimants, who include businesswoman Gina Miller.

The appeal came after the High Court ruled in November that the Government could not proceed with triggering Brexit without consulting Parliament.

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According to the paper two potential bills have already been prepared in case the Court gives ministers guidance on what should or should not be included in the legislation.

While the date of the judgment is not known, ministers have apparently asked the court for advanced sight of the ruling to allow “contingency planning”.

Theresa May has repeatedly made clear that she intends to invoke Article 50 by the end of March, whatever the outcome of the appeal.

There have been suggestions the Government could try to table a bill of just a few lines in length in order to stop opposition parties holding up legislation with multiple amendments.

The Liberal Democrats have already said they plan to table an amendment calling for a second referendum on the terms of the eventual Brexit deal, although with only nine MPs they have little prospect of success.

Mrs May plans to give a speech later this month setting out her “vision” for a post-Brexit Britain.

She has already said she does not want to keep “bits” of EU membership and that “control of immigration” is among her priorities for the upcoming talks with Brussels.