LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Supreme Court says the government must get parliamentary approval before starting the process of leaving the European Union, potentially delaying Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to trigger negotiations by the end of March.
Supreme Court President David Neuberger says the vote was a majority of 8-3. The court also unanimously decided that there’s no need to consult Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland on Brexit.
British Attorney General Jeremy Wright said that the government will comply with the ruling, and that a statement will be made in Parliament later.
Tuesday’s ruling raises hopes among pro-EU politicians that they will be able soften the terms of the U.K.’s withdrawal from the bloc. “Leave” campaigners have objected, saying Parliament shouldn’t have the power to overrule the electorate, which voted to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum.
May wanted to use centuries-old powers known as royal prerogative to invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty and launch two years of exit talks. The powers — traditionally held by the monarch –permit decisions about treaties and other issues to be made without a vote of Parliament.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says it will respect the decision by the Supreme Court to force a vote in Parliament in triggering Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Downing Street says in a statement that nonetheless the British people voted to leave the EU and that nothing that happened Tuesday changes that.
“We respect the Supreme Court’s decision, and will set out our next steps to Parliament shortly.”
The lead plaintiff in the British Supreme Court case says that she’s happy with the ruling because it provides the legal foundation to trigger Brexit.
Gina Miller spoke shortly after the Supreme Court president announced in a majority 8-3 decision that the government must get parliamentary approval before starting the process of leaving the European Union.
Miller says that the case was about the legal process, not politics. She also said that she’s shocked by the levels of personal abuse she’s experienced for bringing the case after Britain voted to leave the EU in a June referendum.