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Day 1 in the Supreme Court: minimal change to the Government's case

6 December 2016

Jurisdictions: United Kingdom
Services: Administrative and Public Law, Government Relations and Policy Advocacy

By Andrew Eaton and Oliver Travers

Yesterday was the first day of the Supreme Court hearing of the Article 50 challenge (R (Miller and Ors) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union).

The Government's case remains the same as before the High Court: it has the prerogative power to withdraw from international treaties unless Parliament expressly removes this power by statute, which it has not done in the case of Article 50. The Respondents will argue again today that, since the UK joined the EU, Parliament has legislated to grant British citizens rights created under the EU Treaties, and only Parliament can take these rights away.

The case remains a clash of these two fundamental principles of the UK Constitution. See our previous blog on the issues here: Whose power is it anyway? Brexit, parliamentary sovereignty and triggering Article 50

The transcript of Monday's hearing is available here.