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London - 23 January, 2017
1. SOUNDBITE (English) David Neuberger, UK Supreme Court Justice
"The main issue is whether the government can trigger article 50 without the prior authority of an act of parliament. The other issues concern the obligations of the UK government under the devolution legislation before triggering article 50 and in particular whether the legislatures in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland must be consulted. So far as the main issue is concerned as a general rule the government has a prerogative power to withdraw from international treaties as it sees fit. However, the government cannot exercise that power if it would thereby change UK laws unless it is authorised to do so by the parliament. The claimants argue that as a result of leavingg the EU, UK law will change and legal rights enjoyed by UK residents will be lost. Accordingly, they say, the government cannot trigger article 50 unless authorised by parliament."
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.
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