Today High Court judges gave their verdict on whether Parliament’s vote is needed to start the process of leaving the European Union. The High Court ruled that Parliament must vote before triggering Article 50 and the start of Brexit proceedings.The High Court ruled that Parliament must vote before triggering the Article 50.
Brexit: What is Article 50 of Lisbon Treaty
In legal terms, Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union establishes the procedures for a member state to withdraw from the EU. Under this Article, the UK must notify the EU of its withdrawal and the EU will then be obliged to try to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the UK. The results of the vote in itself do not provide the EU with notification – this must be done formally and in accordance to procedures put in place by the Treaty on the European Union.
Once Britain invokes Article 50, it will have 2 years in which to negotiate a new treaty to replace the terms of EU membership. EU nationals living in the UK may wish to consider applying for Permanent Residence Card or British Naturalisation.
The High Court Brexit ruling
Today, High Court judges ruled that the Prime Minister cannot use the Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The decision must be made by the Parliament and that will stand unless the appeal is successful. That means there would have to be a vote by MPs to trigger Article 50.
The case was brought to the High Court by Gina Miller, an investment banker, who said that the Government had no right to use the Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50. After the ruling, Miller said that the government should make the “wise decision of not appealing”.
As a result of 23rd June referendum, the exit proceedings were to be started in March 2017 as announced by the Prime Minister Theresa May. Today’s ruling will potentially delay the whole process for months. The British Government has expressed the disappointment with a decision of the High Court.
Trade Minister Liam Fox said today:
“The government is disappointed by the court’s judgement. The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by acts of parliament. The government is determined to respect the result of referendum.”
“This judgement raises important and complex matter of law and it is right that we consider it carefully before deciding how to proceed.”
What does the Brexit ruling mean for EEA European nationals
The High Court ruling has caused further controversy and uncertainty on the impact of the Brexit process on the residence rights of EEA nationals. The UK Government has introduced fast track schemes such as the European Passport Return Service to enable applications by EEA nationals for residence cards to be processed quicker and easier. However, the UK Government has not extended the schemes for applications by family members of EEA nationals and therefore such applications have been in caught up in a web of backlogged cases lingering around in the Home Office system and pending determination.
The future of EEA nationals and their family members seeking to settle in the UK has reached an unprecedented impasse. Whilst the road ahead may seem uncertain, it is encouraged that EEA nationals and their family members assess their eligibilty to apply for a residence card in the UK to document their right to remain and permanently settle in the UK whilst the status quo is preserved.
Legal Advice from UK Immigration Solicitors on EEA European nationals rights
If you wish to consider your options following BREXIT or are concerned about your current position in the UK, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
If you need professional legal advice please contact us for a case assessment on 02071830570. You can also reach us via our WebChat facility or via our contact form. Please note that we are not able to provide any free legal advice.