The United Kingdom Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the British Parliament must vote on leaving the European Union, otherwise known as the Brexit, before Prime Minister Theresa May can trigger the European Union’s Article 50. The judges voted against the government in an 8-3 vote.
May had wanted to trigger the provision by the end of March, but she will now have to wait for a Parliament vote. There is opposition to Brexit in the Parliament, but the Labour Party, the main opposition party, has said that they will not impede the progress of Article 50 legislation. Labour leader Jeremy Coburn tweeted, “Labour respects the result of the referendum and the will of the British people and will not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50.”
However, Coburn did say that they will move to amend the legislation, “Labour will seek to amend the Article 50 Bill to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven.”
A spokesman for May said in a statement, “The British people voted to leave the EU, and the government will deliver on their verdict — triggering Article 50, as planned, by the end of March. Today’s ruling does nothing to change that.”
“It’s important to remember that parliament backed the referendum by a margin of six to one and has already indicated its support for getting on with the process of exit to the timetable we have set out.”
However, there was a slight victory for May’s government as the Court rejected the argument that the dedicated parliaments of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales needed to approve the Article 50 trigger. Brexit opponents had seen that as a possible way to avoid the Brexit because of the intense opposition in Scotland. In the wake of the news, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a new independence referendum is in the cards if Parliament does not listen to the concerns of the Scottish people. 62% of Scots voted in favor of staying in the European Union.