Thursday 03-11-2016 - 13:15
The High Court has today ruled that Theresa May’s government alone cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and that MPs must vote on whether the UK will begin the process of leaving the European Union.
Since the result of the EU referendum in June, Theresa May’s government has indicated they intend to rely on ancient Royal Prerogative powers to commence the process of leaving the EU, rather than seeking the permission of parliament and facing the scrutiny that comes with that.
In response, the ‘People’s Challenge’ –a group of six individuals - sought to challenge this decision, believing the UKs exit from the EU must face Parliamentary examination.
NUS-USI President Fergal McFerran, who was part of the People’s Challenge group, welcomed today’s landmark judgement as “a victory for common sense and accountability”, adding: “If Theresa May had been allowed to invoke Article 50 without the oversight and scrutiny of Parliament it would have set a dangerous precedent that entirely undermines the role of a modern Parliamentary democracy.”
Focussing on the students he represents in Northern Ireland, Fergal said: “Generations of young people, who, let’s remind ourselves have had no say in the decision to leave the EU will face the implications of the outcome of the referendum for years to come. That in itself demands a level of scrutiny that the British government were trying to deny us.
“Today’s judgement gives us a voice in the process and my hope is that Parliament’s full involvement can begin to heal a very clearly divided country.”