Brexit Update: UK Government defeated in High Court

03 Nov 2016

In a week when on the other side of the North Atlantic political shifts between the Democrat and Republican presidential nominee hold attention, today’s ruling of the High Court of Justice, R (Miller) -V- Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, calls to mind, that in nineteenth century United States’ politics, there was once another party, commonly known as the “Know Nothing” party.

The Know Nothings were a populist movement that arose from a fear that the country was being overrun by Irish Roman Catholic and German immigrants. Members were called the Know Nothings because when asked what they were about they were meant to say “I know nothing”.

Well for some time yet the Government is not going to reveal their hand in the Brexit negotiations. What we know today is that, as a matter of UK constitutional law, the Government is not entitled to give notice of a decision to leave the European Union under Article 50 by exercise of the Crown’s prerogative powers without reference to Parliament.

At last something we know, although we may not - as the Government appears to be intent on appealing.

We know something or we know nothing - watching this space!

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