Today the British government takes its appeal over the right to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty to the supreme court. The British government believes that it has the right to trigger the article, which would begin the two year negotiation period of Britain’s exit from the ever increasingly troubled zone.
The hearing is a landmark case, earlier efforts in the high court were ruled against the government.
The government believes that it already has the right to trigger the article without it going to a potentially disastrous vote in the house of commons. Many expect that the vote may actually be defeated there, which would put the government in an awful position of having to ignore a public referendum on the change. Though it’s fairly well thought that a deal could be done, as long as the government is prepared to negotiate terms with other parties. Theresa May and her government are trying to avoid this by going to court and winning the right to do so without such deals.
Many have argued that the government should have accepted the original findings and started to find a way to make the trigger happen the correct way through parliament. The worry for Theresa May is that “Brexit” isn’t popular among politicians, and promises to turn in to a political football that could get kicked around in parliament. The Prime Minister argues that “Brexit means Brexit” in an attempt to ensure that all adhere to the non binding referendum.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron has floated the idea that any final negotiation on the terms of Britain’s exit from the zone should be put to another referendum. He suggested that the first referendum had signalled that the UK wanted to leave, but not the way in which it should be done.
Mr Farron will be buoyed by the news that his party have just won their first by-election for many years, taking the seat of Zac Goldsmith in Richmond. Goldsmith had given up the seat in order to stand again as an independent, this backfired spectacularly as only the Lib Dems had put up a serious challenger to Goldsmith. They also put a lot of work in to local canvassing. But it’s Goldsmith himself who may have caused himself problems by being a supporter of “Brexit”. Incoming MP Sara Olney has promised to carry on Goldsmith’s fight against expansion at Heathrow airport, but it’s obvious that she doesn’t share his views on the EU. It’s believed that the Lib Dems are targeting seats all over the country where there was a large “remain” vote in order to try and rebuild the party after it was devastated at the 2015 general election after 5 years of being in coalition with the tories.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.