Brexit judgment 1) Supreme Court rules against Government. Act of Parliament is required to trigger Article 50…

EU Exit brexit‘The Supreme Court in London has given its ruling on Article 50, following a four-day hearing last December. The highest court in the land rejected an appeal by ministers against a High Court judgment blocking their decision to begin Britain’s exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say. The Justices’ decision will affect the manner in which the Government can begin the formal process of leaving the European Union. Supreme Court justices ruled, by a majority of eight to three, that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot lawfully bypass MPs and peers by using the royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the two-year process of negotiating the UK’s divorce from its EU partners.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • This ‘reasserts authority of MPs over Government’ – The Times (£)
  • The majority was 8-3 – FT
  • Dissenting Justice Carnwarth says it should never have been matter for the courts – Daily Telegraph
  • Truss ‘backs the judiciary’ – Daily Express
  • Duncan Smith says ruling will cause ‘real constitutional issues’ – Daily Express 
  • Taxpayers ‘face bill of over £3m’ – The Sun


  • This should be ‘cause for celebration’ for both Remainers and Brexiteers – The Times (£)
  • Judges showed themselves to be ‘friends of the people’ – Guardian
  • No they didn’t – Daily Mail
  • Parliament is ‘back where it should be’ – FT
  • The political climate has changed – Daily Telegraph


  • This is a victory for ‘our way of life’ – Gina Miller, Guardian
  • Miller has made Parliament supreme. And Brexit a reality – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • The constitution is working – David Allen Green, FT
  • Brexit will now be more parliamentary – Raphael Behr, The Guardian
  • Some leavers are ‘understandably cross’ – Daniel Hannan, The Sun
  • The legal claim ‘should never have succeeded’ – Richard Ekins, Spectator


Brexit judgment 2) …but the devolved nations have no veto over UK decision

‘The ruling concludes that the Sewel Convention on consulting devolved administrations ‘does not lie within the constitutional remit of the judiciary’. This shuts down the prospect of legislation having to go before parliaments at Holyrood and Stormont. In reaching this conclusion we do not underestimate the importance of constitutional conventions, some of which play a fundamental role in the operation of our constitution. The Sewel Convention has an important role in facilitating harmonious relationships between the UK Parliament and the devolved legislatures. But the policing of its scope and the manner of its operation does not lie within the constitutional remit of the judiciary, which is to protect the rule of law.’ – FT

  • Parliaments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland ‘don’t need to vote on Article 50’ – Daily Express
  • Sturgeon to hold vote anyway – The Times (£)
  • And is prepared to table amendments – Daily Telegraph
  • She calls again for a second independence referendum – The Sun 
  • Whittingdale ‘mocks’ SNP MP – Daily Express


  • This prevents a ‘constitutional can of worms’ – Christopher Forsyth, Daily Telegraph


Brexit judgment 3) Davis says ruling won’t block or delay exit process

DAVIS hand October 2016‘A historic ruling by the supreme court forced Theresa May to give parliament a vote on Brexit, but rebellious MPs from her own party want more of a say over plans to quit the single market and customs union. Judges from the highest court in the land decided by eight to three that MPs must approve a decision as significant as leaving the EU, prompting Brexit secretary David Davis to say that tightly drafted legislation would be published within days. A few hours after the ruling, Davis told MPs that the legal decision from Britain’s most senior judges would not block or delay Brexit. “This House voted by six to one to put the decision in the hands of voters, and that bill passed the other place unopposed.’’’ – Guardian


  • Remainers should recognise ruling won’t make any difference – Matthew Norman, Independent

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Davis promises a Brexit Bill “within days”

Brexit judgment 4) Withdrawal bill likely to be published on Thursday and pass through Commons in two weeks

‘The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the Bill is likely to be published on Thursday and then passed through the House of Commons in just a fortnight. This would mean that it goes to the House of Lords in mid-February to give peers enough time to debate the legislation, likely to be called the European Union Withdrawal Bill. … Sources told The Telegraph that the Government has set aside time for two all day debates next week with 21 hours of debate the following week to allow MPs ample time to debate. The Bill will be published on Thursday, with the second reading due to take place until late into the night on Tuesday next week. There will be a further debate on Wednesday until 7pm when the first votes will take place. The MPs will then debate the Bill and all amendments in a committee of the whole House from Monday to Wednesday the following week, with seven hours each day for debate.’ – Daily Telegraph

Brexit judgment 5) May aims to bring forward overall timetable

May‘Theresa May will this week table fast-track legislation to keep her Brexit plan on track after suffering a defeat in the UK Supreme Court which ruled she could not trigger an exit from the EU without the consent of parliament. The British prime minister is expected to publish a concise bill on Thursday that would give her full authority to invoke Article 50, the EU treaty’s divorce clause, at her discretion. She will try to push it through both the House of Commons and House of Lords by the middle of March, allowing her to stick to her original timetable and trigger Brexit by the end of that month.’ – FT

  • May ‘hopes to invoke Article 50 two weeks earlier than planned’ – The Sun


  • My deep frustration over this taking so long – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph

Brexit judgment 6) Dominic Raab: The path is clear for negotiations to begin

‘The Supreme Court usefully cleared up some issues around Brexit. It narrowed the scope of what was a rather nebulous High Court judgment. That should put paid to the wrecking tactics of those trying to frustrate Brexit – and enable the Government to begin negotiations on time. … Crucially, the Supreme Court made clear that Parliament can pass a short, sharp Bill to approve the start of Brexit negotiations. This should allow the Government to keep the scope of its legislation tight, avoiding wrecking amendments from the diminishing ranks of Labour and Liberal Democrat saboteurs in the House of Commons and House of Lords. That alone vindicates the Government’s decision to appeal the ruling of the High Court.’ – Daily Telegraph

Brexit judgment 7) Dozen Conservative rebels join Labour in calling for white paper to reveal plans

‘Tory rebels joined forces with Labour today in a bid to force Theresa May to publish her EU withdrawal plans in Parliament or face the prospect of two years of “tension and bad blood” from her own MPs. Around a dozen Conservatives want her objectives set out in a White Paper so they can be officially debated in Parliament before she fires the starting gun on Brexit. … A string of Tories openly demanded the concession in Parliament, with one later telling The Independent that if Ms May failed to give way, she faced fraught relations with her own benches just as she tries to pass complex Brexit laws on a narrow timescale, with a tiny Commons majority.’ – Independent

Brexit judgment 8) Quarter of Labour MPs to defy potential whip by voting against triggering Article 50

Jeremy Corbyn‘About 60 Labour MPs are preparing to defy any party order to vote in favour of triggering article 50, with frontbenchers expected to resign if a three-line whip is enforced. Party sources said no decision would be made before the government’s legislation was published, but several Labour MPs said they were certain a three-line whip, which is used for the most critical votes, would be imposed on MPs. Jeremy Corbyn has made clear that Labour MPs would be asked to vote for triggering article 50 because his party does not want to block the Brexit process.’ – Guardian

  • Starmer says party will be ‘pushing for amendments’ – Daily Express
  • These are the MPs likely to vote against it – Independent
  • Owen Smith: I can’t vote to trigger Article 50 – Guardian
  • Corbyn calls for Single Market full access – Daily Telegraph (£)
  • LibDems ‘demand’ second referendum – Independent
  • Government to create new peers if necessary to stop Lords Brexit disruption – Daily Telegraph


  • Brexit is ‘defining test’ of Labour’s attitude towards our supporters – Kate Hoey, Daily Telegraph
  • This is Labour’s problem now – John Rentoul, Independent

May to visit Turkey this week and meet with Erdogan

‘Theresa May has been urged to raise growing concerns over human rights in Turkey when she holds talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the country later this week. It comes as Downing Street revealed the Prime Minister will use her brief visit to Ankara to discuss trade, defence and security and “reflect the fact that Turkey is indispensable partner and a close ally for the UK on many issues of global importance”. But ahead of her visit on Saturday, which will directly follow her trip to Washington to meet President Donald Trump, Ms May is being pressed to use the “vital opportunity” to address growing concerns over human rights in the country.’ – Independent

Parliamentary defence watchdog criticises Government approach to Trident malfunction

Michael Fallon 02-07-15‘The chairman of parliament’s defence watchdog has criticised the government’s “unnecessary surreptitiousness” over the Trident missile malfunction, as Michael Fallon declined an invitation to appear before his committee. Dr Julian Lewis, who leads the House of Commons defence committee, said the defence secretary had declined the offer to give evidence because “he did not feel he could usefully add anything to what he has previously said, even in a closed session”. Appearing in parliament on Monday, Fallon rebuffed dozens of questions from MPs about the malfunctioning of the Trident missile in a test off the coast of Florida last June, just days before a Commons vote on renewing the nuclear deterrent.’ – Guardian

>Yesterday: Kieran Mullan in Comment: Trident. Don’t do Putin’s work for him

More Government

  • Ministers confirm that plan to revoke Human Rights Act is on hold – Daily Mail
  • Over a hundred Conservative MPs back calls for new strike laws – Daily Telegraph
  • MPs report on ‘dress codes’ for women workers – Guardian
  • Hunt: ‘impossible’ to introduce charges for ‘health tourists’ by 2020 – The Sun

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Prepare for Javid’s push to help build more of the homes we need

David Cameron: I’m new president of Alzheimer’s Research UK

David Cameron 23-06-16‘Dementia steals people’s lives, turns their relationships upside down, destroys their hopes and dreams. We owe it to them, their families and their carers to find a solution. That is why I launched the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge in 2012. And that is why today I am joining Alzheimer’s Research UK as the charity’s president, so that I can continue this important work. This ambitious charity is driving medical research to fight dementia. It is uniquely placed at the intersection between the first-class academic research that is being driven by our great universities, and our cutting-edge pharmaceutical industry.’ – The Times (£)

  • Former Prime Minster calls for ‘proper funding’ for dementia – The Times (£)
  • It’s not just big pharma that prevents progress. Medical academics are to blame too – Ben Goldacre, The Times (£)

Schulz now favourite to oppose Merkel in German elections

‘Martin Schulz, the controversial former president of the European parliament, became the favourite to take on Angela Merkel in German elections after his party leader pulled out in a shock decision on Tuesday. The decision means that one of the EU’s most outspoken critics of Britain over Brexit could become German chancellor at a crucial point in negotiations this September. Sigmar Gabriel, the current vice-chancellor, told a meeting of the centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD) on Tuesday afternoon that he would not seek its nomination as a candidate for the chancellorship. Instead he said he would resign as party leader and recommend Mr Schulz to succeed him.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • He will replace Sigmar Gabriel as leader of Social Democrats – FT

Trump to make start on wall

Donald Trump Jan 2017‘President Donald Trump will begin rolling out executive actions on immigration Wednesday, beginning with steps to tighten border security – including his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. The president posted a tweet on Tuesday evening signaling that major announcements were in the offing. … ’Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Among many other things, we will build the wall!’ The new Trump directives will also stop most refugees including those from Syria coming to America while vetting processes are reviewed. … The Republican president was expected to sign the orders at the Washington headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security, whose responsibilities include immigration and border security.’ – Daily Mail

  • Wall announced via tweet – Daily Telegraph
  • Trump also continues to make unsubstantiated claims about illegal voting – Daily Telegraph
  • He allows construction of blocked pipeline projects – Guardian
  • And is expected to sign orders ‘restricting immigration from some Muslim countries’ – Daily Express 
  • May and Trump to talk terror and trade at meeting – FT
  • Howard Jacobson has written cathartic fairy tale about new President – Guardian


  • Isolationism is not the answer – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • GPs want rule change to make cash on side – Daily Telegraph
  • Subsidy change may lead to loss of planned power plants – FT
  • Poll favours Nuttall for Stoke – Daily Express
  • Fillon accused of paying wife for nothing – Daily Mail
  • Paris bans some old cars – Independent
  • Brexit blamed for beer price rise – Guardian
  • Could ketamine stop you from drinking too much? The Times (£)