In the U.K., lawyers in the Supreme Court Brexit hearings have wrapped up four days of hotly contested legal arguments. The country’s Eleven Supreme Court judges will now decide if the U.K. government would be breaking the law if it began talks on leaving the European Union without first consulting Parliament.
CCTV’s Richard Bestic reports from the Supreme Court in London, where the case has highlighted the huge divide over Brexit in Britain.
UK Supreme Court to decide legality of BrexitIn the U.K., lawyers in the Supreme Court Brexit hearings have wrapped up four days of hotly contested legal arguments. The country’s Eleven Supreme Court judges will now decide if the U.K. government would be breaking the law if it began talks on leaving the European Union without first consulting Parliament.CCTV’s Richard Bestic reports.
At the outset, a carnival atmosphere colored the streets outside the U.K.’s highest court, as campaigners on both sides appeared to relive the Brexit referendum. But there was a dark side too. Gene Miller, the lead claimant in the case said she’d received death threats.
While inside, Supreme Court President David Neuberger felt it necessary to close the four-day hearing with assurances.
“It bears repeating that we are not being asked to overturn the result of the EU referendum. The ultimate question in this case concerns the process by which that result can lawfully be brought into effect,” Neuberger concluded.
At the heart of the argument, who can trigger the Brexit talks that will take Britain out of the European Union .
Government lawyers said the referendum gave powers of Royal Prerogative – the people had spoken and the government must act. Challengers said Parliament passed the laws which gave the green light for the U.K. to sign up to Europe and only the Parliament could change that.
The Supreme Court judges now take away those legal and constitutional arguments to return midway through January. To assist their deliberations, sacks of legal documents to be examined. And should they rule against the government, some say the entire Brexit timetable could be thrown into chaos.
While there are those expressing concerns over how explosively divisive Brexit has become in Britain, it’s undeniable it’s testing the country’s famously unwritten constitution to its very limits.