People’s Challenge – Developments in Parliament and the Supreme Court

We had planned to post a detailed update yesterday on our new CrowdJustice campaign page, but events have been very fast-moving and we’ve needed to take stock of them. This is just a snapshot with more detail and analysis to follow.

First, yesterday saw a Government statement and debate in the Commons about the Divisional Court’s decision. More on this to follow, but the key points to note are that the Government continues to accept, rightly, that the extent of its powers needs to be determined by the courts and that the courts’ decisions must be respected, however ‘disappointing’ they may be. This is important because a number of bloggers have continued to argue that the courts had no business in hearing the case at all.

The Government also appears to accept that, if the Royal Prerogative cannot lawfully be used to take the UK out of the EU, only an Act of Parliament will do.

Secondly, the Supreme Court has, unsurprisingly but very quickly, granted the Government permission to make its ‘leapfrog’ appeal which will be heard from 5 December 2016, most likely over the following four days. The Scottish and Welsh Governments both plan to intervene and Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that she fully supports the Divisional Court decision.

There are also press reports that Leave.EU may intervene, though to do so it will need to persuade the Supreme Court it ought to be granted permission to make submissions in the public interest.

As far as we know, all the parties represented in the Divisional Court will continue to be involved. It is not yet clear whether the Northern Ireland High Court will allow a leapfrog appeal from Maguire J’s decision to be heard along with the Miller and others litigation.

On funding, we are now very close to our stretch target thanks to the sustained support over the last few days. Thank you again. We have asked the Government to agree a ‘reciprocal costs cap’ as was agreed in the Court below, so we should soon have certainty on how much we need to budget for to cover a share of Government costs in the highly unlikely event its appeal succeed.

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