On Tuesday, the UK’s top court will make a final ruling on whether the government must seek parliamentary approval before beginning the Brexit process. The Supreme Court is likely to insist it does.
In anticipation of this, PM Theresa May’s has reportedly prepared four different bills to be introduced as soon as possible. The drafts have been kept short in order to expedite the process. However, if Tuesday’s ruling mandates an Act of Parliament is required, rather than a simple vote, the process is expected to be lengthy. This will heap pressure on the prime minister, who has pledged to begin the process by March at the latest.
Last week, Theresa May signalled her preference for a “hard Brexit” that would see the country leave the EU and, in all likelihood, the bloc’s common market. To offset this, May’s promised her government would seek a “bold and ambitious” trade deal with the Union. But with Eurosceptic parties gaining ground elsewhere in Europe, Brussels has little incentive to make the UK’s exit an easy one.
Ms May’s job is about to get a lot harder.
David is the Europe team’s leader and senior editor. David has a background in EU financial and immigration legislation.