Government lawyers say Article 50 can be triggered without Parliament

Maya Lester QC

There are now judicial review proceedings underway challenging the UK Government’s ability to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (on which see previous blog) without first obtaining authority by Act of Parliament. The Government has now stated that it has been given legal advice that it can trigger Article 50 by exercising its Royal prerogative powers, without the need for an Act, but that it would in due course be needed to repeal the European Communities Act 1972. This was confirmed by the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, giving evidence (here) to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee for its inquiry on the implications of the vote to leave the EU.