News | Legal News

03 November 2016

Government loses High Court ruling on Article 50

Uncertainty has been cast over the UK's departure from the European Union (EU), with the High Court ruling that the Government must seek Parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Only by invoking Article 50 will the UK officially be able to start the Brexit negotiation process.

In today's (November 3) hearing, three senior judges ruled that the Prime Minister does not have the power to use the royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 without the prior authority of Parliament.

In light of the ruling, the Government has indicated that it will appeal the decision.

A spokesperson said: "The Government is disappointed by the court's judgment. The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the Government is determined to respect the result of the referendum."

Unless the Supreme Court opts to overturn the ruling, the decision will give Parliament more control over the Brexit process.

Chris Brazier, business immigration specialist and senior associate explains the impact of the decision:

"Aside from being a blow to the government in its aim to provide some clarity in these uncertain times, this decision will undoubtedly impact on employers and employees who are, yet again, uncertain on when the process of Brexit will even begin, let alone what it will look like.

"From an employer perspective, recruitment decisions (particularly concerning EEA and non EEA nationals) could be impacted by the uncertainty, with employers choosing to defer making recruitment decisions until the position becomes clearer.

"For those migrants currently working and living in the UK, the continued sense that there is no clear direction about Brexit will be further exacerbated by this decision. Employers need to work with their migrant employees to reassure them about the future as a failure to do so could leave them exposed to a situation where talented migrants choose to look elsewhere, outside of the UK, for the next step in their career.

"Employers should encourage those key migrant employees to assess whether they can take steps now to formalise their immigration status in the UK by making a permanent residency / indefinite leave to remain application. This will send out a positive message that they are valued and in turn, insulate their business from the harsher immigration controls that could be imposed as a result of Brexit."

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