News | Legal News

04 November 2016

We are ‘sticking to the timetable’ despite ruling, PM to tell EU leaders

The landmark ruling of the High Court will not derail plans to begin Brexit talks by the end of March 2017, Theresa May is expected to tell other European leaders today.

The High Court has ruled that Government should seek Parliament's approval before triggering Article 50 withdrawal negotiations, a decision that has been welcomed by some in Brussels.

Mrs May's official spokeswoman said the Prime Minister would use calls to European leaders to clarify Britain's position that "we are continuing with our plans, that the timetable she set out at the European Council is the timetable that we are sticking to".

"She will set out what the process is," the spokeswoman continued, "which is that we are appealing and that we are carrying ahead and sticking to the timetable we have set out. This judgment is not going to derail that."

The Prime Minister will speak by phone with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday, and is also hoping to talk with European Council president Donald Tusk and leaders of some of the other 27 member states, Downing Street have indicated.

The European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, said it is "important the UK Parliament is closely involved in Brexit negotiations, as is already the case for the European Parliament".

Mr Juncker's spokesman says all the other members of the EU would like to see a "swift" notification of Article 50 to begin the Brexit process.

He said: "The Article 50 procedure, as set out in the treaty, requires the consent of the European Parliament for any Article 50 agreement."

The spokesman added that it is not a matter for the European Commission to speculate on the impact of the High Court ruling on the timing of Article 50 being triggered.

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