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Statement by the Counsel General: Intervention in Appeals to the Supreme Court - Article 50 and EU Exit

Friday 04 November 2016

The Counsel General, Mick Antoniw said:

The High Court yesterday handed down judgment in the above matter. The Court concluded that the UK Government does not have power to give notice under Article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union using the Crown prerogative.

It has been widely announced that that this matter will be the subject of an appeal to the Supreme Court before the end of the year. In parallel, the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland recently gave judgment in the matter of Re McCord’s Application. Again, it is widely understood that this matter will ultimately be joined to the proceedings before the Supreme Court.

Having considered the judgments in both matters, I consider that they raise issues of profound importance not only in relation to the concept of Parliamentary Sovereignty but also in relation to the wider constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom and the legal framework for devolution.

They raise questions about the use of the prerogative power to take steps which will or may impact on:
• the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales;
• the powers of the Welsh Ministers;
• the legal and constitutional relationships of the Assembly to Parliament;
• the legal and constitutional relationships of the Welsh Government to the UK Government; and
• the social and economic impact on Wales.

Therefore, in accordance with my power under section 67 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, I intend to make an application to be granted permission to intervene in the proposed appeal before the Supreme Court. My intention is to make representations about the specific implications of the government’s proposed decision for Wales.

I will make an oral statement to the Assembly next week.

 

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