British government’s right to trigger EU divorce begins

A legal bid to force the British government to seek parliamentary approval before starting the formal process of leaving the European Union begins on Thursday, with ministers calling it an anti-democratic tactic to delay Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism by which Britain begins a two-year process to exit the European Union, by the end of March next year and there will be no parliamentary vote beforehand.

But she is facing a legal challenge over whether the government can use a historical power known as royal prerogative, to decide when, how and whether to make this decision.

Thursday’s case in London’s High Court comes amid wider calls for lawmakers to have a vote over the shape of Brexit negotiations, with many politicians arguing the June 23 referendum only revealed that Britons wanted to leave the bloc.

They voted by 52 percent against 48 percent to leave the EU, with the “Leave” campaign focusing on the issue of immigration.

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