Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be this hard” these lyrics by Coldplay are proving to be prescient when it comes to the Brexit.

Ever since UK woke up to the news of Brexit post the referendum in June 2016 much has been written on how things will proceed. And while Theresa May has been firm that ‘Exit’ means ‘Exit’ there do seem to be a few hurdles.

Giving its ruling in a recent case the High Court in UK ruled, “The High Court has ruled that the UK Government does not have prerogative power to give notice under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union for the UK to withdraw from the EU. The Government is appealing to the Supreme Court”.

There are several legal theories floating around with some even suggesting that the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) may have a last word on this. However this raises the question on the sovereignty of the UK law.

While speaking to lawyers in Kuala Lumpar, Lady Brenda Hale, Supreme Court Judge had commented that, “The EU referendum was not legally binding, a Supreme Court judge hearing the Government’s appeal against the Brexit legal challenge has said ahead of the December court case.”

The general consensus is that once Article 50 is triggered it would be irrevocable. However, there is a general principle of international law, set out in Article 68 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, that a notification of intention to withdraw from a treaty “may be revoked at any time before it takes effect”. This provision does not override any specific arrangements in a treaty. The EU Treaty is silent on this matter, and although the parties to the Miller case assumed that notice of withdrawal is irrevocable, there are possible arguments, and a great number of academic opinion, to the contrary.

There is a possibility that such legal challenges would mean that the Government may end up negotiating a ‘soft Brexit’ as compared to the ‘Hard Brexit’ which has been the early line.

It is expected that the Supreme Court may have a decision on the matter by Dec 2016, however till such time as a decision is made – it continues to be business as usual. The Home Office will assess applications under the existing rules for EEA nationals and their non EEA dependents. With the anti-Brexit camp still maintaining “its such a shame for us to part”.

Source: House of Commons Library, Briefing paper No.7763, The Independent

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