The UK has lost its Supreme Court case but devolved assemblies have been told to bow out
Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon and her counterparts in Wales, First Minister Carwyn Jones and opposition leader Leanne Wood have had their hopes to interfere in the UK Government's EU exit strategy dismissed by the Supreme Court.
While the UK Government has now been ordered to allow the House of Commons and House of Lords to vote on the issue – the assemblies in Scotland and Wales will not get to intervene.
The judgement reads: "The devolution Acts were passed by Parliament on the assumption that the UK would be a member of the EU, but they do not require the UK to remain a member. Relations with the EU and other foreign affairs matters are reserved to UK Government and parliament, not to the devolved institutions.
"Withdrawal from the EU will alter the competence of the devolved institutions, and remove the responsibilities to comply with EU law.
"In view of the decision of the majority of the Justices that primary legislation is required for the UK to withdraw from the EU, it is not necessary for the court to decide if the NIA imposes a discrete requirement for such legislation."The decision to withdraw from the EU is not a function carried out by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in relation to Northern Ireland within the meaning of section 75 NIA. Moreover, section 1 NIA, which gave the people of Northern Ireland the right to determine whether to remain part of the UK or to become part of a united Ireland, does not regulate any other change in the constitutional status of Northern Ireland."As to the application of the Sewel Convention to the decision to withdraw from the EU given the effect on the devolved competences, the Convention operates as a political constraint on the activity of the UK Parliament."It therefore plays an important role in the operation of the UK constitution. But the policing of its scope and operation is not within the constitutional remit of the courts. The devolved legislatures do not have a veto on the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU."
More to follow…