Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon and her counterparts in Wales, First Minister Carwyn Jones and Plaid Cymru 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.
A supreme court report says: "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.
The UK has lost its Supreme Court case but devolved assemblies have been told to bow out
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
"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."
The news comes after Scotland’s top lawyer made an astonishing gaffe as he tried to present Nicola Sturgeon's case against Brexit and Article 50 at the Supreme Court in December.
Nicola Sturgeon has no legal right to demand intervention the UK Supreme Court has ruled
"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.
The Lord Advocate appeared to have independence on the brain as he launched his formal case to disrupt the process.
In what seems to be an extraordinary case of wishful thinking he appeared to claim that Scotland was arguing for withdrawal of the United Kingdom – not the European Union.
James Wolffe QC, 53, Scotland’s most senior lawyer, who was appointed in May and is supposed to be politically neutral, presented his case to the 11 justices who sat together to decide the landmark case on Brexit.
The SNP has announced that it will table 50 ammendments to any White Paper to be published by the UK Government on how it plans to Trigger Article 50.
The ruling is also a blow for the Welsh Labour leader and Plaid Cymru leader who announced on Sunday they were to try to subvert the will of the people.
They said they planned to unveil a scheme to be unveiled by Labour party First Minister Carwyn Jones and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood to derail the process in a move that is unlikely to be a vote winner for the majority of the Welsh population.
A total of 854,572 or 52 per cent of voters chose to leave the EU, compared with 772,347 47.5 per cent supporting Remain.
More to follow…