Our rights: the Miller Brexit case explained

“Any change to the law and to regulation of UK citizen’s rights should only by Parliamentary approval. Triggering Art 50 notice to leave the EU would, as night follows day, affect personal and commercial rights. That could not be provided for by Government action alone. Certain rights were created for UK citizens by Parliament by ECA 1972. If they are to be removed, this must be done by Parliament and not by the Government (executive, Crown etc). That is the way English law operates. And it has done so since the 17th century.

The judges’ decision does not mean UK will not leave the EU; but if their decision remains after any appeal to the Supreme Court, the result is that the referendum was only the first step in that direction. Parliament – not the vague answers of the referendum or the dictat of Mrs May or her Government – must control the next steps as our law has required, at least since the late 17th century.”


What follows is a layperson friendly version of my earlier note at https://dbfamilylaw.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/rights-and-the-miller-brexit-case/

On 3 November 2016 the High Court (in this case, three senior judges: the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, the Master of the Rolls Sir Thomas Etherington and Lord Justice Sales) handed down their judgment in R (Miller & Anor) v The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin) (‘Miller’; http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2016/2768.html). For me the central question is: what are the court’s views on the question of a UK citizen’s rights (ie not only rights under Human Rights Act 1998); and how should Parliament deal with them?

The case concerned whether the Government – the ‘executive’ – could decide on its own to trigger leaving the European Union (Art 50); or whether the UK constitution requires that Parliament is consulted on the process; and that it considers the options and…

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