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Parliament, not Tory Prime Minister, must trigger Article 50 to leave EU, says Supreme Court

January 24, 2017 10:00 AM

Article 50The Supreme Court today ruled that the process to leave the European Union can only be started by an Act of Parliament. Welcoming the judgement, by a vote of 8-3, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron MP has demanded a vote by the people on the final deal that the Government manages to negotiate.

The ruling comes amid warnings that a hard Brexit could cost the UK economy between £100bn and £200bn by 2030, with a hit to GDP of between 5% to 10%.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson for the North East Fiona Hall said:

"I welcome today's judgement, which will put a stop to Theresa May's attempts to push through a hard Brexit with no scrutiny.

"Yesterday the Government proposed an industrial strategy, but its plans for a hard Brexit could lead to an industrial tragedy.

"Nearly 60% of manufacturing exports in the North East go to the Single Market, and the figure is growing year on year. In 2015 exports to the rest of the EU were worth over £7 billion.

"Pulling Britain out of the Single Market and putting up barriers to our trade with Europe would do huge damage to jobs and prosperity in the North East, including in key sectors such as the car industry.

"Only last week the boss of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, stated that its UK investments will be "re-evaluated" if Theresa May delivers a bad Brexit deal, despite the letter of comfort he received from the Prime Minister in October.

"With so much at stake, it's crucial people here are given a say over what happens next.

"The Liberal Democrats are clear - we demand a vote of the people on the final Brexit deal and without that we will not support triggering Article 50."