Ford responds to Supreme Court Article 50 ruling

Alliance MLA David Ford has welcomed the Supreme Court ruling Parliament must vote on triggering Article 50 but added he is disappointed the devolved institutions will not be consulted on the Brexit process.

The ruling means the Prime Minister cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers back that move. However, the regional assemblies, including Northern Ireland, will not get a say on the process.

“It is welcome the Supreme Court has recognised the sovereignty of Parliament and that the EU referendum was only advisory,” said Mr Ford.

“This means the Government should now produce a much more detailed plan and their Bill may be subject to amendments before it can move through Parliament.

“However, the decision the three devolved assemblies do not need to be consulted does raise significant issues for the future of devolution across the UK, on a wide range of issues and not just membership of the EU. In the longer term, this is likely to create significant debate in all three.

“Brexit has such fundamental implications for the wider UK and specifically Northern Ireland, it would have been an affront to democracy if the formal triggering of Article 50 was not subject to detailed scrutiny and accountability by Parliament.”

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