Lord Advocate’s Brexit case submission asks court to consider Claim of Right and Acts of Union

James Wolffe QC

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC  has made a comprehensive submission to the Supreme Court detailing the Scottish government’s argument that the triggering of Article 50 requires an act of Parliament ahead of next month’s full bench hearing of the Brexit case.

His submission provides that an act of Parliament is required in order to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) as Art.50(1) TEU states that withdrawal is to be made in accordance with a member state’s “own constitutional requirements”.

He adds that because withdrawal would change the Scottish Parliament’s competence and that of the Scottish government as well as the law within devolved competence, the Sewel Convention is engaged — in terms of which Parliament “does not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.”

Mr Wolffe makes a number of other arguments including the fact that it is a matter of constitutional principle that laws cannot be changed or repealed by means of the Royal Prerogative alone.

His submission notes that “This principle is reflected in the Claim of Right Act 1689 and in Article XVIII of the Acts of Union of 1706 and 1707.”

Tags: Brexit

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