NI: Devolution questions relating to Brexit case referred to Supreme Court

Attorney General John Larkin QC
Attorney General John Larkin QC

Attorney General John Larkin QC has asked the UK Supreme Court to address questions raised by the failed challenge to the Brexit process by a cross-party group of MLAs.

The High Court in Belfast dismissed the MLAs’ judicial review challenge to the way the Government intends to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

However, Mr Larkin has referred questions to the Supreme Court as they require further judicial scrutiny, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The questions are:

  • Do any provisions of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, read together with the Belfast Agreement and the British-Irish Agreement mean an Act of Parliament is required before Brexit can be triggered?
  • If they do, is the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly required before the relevant Act of Parliament is passed?
  • If they don’t, do any of the same provisions restrict royal prerogative powers to trigger Brexit?
  • Does section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 prevent the prerogative power being exercised in the absence of compliance by the Northern Ireland Office with its equality obligations under that section?
  • Supreme Court justices will consider them next month along with the Government’s challenge to the verdict reached by the High Court in London.

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