World Bulletin / News Desk
Scotland will intervene against the U.K. government in a forthcoming legal dispute before the Supreme Court over Brexit, a decision that clouds Britain’s EU departure in more uncertainty.
The U.K. High Court ruled last week that the government could not begin exit negotiations with European leaders without a parliamentary vote on the matter.
The British government immediately said it would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland’s most senior officer would lodge an application to join the case because leaving the European Union will directly affected Scottish interests.
Sturgeon said in a statement issued on Tuesday that leaving the EU would deprive Scottish people and businesses of existing rights and freedoms.
“It simply cannot be right that those rights can be removed by the UK Government on the say-so of a Prime Minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent,” she said.
“So legislation should be required at Westminster [parliament] and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before Article 50 is triggered.”
Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is the legal mechanism that allows member states to leave the union.
Most U.K. lawmakers campaigned to remain part of the EU and Brexit supporters fear a parliamentary vote could allow them to overturn June’s referendum result, which produced a narrow vote to leave.
Scotland’s decision to intervene could mean a decision to trigger Article 50 would have to be approved by lawmakers in the devolved Scottish parliament as well as the U.K. national parliament.
The U.K. Supreme Court is due to hear evidence early in December.
Scotland voted strongly in favor of EU membership but was outvoted by other parts of the U.K., prompting Sturgeon to declare she would pursue a second independence referendum if the country is taken out of the EU against its will.