The UK Supreme Court confirmed today it would hear the Government Brexit ruling appeal over four days from December 5. The High Court ruled last week that Theresa May cannot use executive powers to launch the two-year mechanism for leaving the EU.
The appeal will be heard by all 11 Supreme Court justices.
At the completion of legal submissions, the justices will reserve their decision to a date “probably in the new year”, a spokesman for the court said.
He added: “The Supreme Court will sit in its largest courtroom and make available a live video feed in the other two courtrooms in the building to enable as many members of the public as possible to observe proceedings.
Meanwhile, the Scottish First Minister Mrs Sturgeon announced she is applying to join the case over whether parliamentary approval is needed to invoke Article 50.
She insisted that Holyrood and other devolved institutions should also sign off before the formal process of cutting ties with Brussels can begin.
Confirming that Scotland’s top law officer will apply to join the case, Mrs Sturgeon said it ‘simply cannot be right’ that rights linked to membership of the EU ‘can be removed by the UK Government on the say-so of a Prime Minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent’.
She added: ‘So legislation should be required at Westminster and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before Article 50 is triggered.’
The Scottish Government’s intervention in the case comes after Mrs Sturgeon warned a second referendum on Scottish independence is now ‘highly likely’.
A Downing Street spokesman said it was a matter for the Scottish government to decide whether to join the legal case but insisted: ‘Clearly the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU and the UK government will deliver on those instructions.
The spokesman said Mrs May is still committed to the timetable of triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year. ‘We believe that timetable is still deliverable,’ he said.
Mrs May said: ‘The Government has a mandate from the British people. We were elected, the Conservative Party was elected into government in 2015. And the Government has a mandate from the British people to leave the EU.
‘Remember Parliament gave the choice to the people, Parliament voted six to one to say to the British people ‘What is your view? Should we remain or should we leave?’
‘I’m determined we are going to deliver what the British people want, and that is what they said they wanted in the referendum on June 23.’