The UK Supreme Court’s ruling that the United Kingdom does not have to gain approval from the devolved assemblies to begin Brexit talks undermines the devolution agreement, Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader Colum Eastwood said in a statement on Tuesday.
BELFAST (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the UK Supreme Court ruled an act of parliament is required for the United Kingdom to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the European Union. However, the court found that London does not need to obtain consent from the devolved legislatures of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
"This judgement marks a significant and serious departure from our devolution settlement. It significantly undermines the value placed on the democratic mandate of our Assembly," Eastwood stated.
Despite the ruling, Eastwood reiterated his party’s view that Westminster must get legislative consent from the Northern Ireland Assembly to trigger Article 50.
Furthermore, he stressed that Northern Ireland should have special status after Brexit, noting that the country voted to remain in the European Union.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 by the end of March and formally begin the withdrawal from the European Union.
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