It has been reported that the Government is drawing up a Bill to put to Parliament if it loses the case before the Supreme Court.The case is due to be heard by all of the Justices of the UK Supreme Court. Here is what the Court has said,
‘The Supreme Court has now received formal notification of the Government’s intention to appeal the High Court’s decision of 3 November in the above matter….
The Supreme Court has set aside four days, 5 – 8 December 2016, for the appeal hearing… at this stage we expect the hearing may well last all four days from Monday 5 December.
The Court can also confirm that all eleven Justices will sit on the panel considering this appeal, which will be chaired by [the] President of the Supreme Court….
Judgment will be reserved at the conclusion of [the appeal] hearing and follow at a later date, probably in the New Year.’
Another route currently being explored by some backbench MPs is to try to have a debate tabled and then obtain a vote from the House of Commons in favour of Article. The Telegraph reports that it is hoped that a positive vote would be enough to swing the Supreme Court to the Government’s side. The problem is that such a vote confers no power to trigger Article 50 and it is that power which the Divisional Court has said that the Government lacks. So a vote won’t actually solve the problem. Either the Government has the power to use the royal prerogative to give it the trigger power it needs or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t have that power then the Government will need power to be given to it by an Act of Parliament. [see here for a longer explanation in an earlier post.]