Scotland and Wales Can Intervene in Brexit, Supreme Court Announces

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scotland, June 17, 2016. Sturgeon has predicted that fall 2018 may be the time that a second Scottish referendum becomes a reality. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones can intervene in a court battle over how Brexit should be formally triggered, the Supreme Court has announced.

Next month, 11 senior judges will decide whether or not the U.K. government has the power to invoke Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty, after a High Court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must seek MPs' approval before negotiating the Leave process.

Both the Scottish and Welsh governments have now been granted the opportunity to bring their own arguments to the appeal.

The Counsel General for Wales, Mick Antoniw, and Scotland's senior law officer, the Lord Advocate James Wolffe, have been invited to "intervene" in the case, addressing the court on points of law during its appeal from December 5 to 8.

A statement on the Supreme Court's website reads: "The Supreme Court has today confirmed that the following applications to intervene in the above case have been granted—The Lord Advocate, Scottish government, the Counsel General for Wales, Welsh government, the 'Expat Interveners,' George Birnie and others, and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain.

"Additionally, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland has made a reference to the court regarding devolution issues relating to that jurisdiction. Permission to intervene is therefore not necessary.

"Counsel for the Scottish government and for the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain have been invited to address in their skeleton arguments the relevance of points of Scots Law, so far as they do not also form part of the law of England and Wales, to the determination of the present proceedings.

"A further update on other applications to intervene, and a timetable for oral submissions during the hearing, will be issued in due course.

"The court is not in a position to publish the interveners' applications, and any queries on them should be addressed to the relevant party."