Brexit process will not begin this year, court told

UK PM Theresa May

The United Kingdom government does not plan to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty initiating the UK’s departure from the European Union before the end of this year, the country’s High Court was told Tuesday.

The British position was revealed at the opening of the first legal challenge to the Brexit process.

Lead claimant Gina Miller, founder of London-based investment group SCM Private, is arguing that neither the UK government nor the prime minister can trigger Article 50, which would kick off negotiations over the UK’s exit, alone.

“We will be making the argument that the correct constitutional process of parliamentary scrutiny and approval as well as consultation with the devolved administration in Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Welsh Assembly needs to be followed,” Miller told CNN. “Otherwise the notice to withdraw from the European Union would be unlawful and subject to legal challenge.”

The matter will now be heard by the High Court in October.

New Prime Minister Theresa May is already facing opposition from the Scottish Nationalist Party, which is against Brexit. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain during last month’s referendum.

The new UK Prime Minister Theresa May is already facing opposition from the Scottish Nationalist Party which is against Brexit. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain during last month’s referendum.

Following May’s meeting last week with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon she told British media: “I won’t be triggering Article 50 until I think we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations.”

The court case comes a day after May was challenged by a Scottish Nationalist MP over her stance on renewing the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

May stated bluntly that she would authorize a nuclear strike that could kill thousands as she outlined the case for replacing the UK’s submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles.

May was asked by George Kerevan if she was “personally prepared to authorize a nuclear strike that could kill 100,000 innocent men, women and children?”

May replied: “Yes. The whole point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to use it.”

The PM’s declaration came during a parliamentary debate in which she warned it would be a “reckless gamble” for the UK to rely on other nations for its nuclear deterrent.

The debate was her first as prime minister. The Commons voted overwhelmingly by 472 votes to 117 to replace the aging Vanguard submarine fleet with four new