Scottish Government will intervene in Article 50 legal case

  • Alfie Baron
Nicola Sturgeon has today confirmed that the Lord Advocate will lodge a formal application to intervene in the UK Government's appeal to the Supreme Court on the triggering of Article 50.

The Lord Advocate, Scotland's most senior law officer, will lodge the application as soon as the UK Government lodges its appeal against a High Court ruling preventing them from using the Royal Prerogative to begin the process of the UK leaving the European Union.

A constitutional showdown between Prime Minister Theresa May and legislative bodies throughout the United Kingdom could be on the cards if the Supreme Court accepts claims from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is believed the Supreme Court will hear the case in December.

Nicola Sturgeon's press releases states: "The Scottish Government is clear that triggering Article 50 will directly affect devolved interests and rights in Scotland.

"And triggering Article 50 will inevitably deprive Scottish people and Scottish businesses of rights and freedoms which they currently enjoy."

Nicola Sturgeon is totally avoiding the fact that the referendum was a UK wide vote of the UK's membership of the EU. It is irrelevant how Scotland voted as a single entity.

If Lord Advocate, James Woolfe, is allowed to make representation he is expected to argue at the Supreme Court that the Article 50 process for leaving the EU cannot be triggered without a legislative consent motion (LCM) from the Scottish Parliament.

This would allow MSPs to try and block Brexit, with a majority of members in the Holyrood chamber vigorously opposed to leaving the EU.

It has been reported that Nicola Sturgeon has denied that she was trying to infuriate the English and refused to say whether her Cabinet had sought any legal advice that a challenge could be successful prior to asking the Lord Advocate to intervene.

A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: "It is for the Court to decide on whether this intervention will be granted. As we have already said, we believe we have strong grounds for appeal and we are pressing ahead with this.

"We have been clear that the result of the UK-wide referendum should be respected, and that no part of the UK can have a veto. However, we are determined to deliver a deal that works for the whole of the UK. We will continue to engage with the Scottish Government and look forward to further discussions in the Joint Ministerial Committee meeting tomorrow."

You can see Scottish Government's press release here

What is a legislative consent motion (LCM)?

An LCM is a device used where the Scottish Parliament gives permission for Westminster to legislate in devolved areas. Nicola Sturgeon has previously claimed one should be required for Brexit.

James Chalmers, Regius Professor of Law at Glasgow University, has previously said the LCM process "wasn't ever a rule of law, it was just a matter of politeness as much as anything else".
SNP MSP Mark McDonald quits SNP in Sleaze Investigation
  • Alfie Baron

Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald has quit the Scottish National Party (SNP).

His resignations follows allegations of misconduct against at least two women.

McDonald resigned from the SNP with immediate effect - but will remain as an Independent MSP.