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House of Lords publish eagerly awaited post-Brexit report

by Katherine Apps

Today the House of Lords Constitution Committee has published a 20 page report on “the invoking of Article 50.” Click here for for a copy of the report. The report:

  • States unequivocally that “the referendum result was clear. Parliament is now responsible for ensuring that the Government takes forward the complex process of negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in a manner that achieves the best outcome for the UK as a whole” (para 54). Brexit means Brexit.
  • Strongly recommends that Parliament should give assent for Article 50 to be triggered, referring to it as “constitutionally appropriate.” The Committee states that it would be “constitutionally inappropriate, not to mention setting a disturbing precedent, for the Executive to act on an advisory referendum without explicit parliamentary approval – particularly one with such significant long –term consequences” (para 24) The report sets out its recommendations as to how this could be achieved. The legal challenge to the UK Government’s position, that the invoking of Article 50 is a prerogative power and does not need Parliamentary approval is due to be heard by a Divisional Court in October and the Supreme Court in early December.
  • Sets out the need for a “road map” for determining the issues which will need to be tackled and sets out the shape of its recommended “route map” (at 51-53).

Many of the statements following the referendum have been either high on passion or light on detail (or both). This report sets out, with a greater degree of granularity what the House of Lords Committee recommends be covered in the route map. Whether or not this route map is developed with Parliament, it is likely to take shape over the upcoming months.  For those individuals and businesses which have a key interest in the shape of things to come their challenge will be in keeping abreast of this emerging road map and in getting their voices heard. 

Littleton has barristers who have necessary expertise in EU law, the conflict of laws/private international law, employment, immigration, regulatory, cross border restructuring, international trade and commercial law.

If you require assistance from one of Littleton’s barristers please do not hesitate to contact our clerks on 0207 797 8600 or

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