Professor Abimbola A Olowofoyeku explains why a Supreme Court reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union may be required before Brexit can be implemented

On 3 November 2016, a formidable bench of the Divisional Court, comprised of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, and Lord Justice Sales, held in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union ([2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin)) that the Crown cannot use royal prerogative powers to invoke article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) to start the process of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Lord Thomas, delivering the judgment of the court, applied a settled and long-standing principle of constitutional law '“ that the Crown cannot change the law by an exercise of the royal prerogative. This principle d...

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