Ministers are drawing up plans to fast-track a bill or motion through Parliament to trigger Article 50 if the Supreme Court rules MPs must vote on the matter.
Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged by some to present a simple motion to Parliament that could be pushed through both the House of Commons and House of Lords in a single day, but others say that only a full bill would be legally acceptable.
The Times reports that senior ministers want the government to present a motion to Parliament, with one telling the paper: “We are having a debate about this potential alternative. My own view is that it would very simple and straightforward to have a resolution.”
However, others say that a resolution would be open to further legal challenges, and it would safer to pass a full Act of Parliament.
Former Attorney-General and ‘Remain’ campaigner Dominic Grieve said: “I can’t see how that could possibly work given the ruling. A resolution could only be to authorise prerogative powers and that is what the court said the government cannot do in this case.”
Sky News reported Monday morning that the government was already preparing a first draft of a bill to be put before MPs in case the government loses its appeal at the Supreme Court.
However, due to the parliamentary process, such a bill could take up to six weeks to go through both houses of Parliament, assuming it is not challenged or delayed by pro-EU MPs and lords.
The plan comes after the High Court ruled last week that the Prime Minister could not trigger Article 50 and begin the formal process of withdrawing from the European Union without Parliamentary approval.
The Prime Minister yesterday warned legislators to “remember the British people gave their view” in June’s referendum and not to seek to block Brexit negotiations.