LONDON Dec 8 The British parliament's vote on
Wednesday to back Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to trigger
Brexit by end-March is "highly significant" to the legal battle
over who has the power to authorise the step, a government
lawyer said on Thursday.
The comment was made in the Supreme Court by James Eadie,
who is acting for the government in an appeal against a ruling
that would oblige ministers to seek parliament's assent before
triggering Article 50, the EU's exit clause.
Lawmakers voted 448 to 75 on Wednesday to support a motion
calling on the government to give details of its Brexit plan,
but also backing the government's timetable to trigger the
divorce procedure by the end of March.
"We respectfully submit that that is highly significant,"
Eadie told the Supreme Court.
"It isn't legally binding but that doesn't mean it isn't
legally relevant. It provides the sharpest of focuses on the
nature of the issues now in play, because the House of Commons
has given specific approval to the government to give that
(Article 50) notice and indeed has called on them to do so by a
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison)