Scottish Government will intervene in Article 50 legal case

First Minister confirms Lord Advocate will lead intervention.


The First Minister has 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.

The outcome of the High Court’s decision is that the UK Government must seek the permission of the UK Parliament before it can trigger Article 50.  The Scottish Government believes that the Scottish Parliament should also be formally consulted.

The First Minister said:

“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.

“It simply cannot be right that those rights can be removed by the UK Government on the say-so of a Prime Minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent.

“So legislation should be required at Westminster and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before Article 50 is triggered.

“Let me be clear - I recognise and respect the right of England and Wales to leave the European Union.

“This is not an attempt to veto that process.

“But the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland and the national Parliament of Scotland cannot be brushed aside as if they do not matter.

“The Prime Minister said that on June 23 people across the UK had voted with, in her words, “emphatic clarity” when they voted by a margin of 4 points to leave the EU.

“The margin for remain in Scotland was 24 points: a far more emphatic and clear result.

“So the Prime Minister needs to live up to her promise to treat Scotland as an equal partner in the United Kingdom and listen to the will of the people of Scotland.”

Notes to Editors:

The First Minister's full speech can be found here:


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