Nicola Sturgeon is considering legal action to oppose any attempt by the UK Government to overturn a court judgement which states that triggering EU withdrawal must be supported by MPs.
The First Minister set herself on a collision course with Theresa May after the UK Government vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court judgement which says Article 50, which starts the process of exiting the EU, cannot be triggered without House of Commons support.
The Prime Minister had argued that the EU referendum result and ministerial powers mean a vote of MPs is not required to implement Article 50.
At First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon was asked by the Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald if the Scottish Government would “actively oppose the UK Government’s intended appeal when it reaches the UK Supreme Court?”.
Ms Sturgeon replied: “We will be looking at the judgement very carefully and, yes, we will actively consider whether or not there is a case for the Scottish Government to become participants in that case.2
Ms Sturgeon said the High Court judgement was not a “a huge surprise” to anybody who followed the case.
“But it is hugely significant and it underlines the total chaos and confusion at the heart of the UK Government,” she said.
“We should remember their refusal to allow a vote in the House of Commons is not some matter of high constitutional principle. It is because they don’t don’t have a coherent position and they know that if they take their case to the House of Commons that will be exposed. The job of this Government is to protect Scotland’s interests. Scotland voted to remain in the EU and my job is therefore to protect our place in Europe and in the single market as far as I possibly can. SNP MPs in the House of Commons will certainly not vote for anything that undermines the will or the interests of the Scottish people.”