From The Express:
Government lawyers have now confirmed there does NOT need to be a vote in parliament before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which triggers the two-year process of negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
It was revealed today the process can be invoked by British law, under the Royal Prerogative.
The timing of Article 50 will be a matter for the prime minister elected by Conservative Party members on September 9.
Mr Letwin said the issue was “academic” because the withdrawal process will also involve either repealing or amending the 1972 European Communities Act, which will require debates and votes in both Houses of Parliament.
But Mr Letwin said government lawyers had already begun work on assessing how to repeal the European Communities Act , the 1972 legislation that forms the basis of the UK’s membership.
He told the House of Lords EU committee Article 50 could be triggered by the PM without Parliament’s authority but “in order finally to leave the EU we need to repeal or hugely amend the European Communities Act”.
He said: ”In order to do that by the time that we are proposing to leave, clearly one needs to start what is quite a long parliamentary process at quite an early stage, which is why I have asked parliamentary counsel already to begin looking at what is involved in repeal or substantial amendment of the European Communities Act.”