Scotland will intervene against the United Kingdom’s central government in the legal battle to secure parliamentary approval before a formal divorce from the European Union can begin, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will begin the process by formally triggering Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty before the end of next March.
May says she can do so without the approval of parliament but a case coming before the Supreme Court, which has just been set down for December 5, is challenging her right to start the process without a green light from lawmakers.
“Triggering article 50 will directly affect devolved interests and rights in Scotland and deprive Scotland of rights and freedom,” Sturgeon told reporters on Tuesday.
“I recognise and respect the rights of England and Wales to leave the European Union, and this is not an attempt to veto that process but the democratic wishes of people in Scotland … can not simply be brushed aside,” she said.
“Legislation should be required at Westminster and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before Article 50 is triggered,” she added.
Scotland’s most senior legal officer, the Lord Advocate, will lodge a formal application at the Supreme Court requesting to intervene in the case, she said.
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) November 7, 2016
Although the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave the EU in a June referendum, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain.