The Latest: White House urges flexibility over Brexit

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2016 2:05 PM
The Latest: White House urges flexibility over Brexit

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on U.K. court decision on Brexit (all times local):

6 p.m.

The White House is urging Britain and the European Union to be "flexible" as they negotiate their breakup.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz says the U.S. is monitoring economic developments after Britain's High Court ruled that the government needs a vote in Parliament to trigger EU exit talks. Britain has said it will appeal.

Schultz says the U.S. wants the U.K. and the EU to work out Britain's exit through a "smooth, pragmatic, transparent and productive" process. He says the U.S. will work closely with officials in London, Brussels and elsewhere throughout the process.

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1:20 p.m.

The leader of the anti-migrant and anti-EU Northern League party in Italy says that a decision by Britain's High Court blocking the prime minister's ability to trigger the U.K.'s exit from the EU demonstrates a "lack of democracy."

Matteo Salvini says that British people have already expressed what they want.

Salvini said that "Britons have voted and what matters for me is the vote of the people. This position surprises me but I don't think it will change anything."

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12 p.m.

A European Commission official says that the EU body won't comment on the British court ruling against the government's plans to start Brexit talks without Parliament's involvement.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas says "This is not for the Commission to speculate because there are certain things that may still happen in the U.K., (whether) the government is going to appeal or not. That is not for us to comment on."

In a major blow for Britain's government, the High Court says the prime minister can't trigger the U.K.'s exit from the European Union without approval from Parliament.

The government said it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

--This item has been corrected to show that Margaritis Schinas is a spokesman, not a spokeswoman.

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11:25 a.m.

Nigel Farage, who campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union, says he is now worried that politicians will try to block or delay Britain's exit from the bloc, following a court ruling against the government's plans to start exit talks.

Farage, the outgoing leader of the anti-EU party UKIP, says that would betray those who voted to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, opposition party leaders are urging the British government to tell Parliament its negotiating terms for Brexit in light of Thursday's High Court ruling, which said Britain's government cannot trigger the process for Brexit without Parliament's involvement.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "There must be transparency and accountability to Parliament on the terms of Brexit."

Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted she cannot reveal her hand before beginning negotiations with the EU.

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11:10 a.m.

The lawyer for one of the claimants who challenged the British government on the question of when to trigger the move to leave the European Union says the High Court decision to put the matter before Parliament is a victory for democracy and rule of law.

David Greene, who is acting for Deir Santos, one of the applicants, says the government must accept the "the constitutional reality that Parliament must have early involvement in the process."

Greene, a senior partner at the firm Edwin Coe, says "democracy has been reaffirmed and now very much needs to show it is alive and kicking."

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10:50 a.m.

The British pound has surged after the ruling that the government can't trigger the Article 50 process for Brexit without Parliament's involvement.

Minutes after the decision, the pound was up 1.1 percent at $1.2430 as traders reacted to the news.

The pound has taken a battering, losing about a fifth of its value against the dollar, since the June 23 vote to leave the EU.

Many in the markets hope that the court ruling will at the least delay the process of Britain's exit from the EU or diminish the government's ability to push through a so-called "hard Brexit," which would see Britain leave the European single market. The hope is that lawmakers won't give their backing if the government intends to push for that sort of deal.

Prime Minister Theresa May had argued that the referendum result had given her government the authority to trigger Article 50 without the need to get Parliamentary approval.

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10:45 a.m.

The lead claimant in the High Court case on whether the government can trigger the process of leaving the European Union says the case is about process, not politics.

Financial entrepreneur Gina Miller says the proper place for a debate on leaving the EU is in a "sovereign Parliament." The court agreed.

Miller hopes the government will chose not to appeal the High Court ruling Thursday. But the government announced shortly after that it would.

May says the June 23 referendum on EU membership gave her a mandate to take Britain out of the 28-nation bloc. She has announced plans to invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty, starting talks on Britain's future relationship with the single market, by the end of March.

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10:35 a.m.

The British government says it is disappointed by a High Court ruling against its plans to start EU exit talks.

It says in a statement that "we will appeal this judgment."

The High Court ruled Thursday that the government doesn't have the power to trigger EU exit talks without a vote in Parliament.

It says Britons voted to leave the bloc "in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the government is determined to respect the result of the referendum."

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10:10 a.m.

In a major blow for Britain's government, the High Court says the prime minister can't trigger the U.K.'s exit from the European Union without approval from Parliament.

The government is likely to appeal Thursday's ruling to the Supreme Court.

Plans for Brexit are being challenged in a case with major constitutional implications, hinging on the balance of power between Parliament and the government.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will launch exit negotiations with the EU by March 31. She is relying on a power called the royal prerogative that lets the government withdraw from international treaties.

Claimants argue that leaving he EU will remove rights, including free movement within the bloc, and say that cannot be done without Parliament's approval.

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9 a.m.

Britain's High Court is set to rule on whether the government can trigger the U.K.'s exit from the European Union without approval from Parliament.

The case, set for a ruling on Thursday, is considered the most important constitutional matter in a generation.

It centers on whether Prime Minister Theresa May can start negotiating Britain's exit from the EU without a vote in the House of Commons. At the core of the matter is the balance of power between Parliament and the government.

Regardless of the victor, the case will likely be immediately appealed to the Supreme Court.

May has said she will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty — triggering two years of official exit talks — by March 31.