Transcripts (perhaps draft) of the Article 50 ‘Brexit’ Appeal hearings at the Supreme Court

What Parliament has done from 1978 onwards is to impose an increasingly rigorous form, set of controls, and Mr Eadie's argument is that the power -- what he says is the prerogative power to notify is not the subject of any specific restraint, and my answer to that is one would not expect it to be, because it is so fundamental an aspect of constitutional law that ministers cannot use prerogative powers in order to remove that which Parliament has created.

But of course Parliament has not set out expressly that constitutional principle. It is a fundamental common law principle. The later acts are concerned, essentially, to constrain ministers from taking action at international level to expand the scope of EU law. That is the main focus of all the later legislation.

The fact that Parliament has from time to time imposed such constraints cannot establish that Parliament intended to remove a basic constitutional limit. Indeed, if one looks at the authorities, the authorities show that one should be very careful indeed before you use later legislation in order to amend or affect earlier -- the effect of earlier legislation.

My Lord, Lord Mance asked about the authorities and my Lord helpfully referred to two authorities. One in your Lordships' and your Ladyship's House most recently is the JB (Jamaica) case, Lord Toulson's judgment. It is in volume 22, tab 276, JB (Jamaica), MS 7778 and it is at paragraph 24 and I invite the court to look at that. I don't have time to take your Lordships or your Ladyship to it.

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