These three things will change the world today.
1. Article 50: Supreme Court decides
This morning, Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court, declared that by a majority of 8-3, the government cannot trigger article 50, the official exit clause from the European Union (EU) without parliament’s consent.
The original High Court case was brought by investment manager Gina Miller and London-based Spanish hairdresser Deir Dos Santos. The government lost that case last year and then appealed to the Supreme Court.
Lord Neuberger cited section 2 of the 1972 European Communities Act: whenever EU institutions make new laws, they immediately become part of UK law, until parliament decides otherwise.
“The fact that withdrawal from the EU would remove some existing domestic rights of UK residents also renders it impermissible for the government to withdraw from the EU Treaties without prior Parliamentary authority,” Lord Neuberger said.
He therefore ruled that it would be unconstitutional if parliament was not consulted on article 50. The justices unanimously agreed, however, that the government did not need to consult with the devolved powers in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) 24 January 2017
“No prime minister, no government can expect to be unanswerable or unchallenged — Parliament alone is sovereign,” said Miller, commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision.
Moments after the judgment, the hashtag #Article50 started trending on Twitter. Some applauded the ruling, others expressed dismay.
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) 24 January 2017
— John Bull (@larrymeath) 24 January 2017
— DNA Cowboy (@DNA_Cowboy) 24 January 2017
The pound is 0.6 percent lower against the dollar at $1.246. Before the judgment sterling was above $1.25 at a five-week high.
2. BT shares fall sharply
Shares in BT plummeted 19 percent this morning, the worst drop since 2008. The drop comes after the telecoms giant was forced to issue a two-pronged warning in light of its accounting scandal in Italy.
The “inappropriate behaviour” of BT’s Italian unit’s accounting practices cost the company an estimated £530m.
“We are deeply disappointed with the improper practices which we have found in our Italian business,” said BT group chief executive Gavin Patterson.
“We have undertaken extensive investigations into that business and are committed to ensuring the highest standards across the whole of BT for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, employees and all other stakeholders.”
The market valuation of BT fell by £5.5bn in a matter of minutes this morning.
3. Trump’s TPP withdrawal
US president Donald Trump formally withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal yesterday, isolating the region from its Asian allies.
Fulfilling his campaign promise to exit the TPP 2015 12-nation pact, Trump signed an executive order in the Oval Office.
Trump hopes to pursue an “America First” policy, boosting US manufacturing by seeking bilateral trade deals.
“We’re going to stop the ridiculous trade deals that have taken everybody out of our country and taken companies out of our country,” the Republican president said.
TPP was negotiated by former US president Barack Obama but never approved by Congress.