Yesterday’s ruling by High Court judges preventing the Government from invoking Article 50 without Parliament’s support may result in a protracted period of uncertainty, a BBC news report suggests.
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to tell European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that the ruling will not derail the UK Government’s timetable and that she still intends to trigger Article 50 by March 2017.
The Government’s appeal against the High Court decision is expected to be heard in the Supreme Court next month.
However, Conservative peer Lady Wheatcroft told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday that she is prepared to table an amendment to Article 50 so that the Brexit process would indeed be delayed.
Mrs May’s timetable now looks “like an impossible target,” Lady Wheatfcroft said, adding that it is “only right to delay triggering article 50 until we have a clearer idea of what it actually entails.” She is adamant that others in the Lords would feel the same way.
Meanwhile, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has stated that while she expects MPs to agree to invoke Article 50, they may well use legislation to compel the Government to be more transparent about its negotiating terms.
The BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg, described the High Court ruling as a “massive obstacle” for Mrs May’s declared Brexit timetable. Prior to the ruling, the Government had argued that it had the right to proceed with Article 50, triggering the two-year transition period for exiting the EU without a Parliamentary vote.
While it may be too early to tell what the effects of an extended period of uncertainty on UK businesses and jobs will be, a number of recent post-referendum surveys suggest that an emerging trend may strengthen.
Recent surveys of UK recruitment agencies and hirers by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) have shown permanent placements and vacancies continuing to grow after the EU referendum, although at a weakening pace, while demand for temporary/contracting roles has risen.
This week, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) released its latest survey data on the professional jobs market. Data supplied to APSCo by specialist professional recruiters showed that the number of permanent vacancies available flatlined in September, remaining unchanged from September 2015.
Demand for Umbrella Company Employees and other contracting professionals increased, however, leading Adam Pode of Staffing Industry Analysts (the company compiling the report for APSCo) to conclude that the rise in contractor hiring and decrease in permanent hiring reflects an acknowledgment amongst hirers that post-Brexit uncertainty is now more certain.
Umbrella Company Employees and other contractors may need to prepare for a busy few years.