The High Court verdict on Article 50 signals more bad news for Britain's economy

File photo dated 13/10/16 of a protester outside the High Court in London, as three judges have ruled against the Prime Minister's decision to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty of the Lisbon Treaty and start the UK's exit from the European Union without the prior authority of Parliament.

Yui Mok PA Wire/PA Images

A pro-European protester outside the High Court.

The head of the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) believes last week's High Court ruling on the triggering of Article 50 could put off British businesses from growth and investment.

The Financial Times reports that CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn said during a trip to India with the Prime Minister that, while the CBI has no official position on the verdict, members are concerned that the High Court's decision will delay Brexit.

She said: "Businesses really value certainty. The majority wanted to remain in the EU but now they are committed to finding the best route to leaving. Their biggest concern now is around the timing and the way that it is done."Advertisement

Britain's High Court on Thursday ruled that Parliament must vote on the triggering of Article 50, the process that begins Britain's official exit from the European Union. The government has a two-year window to negotiate trade deals once Article 50 is triggered before Brexit actually occurs.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she plans to trigger Article 50 in March next year but what people like Fairbairn and the CBI members now fear is that this process will be delayed by the High Court ruling, extending the economic and political limbo Britain now finds itself in.

Businesses hate uncertainty as it makes planning for the future very hard - you do not want to invest in a new office in Scotland if you are worried the economy is about to slow down or even that Scotland could try for a second independence referendum after Brexit. As a result, businesses are likely to sit on their hands until the High Court drama plays out (not to mention the wider Brexit issue and the US elections).

The government has fast-tracked a legal challenge of the High Court ruling and it will likely be heard in early December. If the government is unsuccessful in its challenge, it will then have to draw up a plan to put Article 50 to some sort of vote in Parliament early next year.

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