British lawmakers will "very likely" get the opportunity to vote on a final Brexit deal, a government lawyer told a judge in the country's highest court Tuesday.
Britain's High Court, based in London, is hearing a case on whether Prime Minister Theresa May has sufficient authority to trigger the formal European Union exit clause known as Article 50.
Government Counsel James Eadie told the Court that Parliament is expected to be asked to ratify an agreement following exit negotiations, which May has said she'll trigger no later than then end or March, with the aim of leaving the EU by early 2019.
"The government view at the moment is it is very likely that any such agreement will be subject to ratification," Eadie said. "Almost all treaties are subject to ratification."
In what could be conceived as an about face by government that looks seen to be favoring a "hard Brexit". May last week lawmakers that a debate on the deal would go ahead but did not say there would be a vote.
The government told the Court there would be no vote on triggering Article 50.
Eadie was speaking in front of a panel of three judges defending the government against a legal challenge brought by several plaintiffs, including fund manager Gina Miller, who say lawmakers must be given a vote on the decision to push the exit button.
Until, the EU is officially notified through the Article 50, the Brexit referendum result is non-binding.
The High Court heard opening arguments last week, with the challengers arguing that if the Prime Minister triggers it alone it would undermine Parliament and "deprive people of their statutory right." The challenge could have far-reaching political and constitutional effects.
Under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the government must be given the opportunity to consider treaties that are subject to ratification. The House of Commons could block the treaty by continuing to vote against it.
It is uncertain about whether the U.K. can back away from leaving if Article 50 is triggered. The claimants' representation David Pannick told the court that "parliament cannot reserve notification."
The pound has been on the rise today. It was recently up 0.88% against the dollar at $1.2290. The currency has lost more than 19% against the dollar since the vote to leave the EU.
Inflation in Britain surged to 1% in September from 0.6% in August. The U.K. is facing the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of faster inflation and higher basic costs, former Bank of England rate-setter Andrew Sentence cautioned Tuesday, after consumer prices rose the most in more than two years amid the pound's historic collapse.