The Scottish Government will seek to intervene in the article 50 appeal to the UK Supreme Court by the UK Government, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today.

Lord Advocate will lodge a formal application as soon as the UK Government lodges its appeal against the High Court ruling preventing it from using the royal prerogative to begin the process of the UK leaving the European Union.

Three judges in the High Court in London ruled last week that the UK Government must seek the permission of the UK Parliament before it can trigger article 50. The Scottish Government believes that the Scottish Parliament should also be formally consulted.

Announcing the move, Ms Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government is clear that triggering article 50 will directly affect devolved interests and rights in Scotland.

“And triggering article 50 will inevitably deprive Scottish people and Scottish businesses of rights and freedoms which they currently enjoy.

“It simply cannot be right that those rights can be removed by the UK Government on the say-so of a Prime Minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent.

“So legislation should be required at Westminster, and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before article 50 is triggered."

The First Minister emphasised that she recognised and respected the right of England and Wales to leave the European Union, and was not attempting to veto that process, “But the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland and the national Parliament of Scotland cannot be brushed aside as if they do not matter."

She added: "The Prime Minister needs to live up to her promise to treat Scotland as an equal partner in the United Kingdom and listen to the will of the people of Scotland.”

The Welsh Government has already announced its intention to seek to intervene, because it believes the court's decision will have implication for the exercise of powers in relation to Welsh devolution. And the appeall will be heard along with one against a ruling of the High Court in Northern Ireland that the article 50 process can be activated without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.