BREXIT was never going to be a simple affair given the complex network of interconnections that have developed between the EU and the UK over the years. Simply put, no one knows exactly how to disentangle the UK from the EU or what things will look like after. The situation gained an extra level of complexity this week when British High Court ruled that the decision still has to go through Parliament despite the referendum and the government’s claim prerogative powers.
- “Three senior judges ruled on Thursday that the government could not press ahead with triggering article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, the formal process for beginning Brexit, without first consulting MPs and peers in the Commons and Lords.”
- “”Government lawyers had argued that prerogative powers were a legitimate way to give effect “to the will of the people” who voted by a majority to leave the EU in the referendum. But the lord chief justice declared: “The government does not have power under the crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European union.”
- “The judgment ruled: “The most fundamental rule of the UK constitution is that parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses … By making and unmaking treaties the crown [ie the government] creates legal effects on the plane of international law, but in doing so it does not and cannot change domestic law. It cannot without the intervention of parliament confer rights on individuals or deprive individuals of rights.”The pound surged to a four-week high in the hours after the ruling as investors interpreted it as a sign parliament could put the brakes on any attempt by May to pursue a so-called “hard Brexit” that prioritised controlling immigration over trade with the EU.”
- “Parliamentarians are unlikely to block Brexit outright, given that 52% of voters among the public opted, on 23 June, to leave the EU, but the need for legislation gives MPs the opportunity to disrupt the process by demanding May reveals more details about her plan for negotiating the terms of departure.”
- “The Guardian understands that a cross-party group of Tory and Labour MPs met this Thursday afternoon to discuss how the ruling could be used to force May to reveal more about her broad negotiating aims.”