June 24, 2016

"The simple answer to the question as to whether the EU referendum is legally binding is 'no.'"

"In theory, in the event of a vote to leave the EU, David Cameron, who opposes Brexit, could decide to ignore the will of the people and put the question to MPs banking on a majority deciding to remain. This is because parliament is sovereign and referendums are generally not binding in the UK."

ADDED: "The referendum result is not legally binding - Parliament still has to pass the laws that will get Britain out of the 28 nation bloc, starting with the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act."
The withdrawal agreement also has to be ratified by Parliament - the House of Lords and/or the Commons could vote against ratification, according to a House of Commons library report.

In practice, Conservative MPs who voted to remain in the EU would be whipped to vote with the government. Any who defied the whip would have to face the wrath of voters at the next general election.

One scenario that could see the referendum result overturned, is if MPs forced a general election and a party campaigned on a promise to keep Britain in the EU, got elected and then claimed that the election mandate topped the referendum one.

63 comments:

Michael K said...

This has occurred in other countries. I'm not sure he would get away with this as his ministry is on very shaky ground now.

I am really not surprised although I have not asked my friends how they voted.

rhhardin said...

You really don't want the political process to fail.

This is the mistake of SSM and so forth. The social contract disappears and sotto voce remarks become noticeable.

rhhardin said...

"No" ought not to be quoted. It's indirect speech.

Mick said...

Yeah, they could do that if they wanted full scale insurrection. The British people voted for sovereignty, against the Globalist NWO wish to destroy all borders and sovereignty. They voted against the wholesale invasion and takeover of their nation by Caliphate/ Sharia seeking breeder Muslims. They voted against subjugation by un-elected bankers. If you think that they will just let these dirtbag politicians take that from them you are just not thinking.

Original Mike said...

"Any who defied the whip would have to face the wrath of voters at the next general election."

What wrath? It was a close vote. In fact, I'm not sure It's a good idea to make such a big change on such a close vote.

prairie wind said...

Listening to the wailing on NPR this morning, the reporters kept saying "no one thought this would happen." No one? Seems to me the reporters should broaden their acquaintance base.

This will be messy of course, but isn't sovereignty better? I thought that when they formed the EU.

(Is it just me or is it ridiculously hard to prove I'm not a robot?)

Michael K said...

Maybe Trump is not the only "preference cascade " going on.

Those who assumed "Remain" would win will now be considering what comes next.

Gahrie said...

(Is it just me or is it ridiculously hard to prove I'm not a robot?)

Just ignore it...I always do.

rhhardin said...

(Is it just me or is it ridiculously hard to prove I'm not a robot?)

I never fill it in and it doesn't seem to care.

prairie wind said...

Just ignore it? I do prefer simple solutions. Thanks.

tim in vermont said...

What wrath? It was a close vote. In fact, I'm not sure It's a good idea to make such a big change on such a close vote.

Ignore the fucking idiot voters! I wonder where Trump is getting all of this traction?

Original Mike said...

"Ignore the fucking idiot voters! I wonder where Trump is getting all of this traction?"

I would have voted to leave, but I'm not sure 52/48 is a very stable foundation upon which to build.

khesanh0802 said...

THE PEOPLE of Britain have spoken. It's a wonderful thing - as Mick says - when the all-powerful elected and unelected are reminded that THE PEOPLE are capable of making their own decisions. This will be a messy operation, but it was high time that the Brits recaptured their historical relationship to Europe.

n.n said...

In America, they operate through executive discretion, judicial override, or oversized legislative gavels.

TCom said...

Mike, the world is divided now. We are going to have to fight for what we desire. There is no magic policy that will satisfy everyone. None.

Such is the consequences of the multicult religion foisted on us. If you sit on your hands, everything will be taken. It's time to stand up.

gspencer said...

If the referendum isn't legally binding, and because the vote was sooooo close, and, a real biggie this one, because the Leave campaign will need the ACTIVE, AFFIRMATIVE votes of a majority of MPs to disentangle the countless laws and treaties, Leave ain't happening.

"They'll be punished at the next election!"

Oh please.

MadisonMan said...

I never fill it in and it doesn't seem to care.

Says the robot. :)

Greg Hlatky said...

I'm not sure 52/48 is a very stable foundation upon which to build.

It was a good enough foundation for our Dear Leader to treat the Constitution like so much toilet paper.

Rick said...

Original Mike said...
I would have voted to leave, but I'm not sure 52/48 is a very stable foundation upon which to build.


Zero Brits voted to join the EU as currently constituted, why should that result be binding instead of this one?

Laslo Spatula said...

Pretty Ado Lamb, was a pakistani, living in another world,
Want it thrown around, don’t dig no pakistanis, taking all the people jobs.
So get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.
Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.

I am Laslo.

Xmas said...

72% voter turnout compared to 66% (I believe) in the last election. 52% to 48% for Leave.

I supposed the MPs could ignore the vote. I also suppose the UKIP and the Scottish Independence folks could seize control of Parliament next election.

Birkel said...

Original Mike:

Remind me again what the vote totals for joining the EU were.

Because big changes shouldn't be made on close (or no) vote. Right?

Scott M said...

So...how does democracy work again :)

Big Mike said...

If PMs don't want to find themselves dangling under street lamps they will implement Brexit.

Not to put too fine a point on it, 1.3 million votes is 1.3 million votes. Leave out the haggis eating SOBs north of Hadrian's Wall, and the margin goes up to nearly two million. That's a lot.

Probably Scotland will petition to leave and in my opinion England and Wales are better off without them.

Big Mike said...

@Xmas, Farage and UKIP just voted themselves out of a job. My hat is off to them.

Michael K said...

Cameron seems to be conceding no overturn of the vote as he has announced he is resigning.

It will be interesting to see if the EU will attempt the Obama method of punishing political enemies.

When GM turned into "Government Motors" all dealerships which had supported Republicans were closed. Those who had supported Democrats got more business. Gibson Guitars was raided while the guitar maker than supported Democrats was untouched.

It was not very successful at the state level but we will see if EU bureaucrats are smarter than Obama.

Original Mike said...

You guys are arguing with someone who doesn't disagree with you. I just think its going to be messy. Greg Hlatky makes my point. How's that ObamaCare thing working out?

Original Mike said...

"Leave out the haggis eating SOBs north of Hadrian's Wall, and the margin goes up to nearly two million."

That's a good point.

Birkel said...

Obamacare is working exactly like joining the EU did.

Leaving the EU is more akin to repealing Obamacare and restoring normal market mechanisms to the health insurance market by a small majority vote.

Your analogy is wrong, Original Mike.

Birkel said...

Remember:

This vote was outside the Margin of Fraud.

Achilles said...

Scotland and northern Ireland and London voted to stay. All 3 are parasites politically and financially. The statists in Britain have been using Scotland to keep the government left for decades.

Everyone else voted to leave. The people of Britain want a country based off of something other than borderless immigration and welfare. The US is going to do the same and it went be close.

Anglelyne said...

prairie wind: Listening to the wailing on NPR this morning...

One of the best things in life, to hear the wailing of the NPR apparatchiks...

Original Mike: I just think its going to be messy.

You bet. I don't think this will change much in itself. The PTBs will fight tooth and nail to keep it from changing anything, legally and bureaucratically. But it brightened my day nonetheless.

It's not the end for the Destroyers of Nations. (Though it's unlikley that this time they'll be able to pull the ol' "you will keep voting on this referendum until you vote the right way" shtick.) It's not the beginning of the end. Or even the end of the beginning. But maybe it's the beginning of the beginning, Deo volente.

Original Mike said...

My analogy only extends to having something forced down our throats by a guy who didn't have the buy-in of the public. He took his 52% and fucked us with it.

tim maguire said...

Original Mike said...
"Any who defied the whip would have to face the wrath of voters at the next general election."

What wrath? It was a close vote. In fact, I'm not sure It's a good idea to make such a big change on such a close vote.


Assuming virtually all "Remain" voters don't actually care about democracy, they just want what they want, process be damned, then you are probably right.

Original Mike said...

"This vote was outside the Margin of Fraud."

Do they have voter ID? I bet they do.

Achilles said...

Original Mike said...
"You guys are arguing with someone who doesn't disagree with you. I just think its going to be messy. Greg Hlatky makes my point. How's that ObamaCare thing working out?"

We have to elect people that want to remove it. Remember who the GOPe foisted on us in 2012? The GOPe wants ObamaCare because it used to serve the donor class.

We took it back. Now for the rest of the country.

The Drill SGT said...

as Birkel and Mike hinted,

There never was a popular vote in UK to join the EU. Parliament voted to join the Common Market in 1973. Like a cute little Alien, the CM morphed into the EU.

Birkel said...

Original Mike:

Shoved down the throats was joining the EU.
Your analogy doesn't work.

Original Mike said...

OK, Birkel. If you say so.

damikesc said...

Sure, Parliament, vote no. Show the Brits how much of a shit you don't give about your own voters. 52% for leaving in a high-turnout election.

It might finally make UKIP a serious force.

Besides, leaving likely ends up with Scotland leaving, making SNP is not in Parliament and a likely more conservative government for years.

I would have voted to leave, but I'm not sure 52/48 is a very stable foundation upon which to build.

How much of a majority is "enough"?

Birkel said...

No popular consent:
1) Obamacare
2) UK joins EU

Popular consent:
1) UK exits the EU

Undetermined:
1) U.S. exits Obamacare insurance laws

MayBee said...

Remember when the French and Dutch voters defeated the EU Constitution, and it was dropped?

protestmanager said...

Original Mike said...
"Any who defied the whip would have to face the wrath of voters at the next general election."

What wrath? It was a close vote. In fact, I'm not sure It's a good idea to make such a big change on such a close vote.

What Rick said. And 4% is a huge margin in something like this,

Labour could blow off their voters on this. Then again, Labour could disappear everywhere the way they've disappeared from Scotland. I'm sure UKIP would be really happy to get those seats.

This was a high turnout vote with the adults vs. the children, and the adults won. I'd love to see the UK Political calls tell those voters to f off, but I don't believe the politicians are that suicidal.

Gabriel said...

I don't think anything will happen. Cameron resigns, they get a new PM: but same party, right, because they still have a majority. The MPs of the two big parties don't want to exit, so even if it's Labor no exit. Whoever the new PM is, that poor sap has to deal with the voters, but he can mollify them with this and that until it blows over. Next election maybe some more UKIP and allies takes seats but with 52% in favor of Leave they're not going to have enough MPs to do it.

amielalune said...


Wow. Just like the US. If the people in charge don't like the outcome of a popular vote, they find a reason why they are not "obligated" to follow it.

Tar, feathers, pitchforks and lampposts. Then term limits for any and every elected position.

The Cracker Ethnocentrist said...

"I would have voted to leave, but I'm not sure 52/48 is a very stable foundation upon which to build"

But that's just yesterday's vote. If you were to do a poll this morning, you'd find 55% in favor of Brexit. A couple of weeks go by and the sky doesn't fall and you'd find 57% in favor of Brexit. In a few years it will be conventional wisdom that leaving the EU was the smartest thing post-war Britain ever did.

Birkel said...

The Cracker Ethnocentrist: "In a few years it will be conventional wisdom that leaving the EU was the smartest thing post-war Britain ever did."

+1

Big Mike said...

+2

protestmanager said...

Gabriel said...
I don't think anything will happen. Cameron resigns, they get a new PM: but same party, right, because they still have a majority.

The betting is that Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and a leader on the "Leave" side, will be the next PM.

A majority of Tory voters, IIUC, are Brexit supporters. Working class Labour voters were very solid Brexit supporters, and came out in large numbers to support it ("professional class" / "mind worker" Labour voters were solidly against it). Labour might pick this hill to die on, but if they do, they're going to find themselves the #4 Party in the UK, trailing Tories, UKIP, and SNP.

There will probably be a brutal fight to come, but this was a huge win.

Gahrie said...

The betting is that Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and a leader on the "Leave" side, will be the next PM.

Yep...and he's already being called "The British Trump".

tim in vermont said...

Overturning an election would infuriate a lot of people who may have voted the other way, but believe in democracy and self determination. And when so many of the threats are demonstrated to be hollow, support will only climb.

Michael K said...

"London voted to stay. All 3 are parasites politically and financially."

London is one of the few parts of Britain with a positive GDP.

However, it is also overrun with Dole dependent Muslims.

I used to go to London almost every year in winter to go to the theater and hang out.

I haven't done that for a few years. Last year we were there in September but only for a couple of days. Most of our time in England was south in a town called Chichester that goes back to Roman times. Everyone you see on the street there is typical English. No Muslims.

There was a huge sports car rally there that weekend. It is called The Goodwood Revival and draws 200,000 people for a three day event that costs 200 GBP a day. Every hotel, inn and house in town is packed. It is all about antique sports cars and is a traditional English event drawing typical English upper middle class attendees.

I'll bet the Leave vote was high there,

shiloh said...

"So...how does democracy work again :)"

Gore = 50,999,897 ... Bush = 50,456,002

US Supreme Court appoints Bush president.

Indeed, as democracy can be very messy!

And yada, yada, yada America is a republic, not a democracy making the process even more messy.

>

On the bright side GB didn't have to deal w/hanging/swinging/pregnant/dimpled chads.

Joe said...

"Cameron resigns, they get a new PM: but same party, right, because they still have a majority."

I was under the understanding that when Cameron actually resigns (he hasn't, just said he would), parliament is dissolved.

For once, the monarchy could be justified. The queen could refuse to accept a Prime Minister who didn't support invoking article 50 and actually has the power to simply appoint a prime minister who does, regardless of party affiliation.

The queen also has the power to dissolve parliament and continue to do so until they get the message, assuming the queen supports the people. (This wouldn't be a crisis since it wouldn't be the first time the English monarch did such a thing.)

Gabriel said...

@shiloh:US Supreme Court appoints Bush president.

Horseshit. The Electoral College voted and the winner of that vote became President, just as happened the last 50 or so Presidential elections and just as laid out in the Constitution, and the popular vote never had any legal meaning, just as in this case.

Gabriel said...

@Joe:The queen also has the power to dissolve parliament and continue to do so until they get the message

Ask Charles I what happens if the monarch dissolves Parliament and it don't go... or ask King James II, King James III, King Charles III, and King Henry IX.

Joe said...

But look on the bright side, maybe it will convince England to rid itself of the monarchy and House of Lords. Two more profoundly undemocratic institutions.

(There was no actual King Henry IX, just a cardinal who claimed he was.)

Gahrie said...

I was under the understanding that when Cameron actually resigns (he hasn't, just said he would), parliament is dissolved.

Nope. Technically the Prime Minister is just a version of the Speaker of the House. The Queen is technically the head of state and the head of government just like our president, although all real executive power has been assumed by the Prime Minister. But his actions are still done on the Queen's behalf. His resignation as Prime Minister is exactly the same as John Boehner resigning as Speaker of the House.

Gahrie said...

All the evidence you need as to why the UK should leave the EU is contained in the list of those eligible to vote in a UK election:

Anyone entitled to vote in a UK parliamentary election can participate:

British citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK

Irish citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK

Maltese and Cypriots over 18 and resident in the UK

Commonwealth-born citizens over 18 and resident in the UK

Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar over 18

British expats who have lived overseas for less than 15 years

Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland and who have registered to vote there in the last 15 years

Gahrie said...

"So...how does democracy work again :)"

Gore = 50,999,897 ... Bush = 50,456,002

US Supreme Court appoints Bush president.

Indeed, as democracy can be very messy!


Complete bullshit. First of all, yes the U.S. is not a democracy, it is a republic. Secondly the popular vote is meaningless, and always has been. Many presidents won less than 50% of the popular vote.

If you want to be outraged, look at the elections of 1824 and 1876.

In 1824, not only did the president not receive a majority of the popular vote...he didn't even win a majority of the Electoral College votes. The election got thrown into the House of Representatives and Speaker of the House John Calhoun cut a deal with John Quincy Adams that gave Adams the presidency and made Calhoun the Secretary of State. (at the time, the Secretary of State was seen as a stepping stone to the presidency)

In 1876, there were disputes over some of the Electoral College delegations and the election was close enough that these delegations controlled the outcome. The Democratic and Republican Parties made a cynical deal in which the Democrats would allow Hayes to become president (even though Tilden won the popular vote) and the Republicans would pull the federal troops out of the former Confederacy and end Reconstruction. (Which would allow the Democrats to take back control of the South and impose Jim Crow and segregation.)

Nixon had a better case in 1960 than Gore did, but recognized that disputing the results would damage the country. Gore simply didn't give a shit and wanted power.

Gabriel said...

Furthermore there is no way to constrain the vote of an Elector. All those Florida Electors were perfectly free to vote for Al Gore and it still would have counted, no matter what the Supreme Court said.

shiloh said...

Again, the Supreme Court appointing Cheney/Bush president turned out to be a good thing for the Dems ie (8) years of total incompetence/ineptitude led to a Muslim born in Kenya easily becoming the 44th President of the United States of America!

The yin and yang of American politics. And an added bonus of having most of Althouse 95/5 con majority passionately hating Obama on a daily basis. Hey, at least it keeps their blood circulating ...

Gahrie said...

Again, the Supreme Court appointing Cheney/Bush president

That's not what they did......the Supreme Court merely ended the endless recounts in Florida by desperate Democrats trying to find enough Democratic votes and exclude enough Republican votes to change the results...the Electoral College elected Bush.

By the way, every independent audit conducted by the MSM confirmed Bush's victory in Florida.