November 3, 2016

"The British government’s plan for leaving the European Union was thrown into uncertainty on Thursday..."

"... after the High Court ruled that Parliament must give its approval before the process can begin...."
The case is a constitutional one, about the powers vested in the government, the crown and Parliament, which is supreme. The case is not about whether Britain will or will not leave the European Union, but about the procedure for invoking Article 50, which provides a two-year period for negotiations on the split.

The plaintiffs argued successfully that leaving the European Union involved the revocation of certain rights granted to Britons by Parliament, and that lawmakers must have a say and a vote before Article 50 is invoked.

In his ruling, the lord chief justice, John Thomas, said that “the most fundamental rule of the U.K. constitution is that Parliament is sovereign and can make or unmake any law it chooses.”

Oddly enough, this was precisely the case made by those who wanted to end membership, who argued that only by leaving the European Union could Parliament’s sovereignty be completely restored. Now that same argument could delay the very exit so desired by those politicians and their supporters.
There's still an appeal to a higher court in the UK and "the ruling might ultimately be referred to the European Court of Justice."

36 comments:

mockturtle said...

Well, that sucks! The old adage, "There will always be an England" may be no longer true and I find that unspeakably sad. My husband's ashes are churning in their urn.

Hagar said...

"As long as there is a Morgan, there will be an England."

But appealing a Parliament vote to the E.U.? That is treason?

Rick said...

This could play out well. The appearance the government is trying to reverse the vote will animate Brexiters and push moderates offended by the process to the Brexit side increasing the next conservative vote. The most effective positions for Brexit Alarmists' was fearmongering, but since their doomsday predictions have already failed they aren't left with anything to argue for the middle.

LYNNDH said...

Ah the irony. Having the EU Court decide if Britain can leave the EU.

Alexander said...

> Remain does not mean being subservient to a European state.

> "the ruling might ultimately be referred to the European Court of Justice."

Pick one.

As a Brexiteer, I am thrilled to see our enemies remove their mask of democratic promises and double down on the European superstate seeking to usher in a new people. The mandate of the Anglosaxon was clear: it's no longer our future they are gambling with here, but theirs.

Let them try, watch them lose, and then do not let them demand protection from the very system they openly tried to strike down.

Rule #2: SJWs Always Double Down.

mockturtle said...

I do wish Boris Johnson had agreed to take the reins. And, if Trump were to win, we would have had similarly coiffed leaders.

MikeR said...

Well, it always kind of made sense to have Parliament do it; why should the Prime Minister be able to act on her own? On the other hand, Parliament probably won't. On the other hand, the EU has clearly already made up its mind - Britain is leaving. Probably that's what their high court will decide.
Everything takes too long.

joucas said...

The ruling might be appealed to the European Court of Justice!?! In that one phrase lies the answer to why Brexit passed.

John said...

Ive never understood this whole concept of a "Constitutional Crisis" as it applies to England. They have no constitution. At least not in the sense that most countries do.

Their "constitution" is not written and consists of whatever the folks running the show may feel like doing on a particular day. Since there is no Constitution, there is no apeal to it.

I agree that our Supremes can come up with some bizarre interpretations of ours. But at least they have to stay within spitting distance of the words.

Not so in England.

Bagehot in his 2nd ed of the History of the English Constitution (1868) that this history is problematic. In the few years between editions, the constitution had changed dramatically. Not by any will of the people. Nobody got to vote on Amendments or the like. Govt decided they wanted to change it and they did. Often without even telling anyone that it had changed.

I think the term Constitutional crisis as used here is mainly a smokescreen.

John Henry

John said...

If England can leave the EU, why can't Texas, or Wisconsin, or Virginia etc, leave the US?

Same sort of deal. All are sovereign states who have delegated powers to Brussels or DC. Why can't those delegations be withdrawn?

If I were head of EU I would be pointing to the US experience where we fought a war between our states to prevent them from leaving. Just because the marriage was voluntary doesn't mean that it is not forever. Whatever the individual states (European or American) might believe.

You will obey.

John Henry

Yancey Ward said...

I don't really see the big change here other than it makes the British judiciary appear to be backing Bremain.

May had already indicated that Parliament would act by revoking the original act that allowed it to join the Common Market in the first place- The European Communities Act.

However, I do hope she calls a snap election using Brexit as the excuse. Either the anti-Brexiters win, or they can no longer hide and it can move forward without any logical opposition.

Freder Frederson said...

The most effective positions for Brexit Alarmists' was fearmongering, but since their doomsday predictions have already failed they aren't left with anything to argue for the middle.

It is premature to contend that the doomsday predictions have already failed, the UK hasn't even start the process of leaving the UK. Also, the pound has taken quite a hit even before the process starts.

What is certain is that many of the Brexiter's promises were lies, and they knew they were lies (e.g., leaving the EU would free up 350 million pounds a week for the NHS).

Birches said...

And yet people wonder how Trump is keeping this election so close.

PB said...

Another fix.

n.n said...

It seems that immigration reform (e.g. refugee crises) and class diversity did not happen in time to exploit democratic leverage. The regime will pursue other avenues (e.g. judicial, executive, regulatory override) to force its will on the People.

traditionalguy said...

It's RIGGED!

Gerrard787 said...

"Uncertainty"? No. This is a legal nicety that will be observed. The progress towards the British people regaining their full sovereignty is continuing and will continue.

cubanbob said...

While at first glance the court's decision makes sense it appears to overlook the fact that the Parliament authorized the referendum to stay or go and thus the outcome of the referendum bound the Parliament.

cubanbob said...


"What is certain is that many of the Brexiter's promises were lies, and they knew they were lies (e.g., leaving the EU would free up 350 million pounds a week for the NHS)."

Freder where is the lie? Until the UK is out, they still have to pay the 350 million per week.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Freder Frederson said...

It is premature to contend that the doomsday predictions have already failed, the UK hasn't even start the process of leaving the UK.

From where I sit it looks like that process is well under way. But that is entirely separate from Brexit.

Nonapod said...

So the thinking here is that Parliament will vote against leaving the EU. I guess governing against the will of the people is the hip new thing to do.

Mark said...

“the most fundamental rule of the U.K. constitution is that Parliament is sovereign"

The PM should come out and say that the lord chief justice is absolutely right and because the EU violates that fundamental principle, that in and of itself requires brexit without any further vote being needed. And then add, by the way, Parliament is sovereign lord chief justice so your ruling does not control us.

Mark said...

Meanwhile, if UK wants a constitutional crisis akin to Runnymede, the PM or whomever can tell the lord chief justice, "No, the people are sovereign" and then stick his head on a pike on the London Bridge.

traditionalguy said...

OK, if I get this right, the existing law's provision to restore British Sovreignty to Parliament cannot be authorized by a referendum vote for the Prime Minister of Parliament as the law says unless Parliament first debates and votes to allow their sovreignty to be restored or refuses to take it back.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Can anyone imagine the US Supreme Court saying, "the most fundamental rule of the U.S. Constitution is that Congress is sovereign?"



American exceptionalism? I got yer American exceptionalism right here!

Achilles said...

The globalists gotta globalist. It is what they do. This whole will of the people thing makes it a little tougher for them is all.

n.n said...

will of the people thing makes it a little tougher

They thought they had the votes beyond the margin of fraud. With immigration reform, they almost did. Their deference to the People (and our Posterity) was always double-edged propaganda.

Murph said...

Tillman offers an argument why this decision is wrong.

http://reformclub.blogspot.ie/2016/11/lc-justice-thomas-and-brexit.html

Harold said...

John said...
If England can leave the EU, why can't Texas, or Wisconsin, or Virginia etc, leave the US?


The EU has a provision in it's governing documents for a nation to leave. The Constitution has a method for adding states, and for selling and disposing of territories and possessions. But not so curiously, has no provision for a state to leave once it enters the union. Why? Well, the Constitution of the United States wasn't the document that created the United States, the Articles of Confederation did. In several places the Articles of Confederation refer to the perpetual union between the States. The Preamble of the Constitution reads: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish
Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the
general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Constitution didn't address states leaving, because they were already in a perpetual union. The process for leaving the union was left out BECAUSE there is no leaving it. That's not just my opinion; other people read it the same way.

The issue was pretty much settled by 1865.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Harold Thanks for your info. For all the reading I have done on the Civil War I never understood clearly Lincoln's position that no state could leave the Union. Your reference to the wording of the Articles of Confederation cleared that right up! There was a time - certainly not now - when politicians actually understood the intent of the Founders.

mockturtle said...

I am of the understanding the Texas holds the unique position of being a republic and does retain the right to secede, legally. At least, that's what we were told when touring the State Capitol in Austin.

Static Ping said...

Secession is such a radical act that regardless if the Constitution allowed a process or not, it is not something that would generally go unopposed. Anything extreme enough for a state to want to secede would probably involve an opposing side that would not tolerate the exit. It's like international law. It means nothing unless you make it mean something.

Fen said...

Freder: "What is certain is that many of the Brexiter's promises were lies"

Always telling when our most intellectually dishonest commenter calls others liars.

Thanks for your indirect support of Brexit!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"the ruling might ultimately be referred to the European Court of Justice."

Oh, great, that'll work.

chickelit said...

Has anyone compiled a list of people who swear they'll leave the US if Trump is elected?

mikee said...

Always good to remind the subjects of their exact place in the system of government.
We who style ourselves citizens might take note, and attempt to prevent further degradation of our status versus the government, here at home.

Or does such a suggestion now get me labeled a likely terrorist by DHS? If so, consider it retracted, denied and even denounced. Too late? Ah, heck.