Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Brexit Becomes Bruncertainty

The United Kingdom ("U.K.") Supreme Court has ruled that the U.K. government needs the approval of Parliament before it can trigger divorce proceedings from the European Union ("E.U.) by invoking Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union.  On June 23, 2016, a majority of voters in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum voted yes to the question
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

 Subsequently, the U.K. government has been preparing to inform the E.U. of its intention to "Brexit" under Article 50(2).  The January 24, 2017, Supreme Court decision found the government lacked the prerogative power to effect Brexit without Parliament's formal consent, stating that
121.  Where, as in this case, implementation of a referendum result requires a change in the law of the land, and statute has not provided for that change, the change in the law must be made in the only way in which the UK constitution permits, namely through Parliamentary legislation.
The disarray caused by the Brexit referendum vote has now been compounded by the question of how, of even if, Parliament will actually achieve Brexit.  After all, Parliament could decline to invoke Article 50(2), or, it could decide to vote against Brexit.  Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, Brexit has become Bruncertainty.