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U.K. Court: Parliament Must Vote on Brexit

U.K. Court: Parliament Must Vote on Brexit

Brexit may take longer than expected.

The High Court in the United Kingdom ruled that Parliament must vote when Britain can start the Brexit process, meaning Prime Minister Theresa May cannot invoke Article 50, which opens a two-year window for talks to leave the European Union.

The government plans to appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court, but if the justices uphold it, “that would mean lawmakers, a majority of whom voted to stay, would have more influence over how Brexit is carried out and could theoretically delay or even stop the process.”

A group of British citizens who backed the remain campaign brought the case to court with top U.K. constitutional lawyers. Those involved believe “that triggering Article 50 without parliamentary consent would effectively override a 1972 statute that enshrines European law in the U.K. and which the claimants say ensures rights that can only be removed by Parliament.”

Those involved in the case also claim that “failing to give lawmakers a voice before applying to leave the European Union would turn them into bystanders as Britain negotiated its disengagement from the bloc after more than four decades of membership.” Parliament did approve of holding the referendum.

The government said its within its right to leave the EU “because of the so-called royal prerogative, in which executive authority is given to ministers so they can govern on the monarch’s behalf.”

May wants to invoke Article 50 by the end of March. She will still plan on that timetable:

“The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by act of Parliament,” a U.K. government spokesman said. “And the government is determined to respect the result of the referendum.”

Oh, it gets crazier. People voted to leave the EU to regain their sovereignty from the bloc. Lord chief justice John Thomas said “the most fundamental rule of the U.K. constitution is that Parliament is sovereign and can make or unmake any law it chooses.”

So in other words Parliament is only sovereign some of the times? I just find it funny that the court used the Brexit argument to justify its ruling.

The government lashed out at the ruling since the people voted in June to leave the European Union:

Brexit Secretary David Davis said he presumed the court ruling meant an act of Parliament would be required to trigger Article 50 – so would be subject to approval by both MPs and peers.

But the government was going to contest that view in an appeal, saying that the referendum was held only following “a six-to-one vote in the Commons to give the decision to the British people”.

“The people are the ones Parliament represents – 17.4m of them, the biggest mandate in history, voted for us to leave the European Union. We are going to deliver on that mandate in the best way possible for the British national interest,” he told the BBC.

The majority of Parliament members wanted to remain in the EU, but BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said that “most would ultimately be likely to vote for Article 50, as Brexit had been supported in the referendum.”


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This is a perfect example of why we Americans have the 2nd Amendment (for a few more months, anyway).

    Do you think? The 2nd appearing like a paper tiger these days.

    I would be interested if the staff here at Legal Insurrection could weigh in on where the line in the sand is. What is the breaking point? Under what specific circumstances should we use the 2nd as it was intended by the founding fathers.

    Asking for a friend 😉

    But seriously, it would be a very interesting post. Someone please step up to the plate?

I actuaully agree with the court. Parliament is the means by which the people act. The BREXIT people made that very clear.

    mailman in reply to Ragspierre. | November 3, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Parliament had already had its vote, the out come of which was to allow the referendum to proceed.

    The reality is those who want to stay in the EU see another Parliamentary vote as a way of circumventing the will of the people. Make no mistake, this is all about staying in the EU.

Bet they will not wear red coats and stand in straight lines next time.

The Government will, rightly so, appeal to the Supreme Court.

The people have spoken and it is a dark, dark day when the Court sides against that will. Make no mistake, those who want to remain in the EU see the second Parliamentary vote as a way of staying in the EU.

Of course Rags would support the court…

    Ragspierre in reply to gonzotx. | November 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Wul, yah, stupid. I support the parliament. Which, of course, is the whole idea behind the BREXIT movement.

    God, some of you people are stupid.

      snopercod in reply to Ragspierre. | November 3, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      But we’re not drunk.

      “I support the parliament”

      The parliament are simply the agents of the people, supposedly representing their voice in government.

      The people have already spoken on the matter, so there is no need to hear what the parliament wants. Unless you are a Statist. One of those who believes the political elites know better than you how to run your life.

      It would be like if my Realtor allowed me to speak directly to a home buyer to tell them I’m asking $250k for the house. But then goes behind my back and accepts $150k. Madness.

        Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 3, 2016 at 10:39 pm

        “Madness”, indeed.

        You are out or your flucking mind.

          More unsupported assertion and ad hom from the “sharply trained legal mind”.

          Ya know, the only reason you even showed up on my radar was your intellectual dishonesty. You smelled like a Concern Troll. Your constant negative attacks and bullying have proven that my initial assessment was spot on.

          Why are you even here? Are you being paid? You constantly disgrace yourself publicly, without any sense of shame. So the fact pattern leads me to believe you are really a liberal dem flying under false colors.

Legal Insurrection: “rising up against established authority; rebellion and revolt in confomity with or permitted by law”

Well, so much for that. The Establishment will hold another round of voting until they get the result they want.

Will be interesting to see how the Brits take this. And it’s something that should be of great interest to people here – you want to play civil and respectable, inside the rule of law. But its become corrupted. What would you do if this happened here?

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 3, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    sooooo… You lying sack of filth, you want May to dictate the law?

    And who is May, but a creature of parliament?

    What a dumb, viscous, evil sack of filth.

      Anonamom in reply to Ragspierre. | November 3, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Gosh, I’m really glad that Legal Insurrection has such even-handed and rigorously enforced civility standards…

        Ragspierre in reply to Anonamom. | November 3, 2016 at 11:29 pm

        No you’re not, you lying piece of filth. You don’t believe in civility any more than the OTHER piece of filth here, Fen.

        You just don’t like effective opposition. Typical of Collectivists.

          When dealing with Rags, its always wise to keep Fen’s Law in mind: “the Left doesn’t really believe in the things they lecture the rest of us about”.

          He just launched an unprovoked ad hom attack at me for what was a very tame and reasoned analysis. He preaches civility, but without any sense of irony or hypocrisy, he engages in “filthy” personal attacks and doesn’t even address the meat of my point.

          Ask yourself why. What is he about? What is his true purpose here. My bet is that he is trying to shut down opinion he disagrees with through bullying.

          Does anyone know of a conservative that has such disregard and contempt for the principle of Free Speech? Nah. Rags is not what he claims to be. He is False. Adjust accordingly.

          Anonamom in reply to Ragspierre. | November 4, 2016 at 9:33 am

          Fen, you wrote: “Ask yourself why. What is he about? What is his true purpose here. My bet is that he is trying to shut down opinion he disagrees with through bullying.”

          I don’t disagree with you, but I truly don’t care what that nasty little man has to say. My main disagreement (disappointment?) is with this site and the hypocritical way in which “civility standards” are lopsidedly enforced. It is Prof. Jacobsen’s playground and he absolutely has the right to make his own rules, but I have absolutely lost respect over the way in which it has been done.

      Evil Otto in reply to Ragspierre. | November 4, 2016 at 6:12 am

      It doesn’t take much to set you off, does it? You’re filled with rage and hate.

Rags: “God, some of you people are stupid.”

Ah yes, there is that “sharply trained legal mind”. Courtesy of the Sally Struthers School of Law.

It’s baffling. My father was a big shot attorney. Got to argue before SCOTUS several times. Was also Sec State of Texas. And all his legal cronies were always at the house discussing legal issues. So I grew up around that and naturally established an appreciation for lawyers, as well an expectation that a law degree requires a minimum level of intelligence.

See, law school is kind of a boot camp for the mind. It sharpens analytical skills, deductive reasoning, critical thinking. So much so that many people go to law school with no intent to practice law – they simply want the mental training. It’s worth a lot in the job market.

So why are you such an outlier Rags? Where did you get your law degree? Do us the favor of fessing up, so we know not to waste our life savings sending our kids there. Thanks.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 3, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Wow, your daddy must have been a sick, twisted evil asshole to have raised a puke like you!

    Sorry, dude. I understand a lot of things better now.

      So, why does Legal Insurrection allow this kind of personal attack?

      Normally, I allow the blog host to correct this kind of thing. If they choose not to, that’s fine too – it gives me permission to respond in kind.

      But I want to extend LI the courtesy of nipping this in the bud before it turns their comments into a cesspool of toxic vitriol. As that tends to run off your more reasonable and civil followers.

      So I’m asking what the moderation policy is. Do you have certain standards and will they be enforced. Or is your policy to allow a free for all on your site. Either is fine with me, I just want to be sure what ruleset I should abide by.


        VaGentleman in reply to Fen. | November 4, 2016 at 9:43 pm

        It’s worse than allowing it. Fuzzy Slippers just spent 4 days defending his behavior and swore that he had changed. You were there so you know what I mean. Now he’s managed to drag her credibility into the cesspool with him. He destroys whatever he touches. People like him are used by the left as examples of why conservatives aren’t trust worthy. He certainly makes LI a less pleasant experience.

      Does that mean you are refusing to tell us what law school you attended? Why hide?

      Rags: “your daddy must have been a sick, twisted evil asshole to have raised a puke like you!”

      Nah, he was the most honest man I ever knew. We even had to make him buy a new suit for his SCOTUS cases, because he never spent any money on himself.

      I think it was the values he instilled in me that caused me to join the US Marine Corps and defend Arthur’s Dream that Might can indeed be channeled for Right, when I could have instead made boatloads of money joining his firm. Salt of the earth. Died of cancer a few years back. I miss him a lot.

      Rags, you threatened a few days ago that if you went “unleashed” on me, you would rain down fire and destruction on me. Is this it? Because I was hoping for a more worthy opponent.

      I know, you think you are all Gweat and Tewwible here, but as far as trolling goes, it’s rather pathetic. I don’t like picking on cripples or handicapped people, so maybe before we start sparring, I can give you a few lessons on how to launch an effective insult that doesn’t leave the other side smirking? Just to keep things interesting.

        VaGentleman in reply to Fen. | November 4, 2016 at 9:49 pm

        He’s been raining his fire and brimstone on me for a year – it doesn’t amount to more than gnats in the summer. Annoying but hardly a problem.

      Aarradin in reply to Ragspierre. | November 4, 2016 at 3:33 am

      Nothing like proving his point for him Rags.