Last June British voters shocked the world by answering affirmatively to a referendum that, if acted on, would remove the United Kingdom from the European Union. The political and economic implications of this decision were and still remain largely unknown, but we outlined some of the possibilities in our initial post about this topic over the summer.
A recent ruling made by the country’s Supreme Court pertaining to this event has further advanced the matter by deciding that the authority to invoke a Brexit belongs to Parliament, not the Prime Minister. Seeing as Theresa May had previously set a March deadline for herself to press the eject button (otherwise known as Article 50 of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union), this ruling was somewhat of an embarrassment to the new Prime Minister’s agenda.
Despite the Supreme Court pulling back the reins on May in January, MPs responded to the ruling by subsequently voting in favor of restoring the Prime Minister’s power to invoke Article 50. With an overwhelming majority vote of 498 to 114, May’s plan to begin the exit procedure by the end of March was set back on track with Parliament’s blessing. For pro-European MPs that opposed the motion to reaffirm May’s agency regarding the issue, this was a devastating loss.
As the atmosphere surrounding Brexit continues to be one of uncertainty and tension, it is reasonable to expect that this event is the first of many debates and negotiations that will ensue over the course of the next several months.