Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The politics of Brexit

Parliament will have to support the PM on Brexit.

‘Brexit’ Will Require a Vote in Parliament, U.K. Court Rules
The British government’s plan for exiting the European Union was thrown into uncertainty on Thursday after the High Court delivered a defeat to Prime Minister Theresa May by ruling that she must seek parliamentary approval before starting the process to leave the bloc…

Mrs. May had insisted that the government could invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism for leaving the European Union, without a vote by Parliament. She immediately vowed to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which is to hear the appeal in December.

Mrs. May’s Conservative Party holds only a slim majority, with 329 seats in the 650-seat Parliament. Although most lawmakers opposed the decision to leave the European Union, it would be politically toxic for them to overturn the referendum outcome…

Mrs. May and the government argued that they could invoke Article 50 without parliamentary approval by using royal prerogative powers that, in modern times, are exercised by the government in the name of the monarch. The powers include international treaty-making.

But the court found that invoking Article 50 would essentially repeal the 1972 [European Communities Act] — and that only Parliament had the power to do so…

Mrs. May and the government argued that they could invoke Article 50 without parliamentary approval by using royal prerogative powers that, in modern times, are exercised by the government in the name of the monarch…

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