Brexit and the Donald Trump presidential victory should rightly be viewed as the most significant international developments of the last decade. Both events illustrate a breaking down of globalist order and they both threaten the entrenched elite that has so ruthlessly and painfully hurt the middle and working classes. But as Trump supporters revel in the largely unanticipated victory, Brexit faces a serious new challenge.
On November 3, 2016, The English High Court ruled that the UK's withdrawal from the EU would affect substantially the "rights of individuals within the UK." As a result, the Court concluded that despite the referendum, and the "Crown prerogative" that grants the Government considerable leeway, particularly in matters of foreign affairs, the decision to leave the EU must be made by Parliament. Given that the government has made many decisions to increase the UK's "ever-closer" integration into the EU over the years, which clearly affected the "rights of UK individuals," it is curious that the Court would finally decide to step in when the government was moving in the other direction.
The May Government has announced that it will appeal to the UK's Supreme Court. Some lawyers advise that should the Supreme Court overrule the High Court, the Claimants might appeal still to the European Court of Human Rights under the Human Rights Act 1998. Whether this Court would accept jurisdiction is unclear. Regardless, the current Government and the Brexit camp are shocked and angry at the High Court's ruling. They are joined by powerful sections of the UK's mass media including the Daily Mail which has labeled the High Court as being "Enemies of The People" (James Slack, 11/3/16).
If the Supreme Court upholds the High Court decision, it is likely that Prime Minister May will have to consult Parliament. She is unlikely to find there a receptive audience. According to Business Insider some 73 percent of the 650 Members of the House of Commons, and probably a greater percentage of Peers in the House of Lords, were and probably are still in favor of remaining in the EU (Jim Edwards, 11/3/16). This means that the members of Parliament can easily rise up and vote to restore the order that they so clearly believe should be restored. But will they be prepared to defy the will of the people? This is a tall order for every politician. They could argue that the public will has changed since the vote and that the win was not all that decisive to begin with. Such arguments will be politically perilous.
By 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent the British people voted for Brexit (BBC News). However, this seemingly small margin led to 61 percent of the UK's Parliamentary constituencies to vote for Brexit, according to data from the University of East Anglia. It will take very brave Conservative Members of Parliament to vote their conscious to remain, thereby defying both their party whips, who control their promotions within the Party, and the expressed will of their constituents who control their continued membership in Parliament. Even Labour members who may desperately want to remain in the EU, may be reticent to oppose the clear wishes of their voters to leave. The fractured leadership of the Labour Party may not be able to bring much pressure on wavering members to cast a "remain" vote. The remain sentiment in the House of Lords appears even stronger than in Commons. But if Prime Minister May were to add the threat of enacting further reform of the House of Lords, it might bring enough peers into line.