Emma Ann Hughes  

No victory in Hard Brexit challenge

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

Gina Miller, the founder of investment firm SCM Private, has threatened prime minister Theresa May’s hopes for a Hard Brexit.

Mrs Miller, who voted Remain, brought a legal case to challenge Ms May’s decision to invoke Article 50 by the end of March 2017 and start proceedings for the UK to exit the European Union.

With the help of a Portuguese hairdresser called Deir Santos and a high-powered team of lawyers, led by Lord Pannick QC, Ms Miller managed to get the High Court to rule the UK government does not have the power to begin EU divorce proceedings without a parliamentary vote.

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So where does this leave democracy and what will it mean for markets/the pound in the months to come?

The European Union result was announced on the morning of 24 June - 51.9 per cent voted in favour of leaving the European Union and 48.1 per cent voted in favour of remaining a member of the European Union. 

The result sent the FTSE 100 tumbling but sterling weakness helped valuations to rise materially since, as it flattered companies with earnings in international currencies.

But however you feel about the impact on the markets of the outcome of the European Union referendum it was the nation that voted for Brexit. 

How can MPs in certain parts of the country now vote against Brexit without losing their seats at a general election?

While those who voted to Remain may scream "victory" at this High Court ruling, I can't see it change the direction this nation is heading in - towards the European Union's exit.

Brexit is divorce. Pure and simple. Divorce from the European Union may not be what both sides of this nation – the Remain campaigners and Brexiteers – want but it is what (admittedly a narrow) majority took to polling stations and voted for.

When one side shouts loudest for divorce there is only one thing that is ever going to happen - a relationship is going to be pulled apart.

If MPs choose to ignore the outcome of the European Union referendum and vote against invoking Article 50 then that would be damaging for democracy and potentially political suicide.

I don't feel MPs can even now safely debate the nature of our exit from the European Union as a result of this High Court ruling.

If MPs come to a consensus on the type of Brexit our nation should argue for and task prime minister Theresa May with achieving that exit then we will have exposed our hand to the world.

Revealing your hand too soon can prove costly in a bitter divorce battle - and to achieve anything less than what MPs vote for will make the UK look like losers to the rest of the world.