Not only the vote in favor of the Brexit came as a huge surprise to most politicians and officials in June 2016 but it was one more bad news too on Europe’s quite discouraging agenda. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s timetable including triggering Article 50 for formal exit talks with the European Union (EU) as soon as March 2017 has been unexpectedly put on hold after UK’s High Court ruled that May can only act after consulting and obtaining Parliament’s approval.
The ruling has therefore added uncertainty to an already shaky political environment between those who, like former PM Tony Blair, want British citizens to re-vote and those who accuse elected politicians of being tempted to act against the people’s will, this way putting the democratic nature of UK politics at high risk. Although the High Court’s ruling doesn’t put an end to the Brexit, it is however a massive obstacle in the event May’s appeal gets rejected next month.
The side-effect could prove significantly negative for both parties. UK could be plunged into the Brexit process for several more years than initially forecast, questioning May’s ambitious economic and industrial goals in the long term. The EU would remain stuck into questions such as how to organize without UK, concentrating its efforts on institutional issues while the anti-EU sentiment keeps growing unabated.
In the meantime, while Europe gets busy with endless “how-to”, the world is changing, Asia is growing and Africa is booming. In this context, any additional time lost on the Brexit is bad news for all Europeans, pro- and anti-Brexit united.