A British court has ordered plans for negotiations between the UK and EU over implementation of a ‘Brexit’, or British exit from the European Union, to be shelved for the time being.
The court ruled on Thursday in response to a petition by Brexit opponents who argued that the government had no mandate to carry out the separation from the European central government without explicit approval by the British Parliament.
While the decision would likely only delay, rather than prevent, implementation of the Brexit, it significantly complicates Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for a quick departure from the EU.
A parliamentary vote could force May into lengthy bargaining in an effort to cobble together a coalition of Conservative and Labour MPs in favor of the move.
That would all but make her plans for a March, 2017 withdrawal from the EU an impossibility, and make the negotiations with the EU themselves more difficult.
The May government has pledged to appeal the ruling to the UK Supreme Court.
Nigel Farage, founder and former leader of the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party blasted Thursday’s ruling, warning that it could be the beginning of an effort to nullify the June 23rd Brexit referendum.
Farage has, in the past, warned of a “backsliding” into a “half Brexit,” something he warned appeared to be coming to fruition.
“I see MPs from all parties saying, ‘Oh well, actually we should stay part of the single market; we should continue with our daily financial contributions,” Farage told BBC Radio.
“I think we could be at the beginning with this ruling of a process where there is a deliberate, willful attempt by our political class to betray 17.4 million voters.”