Will the British parliament stop Brexit?
The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that the British government cannot launch the Brexit process without consulting parliament in a decision that upholds the High Court ruling of November. The press discusses whether this could lead to a softer Brexit than that outlined by Prime Minister Theresa May and if the MPs could even stop Brexit altogether.
Reason may yet prevail
Suddenly there's a small chance that Brexit will be averted, the tagesschau.de writes enthusiastically:
“The MPs now have it in their hands to make the exit from the EU milder. … There is at least a chance that perhaps a little common sense will return to British politics - up to now unreasonableness has prevailed in London. There is even an admittedly small chance that the country won't exit the EU at all - if the opposition, with the help of pro EU conservatives, manages to introduce into the new law parliament's right to be consulted before the two-year negotiations are concluded. … If the British realise by then what a huge mistake they have made and the Brexiteers' expectations of the new friendship with Donald Trump aren't fulfilled a new majority could form in favour of the country remaining in the EU.”
New obstacles for May
The ruling won't prevent Brexit but it will certainly make the process even more complicated for May, Lidové noviny predicts:
“Both opposition and government MPs may stipulate certain conditions, tying their ministers hands in the negotiations with Brussels. Moreover the representatives of Wales and Scotland may gain more room for manoeuvre. They could join forces and try to stop Theresa May's plans for a hard Brexit, or in other words the end of the UK's single market membership. … The key question is whether the prime minister has a realistic plan for using Brexit to guide Britain back to its former glory. Whatever the case she must now reach a consensus with the MPs and put her cards on the table.”
Another two years until showdown
The true test for Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans will only come once she has finalised the negotiations and the British parliament votes on the result, the Irish Times points out:
“Ms May’s recent speech setting out her negotiating principles has restored momentum to the prime minister. The big question - going much wider than matters of parliamentary procedure - is whether she is pushing the negotiation timetable with the EU too fast. Many fear she is plunging into talks that cannot produce the ambitious new trade treaty she seeks against the deadline she must meet. If her negotiation fails, MPs and peers will have to decide what happens next. It is at that moment - in late 2018 - that the real parliamentary showdown could come.”
Second referendum before hard Brexit
A second referendum should be held once the negotiations between the EU and the UK have concluded and the facts and potential consequences of Brexit have been established, The Independent demands:
“There are some who voted Leave last summer and some who voted Remain who have changed their minds; all of them should be allowed the chance to make an informed decision when all the facts about the real Brexit are made clear. These can never be utterly transparent because we can never know the future; but some semblance of rational choice should be available by 2019, and it is unthinkable that some sort of ultra-hard Brexit takes place without explicit popular consent. It is not what the majority voted for last year.”