Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU) is impossible considering the complex process it requires, warns a top British professor, blasting Brexiteers for not realizing the “sheer enormity” of their decision. Nearly 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23, in hopes of taking back control over their borders and having more economic freedom.
Professor Thom Brooks, who is head of Law at the University of Durham, doubted that the UK government would ever be able to end the over 4-decades-old membership in the union, The Independent reported Tuesday. “There is a 42 year evolving legal relationship that is not so easy to unpick. It is an absolutely massive task,” he told the British daily. In order to leave the EU, Britain needs to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to trigger the process.
Brooks, however, said the article was unlikely to ever be invoked, and if it was it could “let down the next generation.” “The closer the government looks at what is actually involved in leaving then the less likely they are going to be jumping ship,” said Brooks, who advised the Electoral Commission on the wording of the referendum question.
The Telegraph reported on Friday that British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 without a vote in the UK Parliament. Such a decision is likely to outrage Brexit opponents, who say the referendum’s advisory nature means the House of Commons needs to put the matter to vote before the formal process is triggered.
The majority of lawmakers in the lower house of Parliament, a total of around 480, campaigned for the UK to stay in the EU before the Brexit vote. Brooks, whose research has been quoted in the House of Lords, dismissed May’s plans for Brexit as “Gobbledygook,” and predicted that Brexit ministers would take a U-turn on their commitment to leave the EU and demand a second vote.
A group of lawyers has initiated a legal challenge in an attempt to force May to hold a parliamentary vote. The case, which will be heard in the High Court in October, argues that Article 50 cannot be invoked until the European Communities Act of 1972 is revoked.