What a mess, the twists and turns of Brexit must seem bewildering to those outside Britain. "Brexit means Brexit" has been The Prime Minister's catchphrase. As catchphrases go, it is not a bad one. However, now the judges have told her that Brexit means what the British parliament says it means.
The High Court has ruled that article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, the process by which Britain leaves the European Union, cannot be triggered without Parliament's approval. The leave campaigners have made "taking control" the slogan that resonated with the remainers, how can they complain now that a British court has said the British parliament must be consulted, and the terms of Brexit must be approved by it.
It is useful to recap on this Brexit, the story so far: A British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his attempt to silence the Europhobic wing of his party, and to spike the rhetoric from UKIP, decided to hold a referendum on whether Britain should remain in, or leave the EU. He himself and his chancellor and other senior members of the government believed Britain should remain; otherwise the consequences would be dire for the future prosperity of Britain. He thought he would easily win the argument, but he lost.
He resigned and Theresa May was selected by 199 Tory MPs to become the leader and the Prime Minister. She has no mandate from the electorate in the country; when people voted in the general election they assumed David Cameron would be the Prime Minister for the duration of parliament. Yet she says she has the mandate to decide the course of negotiations, and the terms of Brexit. Now the high court has said no you don't, parliament has the final say.
So how are the negotiations with the rest of the EU to be conducted? Let us not forget that Britain is not a member of the Eurozone; it has its own currency. It is the straightjacket of the Euro that is crippling the economies of Greece, Spain, Italy...etc. causing great hardship to the ordinary citizens of Europe.
Britain already has a good deal. Any Brexit deal negotiated will almost certainly be worse than what we have. What do we do then? Do we say, right, let us put these terms to the people in another referendum, or do we say let us call the whole thing off? Whatever we do, we are going to be in a worse situation within the EU. Our influence will diminish whether we are in or out.
It is now abundantly clear that David Cameron and other senior members of the government had no plan B if their argument to remain was rejected. They could not conceive that they could lose, what a terrible indictment! And what of the leavers, they don't seem to have much idea either. Their rallying cry during the campaign was "take control", now the British high court has ruled that the British houses of Parliament should take control of Brexit. You would think they would be rejoicing. Not a bit of it, they are mightily annoyed.