The High Court’s recent ruling that Theresa May must secure parliamentary approval before invoking Article 50
and withdrawing Britain from the European Union does not mean that Brexit is cancelled.
After the judgment passed, numerous pro-Brexit media organisations were quick to claim that the landmark ruling will stop Britain’s exit from the EU from actually happening. The front page of Friday’s Daily Express claiming even that the High Court had “blocked Brexit.”
This simply isn’t true. Britain is going to leave the EU. What the verdict impacts is the process of withdrawal and potentially how long it will take.
Research from Andrew Goodwin, the lead UK economist at research house Oxford Economics shows how much of a change the ruling could have on the process and timeline of Brexit. Most importantly, the likelihood of triggering Article 50 within 12 months of the June 23 referendum has now dropped significantly since the ruling.
Writing in a research briefing circulated to clients on Monday, Goodwin says (emphasis ours):
It is our view, therefore, that the main implication of the High Court ruling is that it might take longer for the UK to trigger Article 50. In our scenario tree analysis, we have reduced the probability of Article 50 being triggered within a year from 90% in our previous update to 60% now, with the summer of 2017 now looking more likely than March. The probabilities for the other stages of the process remain unchanged. The net effect is that the probability of our most likely chain of events — triggering Article 50 within a year with the UK reverting to WTO rules upon exit — has been reduced from 25% to 17% (see Table below). The developments of the past week underline the point we have regularly made that there is still a huge amount of uncertainty about exactly how Brexit will be managed.
Below, you can see the two charts mentioned by Oxford Economics:
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