Chicago Cubs and Brexit on the Same Day

By Paul Gable

The Chicago Cubs broke the “Billy Goat Curse” last night by winning the seventh and deciding game of the 2016 World Series.

Being a long-time fan of the Boston Red Sox, I understand a bit about what Cubs fans are feeling today. I felt the same mixture of happiness and relief when the Red Sox broke the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004 to win the World Series for the first time since 1918, a stretch of 86 years between championships.

For Cubs fans it was longer. The Cubs had not been champions since 1908, a stretch of 108 years, or 39,466 days if you prefer.

Theodore Roosevelt was president when the Cubs won their last championship and New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska were not yet states.

The Cubs opponents, the Cleveland Indians, have not won a world series championship since 1948, the longest stretch of non-winning after the Cubs.

But, big as news of the Cubs victory is, it may not be the day’s big story, outside of Chicago.

Remember when the British electorate voted in a June referendum to leave the European Union?

A three judge panel on the London High Court said not so fast. The court ruling said that the British Parliament must first pass legislation approving Brexit (British exit from the European Union).

“The most fundamental rule of the U.K.’s constitution is that Parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses,” the judges wrote. “As an aspect of the sovereignty of Parliament it has been established for hundreds of years that the Crown — i.e. the Government of the day — cannot by exercise of prerogative powers override legislation enacted by Parliament.”

The Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May will, reportedly, appeal the decision to the British Supreme Court.

Britain joined the European Union (then called the European Economic Community) in January 1973 after Prime Minister Edward Heath’s Conservative government won a vote by Parliament approving British membership.

Harold Wilson won a close victory over Heath’s conservatives to establish a Labour government in 1974. Wilson’s Labour government in 1975 held a referendum of British voters on the question of whether Britain should remain in the EEC.

But, back in 1975, it was understood that the referendum result was advisory only due to the rule of Parliamentary Sovereignty.

The June 2016 referendum vote of British citizens, which was set by the government of the day, approved leaving the European Union by a 52% – 48% margin.

However, an overwhelming majority of Members of Parliament (MP) of all parties did not support Brexit and campaigned for No votes.

How did the Conservative government of then Prime Minister David Cameron (since replaced by May) so completely miss the Parliamentary Sovereignty precedent with the June 2016 Brexit referendum?

The question now is whether MP’s will be asked to approve legislation allowing Brexit, against their own preference, or whether a new general election will be held to elect new MP’s supporting Brexit.

The American presidential election next week may seem tame compared to what may happen “across the pond” in the coming months.

 

 

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