‘Parliament must approve Brexit’ court rules

THE high court has ruled that only parliament has the authority to trigger Article 50 and inform Brussels that the UK intends to leave the EU.

Delivering the judgement, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said that “the most fundamental rule of the UK constitution is that parliament is sovereign”.

Although subject to appeal at the supreme court, the decision is a blow to Theresa May contradicting her insistence that the referendum result instilled the executive with the power to trigger Article 50.

The case came before the courts courtesy of a legal challenge from citizens who argued that undermining parliamentary sovereignty in such an important situation would breach their legal rights.

If the supreme court agrees with the judges then MPs will effectively be required to vote on Brexit, with no formal necessity that they follow the referendum’s plurality vote.

The majority of MPs are believed to be firmly against Brexit but defying the result would be hugely controversial and could spark a constitutional crisis.

That poses no problem for the markets. Within seconds of the judgement sterling rose dramatically. 

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    • Brian Eagleson

      03 November 2016 • 11:41

      As Corporal Jones would say, “Don’t Panic!” The usual suspects are all saying Theresa will appeal to the Supreme Court. Whether they’re right or not remains to be seen. However it is unlikely the Supreme Court would overrule the High Court on such a sensible decision. Parliament is Sovereign. A British prime minster is not a dictator (although some would point out we didn’t vote for her to be our PM.) Article 50 must be invoked by an Act of Parliament – not Theresa alone – on what everyone accepts was in fact a consultative referendum, not binding in law.

      Before the Brexiteers all get up in arms though, let me reiterate as I wrote at the beginning of this court case, it is NOT about overturning the Brexit, although it will certainly delay triggering Article 50. It is about protecting Theresa May from her own stupidity. She would be breaking the law by overriding the constitutional authority of parliament. In the 21st century, she does not have the power of some Medieval Monarch.

      It will also protect us all from the excesses of the “Hard Brexit” mob. It will put the prospect of continuing membership of the Single Market (ie. FREE market) back on the table and that could in turn be just enough to help avoid the break-up of the UK.

    • Mike in ESP

      03 November 2016 • 18:53

      This shouldn’t really affect anything on Brexit too much, even in its extream and it went to a vote in parliament I am confident there would be no “real” desire to block Brexit apart from a few of the regular “idiot” members… I myself always thought a Brexit would be avoided “on any account” but am now fairly convinced that it will now happen. I think the majority of MP’s now realize a block on Brexit would be a major blow to British politics and install even more problems with many of us “plebs” 🙂

      There are several MP’s who were in favor of and voted to remain who have now actually stated they would vote to leave if it went to parliament, as they see no point in obstructing the majority vote of the referendum.

      I actually feel more certain there will be a hard Brexit although I think this is more in the hands of Brussels than the UK, I also think a hard Brexit would help the UK economy “although others cannot see this”. As I have stated on other posts, the sooner we get on with things the better and I think that is still the case, I can only think that Junker will have something to say on any possible delay on triggering article 50 🙂 He won’t be a happy boy will he, but then it seems he never really is with us British unless he has had a few 🙂

    • Peter

      03 November 2016 • 19:00

      What was voted for was based on a silly (by Boris & Gove) pack of lies. What was also voted for was to agree to the vast majority being financially worse off.

    • Mike in ESP

      03 November 2016 • 19:08

      Brian, I just want to take a point up on Teresa May, you state: “A British prime minister is not a dictator (although some would point out we didn’t vote for her to be our PM.)”.

      No we didn’t vote for her to be PM, but the country did vote for the conservative government! I didn’t hear too many moaning when Gordon Brown stepped in to replace Tony Blair, point being it’s not as if it is something out of the norm! On the side: To be honest I am impressed so far by her as I expected something else, but I do think she is and will be a far better a PM than clown Cameron, anyway…

      A general election could be called, but why? Do you think that Labour, Lib Dems or even UKIP will get a majority or even end up being in a coalition with Tories…. actually UKIP might actually get a massive boost but do you really think the Tories wouldn’t win! Why would you and others want to put the country through a GE now? Just to see more tax payers money spent and more economic instability…. just to make you feel you have made your point!

      Calling a GE would give a majority win for the Tories now and they do know it, but they understand that now is not the time for a GE “as we all should”… even though they would win it hands down! 🙂

    • Norman Clarkson

      03 November 2016 • 21:55

      Quite right Brian

    • David Allison

      04 November 2016 • 09:39

      Utter rubbish

    • David Allison

      04 November 2016 • 09:41

      Lot of sense there mike

    • Brian Eagleson

      04 November 2016 • 12:14

      I didn’t say anything about wanting a general election Mike. Others did that, not me. Personally I believe a general election in the middle of all this would only make an already bad situation even worse. I hope you have read that properly. For a start, Scotland would almost certainly make ALL its MPs SNP – completely wiping out the paltry three from the other parties. A 100% SNP Scotland would soon sober up the old soaks in Westminster.

      As for Theresa May being appointed by her fellow Tories, instead of being elected by the people – this didn’t just happen with Gordon Brown of course. It also happened with Jim Callaghan which led directly to the infamous “Winter of Discontent” of strikes, power cuts and deaths in hospitals as staff walked out while he equally infamously stated, “Crisis? What crisis?”

      Well, both Brown and Callaghan received a drubbing when the next election inevitably came round and both were forced to resign. I hope for her own sake, Theresa May is aware of such lessons of history. I half expect her to repeat Callaghan’s mantra amid the current crisis as she sails through it brimming with over-confidence that she can control everything on her own like… er… some medieval monarch.

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