So, it appears that Brexit means Brexit, but only if parliament agrees.
The English High Court has given a judgement, and on a strict reading of the law, three judges have found that May cannot use royal prerogative and must put the matter to parliament.
Judges (even if they are gay…the Daily Mail, turning seven shades of purple with indignation at the judgement of an all-British court, pointed out that one of the judges was homosexual, as if that meant that his law degree and years of experience were worthless) are bound to interpret the law as it is written. And that seems to be the way that the law is written.
So where does it go from here?
David Brexit has said that the government will appeal to the UK Supreme Court, which has the power to uphold or overturn the ruling of the High Court. After that, it would be unlikely that the UK government could take the matter further.
An intelligent reading of the subject is given by Craig Dalzell here.
It seems to me that, given that the election of MPs predates the referendum, and that the referendum was a one issue question, the referendum results might be taken as a more reliable indication of the will of the people on the matter, and consequently MPs would be foolish to vote against the way that their constituents voted. This would mean, of course, that every MP in Scotland, including Mr Mundell, should vote against Brexit.
Voting to a party whip, or on one’s own conscience would be inadvisable. It would give the impression that the opinion of an individual MP was more important than that of their constituents.
I also think that giving parliament the right to overturn a democratic vote on a single subject might set a dangerous precedent for the future. Clearly, this is significant to me as far as a Scottish Independence referendum is concerned.
Nigel Farage sounded, to put it mildly angry, in a tweet which read:
“I now fear every attempt will be made to block or delay triggering Article 50. They have no idea level of public anger they will provoke.!”
For once I agree with him, although you can’t help but laugh at the irony as far as he is concerned, as illustrated in a response from James Melville:
“British laws for British people. Taking control back. Parliamentary sovereignty. Isn’t that what you wanted?“
It’s a vexed question, with sensible arguments on both sides, and it is worth repeating that judges make decisions like this, not based on common sense, but on a strict reading of law.
I’d be interested to hear your opinions, as ever?