Debate: Should parliament have a vote on Article 50?

No – Chris Manby

Judges in the High Court ruled this morning that the government must consult Parliament before invoking Article 50 and triggering Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Since a majority of MPs backed the Remain campaign during the referendum, Leave campaigners have good reason to smell a rat.

The government have vowed to fight the ruling in the Supreme Court. There is every prospect of the decision being reversed. If that doesn’t work, then a snap general election would almost certainly return a huge Conservative majority with a headline manifesto commitment to deliver Brexit. But make no mistake, the Remainers and their lawyers have won a major battle today. They must not be allowed to win the war.

The arguments of the referendum campaign have been reversed. Those who favour EU membership now argue that Parliament ought to determine the terms of Britain’s withdrawal, if only to render Brexit so meaningless that we might as well not even bother. Brexiteers, by contrast, assert that the Parliament they fought so hard to free from the grip of Brussels should have no opportunity to shirk or surrender its new-found responsibilities.

Given the chance, parliamentary opponents of Brexit would seek to kill off the entire process. There is an air of fanaticism about europhile MPs who see their future perks and pensions at risk. It has become painfully obvious that parliamentarians cannot be trusted to rule on their own future. The stark irony of a parliament that does not wish to be sovereign at all should not be lost on anyone.

Parliament is only sovereign because it represents the will of the people. The people have spoken – or at least, a majority of people who felt strongly enough about the issue to turn up and vote. It has become fashionable amongst Remoaners to call the referendum result merely ‘advisory’. Yet the referendum literature clearly stated that “the government will implement what you decide”. That alone ought to have been enough to head off any challenges to the result.

Yet the Remain camp are prepared to fight to the bitter end for the united ‘Europe’ they so love. People like Gina Miller, the investment manager leading the so-called “people’s challenge” against Brexit – a woman who claims the vote made her feel “physically sick” – will never see it as legitimate.

Nor will the likes of Green Party leader and softly-spoken lunatic auntie Caroline Lucas, who described the High Court result as “brilliant news”. Or Labour MP David Lammy, who crowed that “this is what real sovereignty looks like”. Or Tim Farron, who in recent months has set about rebranding the Liberal Democrats as the ‘party of Europe’.

For the last four months we have been told that the vote to leave was racist in origin, that it unleashed a wave of hatred against foreigners, that the people didn’t know what they were voting for, and must have been lied to. The vitriol poured out against the ‘ignorant’ white working classes who dared vote against the expressed opinion of their betters has been shocking.

Brexiteers must be ready to fight even harder to preserve the country we love from parliamentary obstructionists, judicial activists and rich financial sector luvvies determined to reverse the July vote. If we don’t then we will lose everything we have gained, and deservedly so. In the Game of Thrones you win or you die.

Yes – Phil Myth

Today’s supreme court ruling that the government can’t use royal prerogative to invoke Article 50 and instead must put it to parliament has, by and large, been met with consternation from Brexiteers. Given the outpouring since the result from Remain supporters for the result to be ignored or overturned, one can understand why Leavers are worried about this recent development.

There has been a worrying display of anti-democratic sentiment since June 23rd. From petitions calling for a second referendum, to public protests (neither of these garnering anything like enough numbers to match the 17.4m who voted to leave mind you), to outright defiance from MPs such as David Lammy, calling for the biggest vote for any one thing in British history to be ignored by those in power.

That said, the judgement this morning has been met with rather more hysteria from Brexiters than is warranted. Farage has donned the tin-foil head gear, claiming he fears ‘a betrayal may be at hand’, and the likes of Leave.EU are equally unhinged, with founder and UKIP financier Arron Banks stating “Why wouldn’t unelected judges want to preserve an EU system where unelected elites like themselves are all-powerful?”

It’s really quite spectacularly hysterical. Those ‘unelected judges’, as they’ve also been dubbed by David Davis, weren’t upholding the EU system, but rather British constitutional democracy. Sure, it would’ve been nice if we’d had more of that when powers were being handed over to the EU in the first place, but it’s good to see it’s finally kicking in. The judgement today has not subverted democracy, overturned the referendum result, or said that we can’t leave the EU.

The result means that MPs will vote on triggering Article 50. Or to put it another way, our elected representatives will be required to act out the will of the people. This, more than anything else, is precisely what Leavers voted to Leave for. I find myself siding with the Remainer school of thought that it’s ironic that those that campaigned for parliamentary sovereignty are apoplectic about a UK court ruling that parliament will be sovereign on this issue.

Now, there are of course an overwhelming majority of MPs who were in favour of Remain. But that doesn’t mean that they will all be ignoring the referendum result, even if a few noisy ones wish to do exactly that. Former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps tweeted to say that, although he backed Remain, he wont be voting to frustrate the will of the British people or his constituents. Jeremy Corbyn too has reiterated that Labour respect the result of the referendum. It’s likely both parties will whip in favour of triggering Article 50.

I have another proposal though. Each MP should do precisely what they were elected to do and represent their constituents. Any MP whose constituency voted to Remain in the EU should be given free reign to vote against triggering Article 50. But those MPs whose constituents voted to Leave the EU should acknowledge the instruction given to them by those who elected them, and vote in favour of the motion.

Unfortunately, the referendum result wasn’t broken down according to Parliamentary constituency, but by local authority area. However some work has been done to extrapolate these results to parliamentary level, finding that of 574 English and Welsh constituencies, 421 probably voted to leave, and of those, 270 definitely did. Conversely, 152 voted to remain, with half (76) almost definitely voting to remain, The result hasn’t been converted for Scotland, but let’s throw Nicola Sturgeon a bone and suggest that all of Scotland’s 59 constituencies voted to Remain. Thus, if MPs vote how their constituents did, as they should in a representative democracy, Article 50 gets triggered by a vote of 421 to 211.

Remainers get to be properly represented in parliament, Leavers get Article 50 triggered, and it’s all done by a sovereign UK parliament according to British constitution. Sounds good to me.

  • Stephen Bond

    Why should MPs have two votes on this, they let us decide now they don’t like it, they have given sovereinty away using Royal prerogative for 43 years all treaties where signed under this, I hope the British rise up and crush the vermin in our midst.

    • Jim O’Neill

      Excellent point. looks like we have all been missing a trick here and should have been disputing the use of the Royal prerogative in previous negotiations. I, for one have never accepted that the Government has the right to pass sovereignty of myself over to others without consent. Only in extreme cases, eg as result of defeat in war, should it have that right. I am NOT a EU citizen, since I have not consented, either personally or as result of a democratic vote, to become one.

      • AnthonyTuffin

        I’m proud to be an EU, as well as UK, citizen and I haven’t consented to be deprived of my EU citizenship.

        • Stephen Bond

          You had one,I had one vote you lost its called democracy, but with people like you it’s only democracy when it goes your way,then cry fowl when it doesn’t, and you can take it as gospel there’s trouble brewing in this country through people like you, cry babies.

    • AnthonyTuffin

      That sounds like incitement to riot and treason to me.

      • Stephen Bond

        And what does that say for MPs who gave away parliamentary sovereinty to the EU is that not treason of the highest order, then try and over ride the people, and there’s no such law as treason as Blair repealed it so we could hang that b–tard.

        • AnthonyTuffin

          I think you will find that treason is still a criminal offence and, until fairly recently, it was still a capital offence although the UK abolished the death penalty many years ago for murder.

          Then, one of the benefits of EU membership is that the EU, with

          • Stephen Bond

            Blair removed treason go look it up instead of thinking you right

          • AnthonyTuffin

            I’ve looked it up and you are wrong, as you have been with everything you have written on this site.

            “Since the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 became law, the maximum sentence for treason in the UK has been life imprisonment.”

          • Bob Jp

            put the remainers all inside and throw away the key

          • AnthonyTuffin

            This site is called “Conservatives FOR LIBERTY”. (excuse my caps for emphasis.) What don’t you understand about that?

      • Bob Jp

        Of course it does and that will happen, because its already arranged to happen, But the fact is non of the commentators hear

        have incited it, its logic its going to happen for a start the democratic party have been advertising the fact that Operation Beacon is planned for over a week now.

    • Jane Campbell

      They first voted on whether or not they wanted to hear your opinion and then they get to vote on if your opinion is actually safe for the country. Checks and balances – the British way to do things.

  • Wien1938

    If the judgement is upheld by the Law Lords, then it is the legal position. But this actually could held Leave because there is a manifesto commitment to respecting the result of the referendum – the Conservative Party is committed to exit.

    • Jane Campbell

      I’m sorry where is there a manifesto commitment to respecting the result? If there was a manifesto commitment to respecting the result why did the parliamentarians vote 6 to 1 on a bill that had an advisory only clause in it? If is was a mandatory result why were there not limitations put on the result. There are on union elections. This is by far more important that any union decision. It was an advisory referendum. If Cameron said otherwise then he is in dog do do because he doesn’t actually make the law. Parliament does.

      • There is a manifesto committment to staying in the Single Market, mind.

      • Wien1938

        Look on page 73 of the manifesto.

      • Sean_OHare

        Please let us know the clause in the Referendum Bill that states that the result is “advisory”? As I understand it Parliament was informed that it was advisory but the people were not. Had they been so informed I suspect the turnout would have been considerably lower.

  • Andrew Jarman

    For a party of “Law and Order” to attack the High Court for upholding the law beggars belief!

  • James Pint

    the judges were under a conflict of interest

  • Fiona Richardson
  • john

    It’s the law. get over it.

    • Sean_OHare

      It is one interpretation of the law. Let us wait for the Supreme Court ruling shall we?

      • AnthonyTuffin

        And then for an ECJ ruling? That would be rather droll!

        • Sean_OHare

          The EJC can only rule on matters within the EU’s areas of competence. I don’t think UK constitutional matters are one of them do you?

          • AnthonyTuffin

            You may be right about that, which is why I used a question mark, but it would be droll if it happened.

          • James_2014

            they have neatly fixed that one – all parties have conceded that art 50 is irrevocable – which is a point of European Law – why they have accepted this I do not understand – this should be tested before anything else imho

    • Bob Jp

      The laws go back to the Magna Carta read it you may get a shock and MPs do not vote on treaties government leaders agree and sign them.

  • Jeanne Bartram

    The ruling is to stop the government from bypassing the elected parliament to force through their agenda and if allowed to do it once, sets a precedence – it wont stop Brexit! Turns out Taking Back Control means dispensing with (i) Parliament (ii) judges (iii) rule of law!

    • Dirk Lonsdale

      It’s not “their agenda”, it’s the democratic choice made by the British electorate.

      ALL of the EU treaties were negotiated and signed by exercise of the Royal Prerogative (RP) by the incumbent government without any debate or vote in Parliament.
      All of the associated domestic legislation followed the treaties, it did not lead them.
      But, all of a sudden, it is unlawful to use the RP in this way.

      The argument used in the High Court was that triggering Art 50 would ultimately lead to changes in domestic law and that could not be effected via use of the RP.
      However, signing the treaties in the first place led to inevitable and unavoidable changes in domestic legislation and nobody complained about the RP being used to initiate that.

      The judges cannot have it both ways. If the RP cannot be used to extract us from the EU treaties its use to get us into the EU in the first place must also have been similarly unconstitutional, meaning that our membership of the EU is void.

      • Aasvogel

        Beautifully put.

  • Stuart Maggs

    Long post, sorry.

    The Government cannot make whatever laws they choose for the people of the UK. They have to ask a Parliament of our elected representatives for permission to grant or take away our rights.

    Governments are allowed to make international treaties without asking Parliament. I understand that the convention is that Parliament gets to ratify or reject them once they have been negotiated. But negotiating treaties is messy, so that work is done by Government and then referred to Parliament who get to say yay or nay.

    The 2015 Act that authorised the referendum could have said “…and if people vote to leave, Parliament hereby authorises the Government to invoke Article 50.” That would have solved this issue. It didn’t, and I wonder whether the omission was due to incompetence or cunning.

    One of our citizens believed that our Executive was claiming a power that is held by our Legislature, and so went to our Judiciary to decide. We didn’t know what the answer would be. You should take a moment to be incredibly proud about this. There are countries all over the world who haven’t achieved separation of powers, and we should be grateful we have.

    Back to court, where both sides agreed a) that the court could rule on this point, b) that leaving the EU would potentially take away domestic rights of people across the UK. The question asked was “can the Government invoke Article 50 without asking Parliament?”

    The Government argued that Parliament hadn’t said they couldn’t do it, and so they assumed they could. The remainers argued that Parliament hadn’t said the Government could do it, so they couldn’t.

    The Court, in a brilliant defence of our constitution, said that if Parliament gives people rights, Parliament has to take them away. The Government can’t take our rights away without permission.

    We are not in a constitutional crisis. The Court has restated one of the best things about our country – that ultimately we are ruled by an elected Parliament and not by our Government. The three judges deserve a round of applause, and some of the headlines this morning disgust me – they are intentionally misrepresenting the facts to create outrage. But hey, we have a free press so they’re allowed to do that. Better that than have them under Government control.

    So in summary you want to invoke Article 50 to fulfil the demonstrated will of the people? No problem, but you have to ask Parliament to do it.

    What happens next is more interesting. Perhaps the Government puts a one paragraph bill before Parliament saying “Parliament authorises the Government to invoke Article 50”? If MPs or the Lords scupper that bill in some way, then we have a problem.

    Nick Clegg was on the radio this morning saying the Lib Dems wouldn’t allow Article 50 to be invoked unless the Government first gave up its power to make treaties without Parliamentary oversight. This means changing our constitution. If that’s what he wants he should ask for it explicitly rather than hiding behind “well who knows what the people really voted for”.

    If you want Article 50 invoked, write to your MP and politely ask them to support a measure if it comes forward. If you want out constitution changed so that Parliament directs the Government on negotiating international treaties, then write to them and politely ask them to change the constitutional convention.

    Whatever you do, don’t be angry at judges who are protecting you from the tyranny of the Crown.

  • AnthonyTuffin

    It’s the robust, commonsense ruling I expected.

    It’s a triumph for the rule of law over mob rule.

    It’s a victory for the sovereignty of Parliament.

    It’s confirmation of the separation of powers between the Government, Legislature and Judiciary.

    Gina Miller, who brought the case, is a heroine.

    • Stephen Bond

      Where do you get sovereignty of parliament from, parliament can only be sovereign from an outside source eg the EU, the people are sovereign within the country if may dissolved parliament tomorrow then MPs are unemployed until we the sovereign people elect a new parliament, they represent there constituency and not themselves.

      • AnthonyTuffin

        I’m not sure whether it is worth debating with someone who has openly called for people to rise against the law passed by British MPs and interpreted by British judges, but I am replying for the benefit of any readers who may be tempted to agree with you.

        As the well-known Conservative, Edmond Burke, said:

        “The elected member should be a representative, not a mere delegate pledged to obey undeviatingly the wishes of his constituents. The electors are capable of judging his integrity, and he should attend to their local interests; but, more importantly, he must address himself to the general good of the entire nation, acting according to his own judgment and conscience, unfettered by mandates or prior instructions from those he represents.”

        In short, MPs are representatives, not delegates.

        Once elected, they should apply their knowledge and judgement to represent what they feel to be the best interests of the nation and their constituents, not necessarily what their constituents actually want.

        However, the bottom line of this particular decision is that it doesn’t stop brexit; it merely puts Parliament, instead of the Government, in the driving seat.

        This is constitutional and democratic. It is also more flexible because it will give MPs opportunities to amend the Government’s proposals.

        Not only that, but it protects us all from dictatorial acts, without Parliamentary approval, by future Governments.

        • Stephen Bond

          I don’t want to debate anything with you at all, MPs represent the people who elected them, and it does not matter what a complete Tory tosspot says it means nothing, and I can tell you this if it means civil war over brexit bring it on as far as I am concerned and if that is incitement then good,

          • AnthonyTuffin

            If you’re advocating civil war, you are the traitor.

          • Stephen Bond

            I will defend the democratic rights of the people to the last, and I would rather be a traitor than an EU quizling like you, you are the traitor to this country by wanting to give the country to unelected wankers in Brussels.

          • TrishD

            If you’re going to use words like quisling, at least have the courtesy to spell the little shit’s name right.

          • Stephen Bond

            I am so sorry, won’t sleep now over a z.

          • AnthonyTuffin

            I leave other readers to judge us by our language, my logic, your lack of logic, my support for the rule of law and your support for violence.

          • TrishD

            MPs are not delegates, they are representatives – you have this completely wrong. An MP does not stand and say: “Tell me what you want and I shall do it,”, he or she stands and says: “This is what I believe in, vote for me.” MPs are not the puppets of the electorate.

          • Stephen Bond

            All MPs should be independent and do the bidding of there constituents, its the two party system we seen to have adopted that’s causeing the problems, because now people are voting for a manifesto not an independent MP, and how is parliament sovereign over its people, only the people can be sovereign as they elect parliament.

          • AnthonyTuffin

            I recommend you to attend a basic course on the British constitution.

          • Stephen Bond

            You mean like you have, spouting shite about what an old Tory said.yeah right.

          • Stephen Bond

            Was Britain Taken Into The EU Illegally?

            Vernon Coleman

            Many constitutional experts believe that Britain isn’t actually a member of the European Union since our apparent entry was in violation of British law and was, therefore invalid.

            In enacting the European Communities Bill through an ordinary vote in the House of Commons, Ted Heath’s Government breached the constitutional convention which requires a prior consultation of the people (either by a general election or a referendum) on any measure involving constitutional change. The general election or referendum must take place before any related parliamentary debate. (Britain has no straightforward written constitution. But, the signing of the Common Market entrance documents was, without a doubt, a breach of the spirit of our constitution.)

            Just weeks before the 1970 general election which made him Prime Minister, Edward Heath declared that it would be wrong if any Government contemplating membership of the European Community were to take this step without `the full hearted consent of Parliament and people’.

            However, when it came to it Heath didn’t have a referendum because opinion polls at the time (1972) showed that the British people were hugely opposed (by a margin of two to one) against joining the Common Market. Instead, Heath merely signed the documents that took us into what became the European Union on the basis that Parliament alone had passed the European Communities Bill of 1972.

            Some MPs have subsequently claimed that `Parliament can do whatever it likes’. But that isn’t true, of course. Parliament consists of a number of individual MPs who have been elected by their constituents to represent them. Political parties are not recognised in our system of government and Parliament does not have the right to change the whole nature of Britain’s constitution. We have (or are supposed to have) an elective democracy not an elective dictatorship. Parliament may, in law and in day to day issues, be the sovereign power in the state, but the electors are (in the words of Dicey’s `Introduction for the Study of the Law of the Constitution’ published in 1885) `the body in which sovereign power is vested’. Dicey goes on to point out that `in a political sense the electors are the most important part of, we may even say are actually, the sovereign power, since their will is under the present constitution sure to obtain ultimate obedience.’ Bagehot, author of The English Constitution, 1867, describes the nation, through Parliament, as `the present sovereign’.

            In 1972, when Heath decided to take Britain into the Common Market, he used Parliament’s legal sovereignty to deny and permanently limit the political sovereignty of the electorate. Heath and Parliament changed the basic rules and they did not have the right (legal or moral) to do that. The 1972 European Communities Bill wasn’t just another Act of Parliament. Heath’s Bill used Parliament’s legal sovereignty, and status as representative of the electorate, to deny the fundamental rights of the electorate.

            Precedents show that the British constitution (which may not be written and formalised in the same way as the American constitution is presented) but which is, nevertheless, enshrined and codified in the Magna Carta (1215), the Petition of Right (1628), the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701) requires Parliament to consult the electorate directly where constitutional change which would affect their political sovereignty is in prospect. (The 1689 Bill of Rights contains the following oath: `I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority within this Realm.’ Since this Bill has not been repealed it is clear that every treaty Britain has signed with the EU has been illegal.)

            So, for example, Parliament was dissolved in 1831/2 to obtain the electorate’s authority for the Reform Bill and again in 1910 following the Lord’s rejection of the Liberal Finance Bill.

            In 1975, when the Government changed, Harold Wilson sought to put right the clear constitutional error by organising a retrospective referendum (something quite unprecedented in British history) designed to obtain the permission of the British people for Britain to join something it had already `joined’.

            Wilson’s referendum was inspired solely by the realisation that the consent of the electorate ought first to have been obtained before we joined the EEC. The lack of legitimacy of the European Communities Act brought about the decision by the incoming Prime Minister and Labour leadership that a referendum should be held in preference to yet another general election.

            But, almost inevitably, the question asked in the referendum was also illegal since voters were asked: `Do you think that the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the Common Market)?’

            The problem was that since Heath had ignored the constitution duties and requirements of Parliament and had signed the entrance documents illegally the words `stay in’ were deceptive. We couldn’t stay in the EEC because, constitutionally, we had never entered. We couldn’t enter the Common Market because Parliament did not have the right to sign away our sovereignty.

            The referendum Wilson organised to remedy Heath’s constitutional breach misled the electorate on a simple constitutional issue and was, therefore, itself illegal. (Wilson’s referendum was passed after a good deal of very one-sided propaganda was used to influence public opinion. If the nation had voted against our `continued’ membership of the EEC the political embarrassment for all politicians would have been unbearable.)

            Attempts through the courts to annul our membership of the European Union on the basis that Parliament acted improperly have failed because Parliament, through its legal sovereignty, is the source of the law in Britain and the courts are, therefore, unable to challenge any Parliamentary Act.

            Only Parliament can reclaim the legislative powers that Heath and subsequent Prime Ministers have handed to the European Union.

            And so, only when Parliament is filled with honest politicians (not inevitably an oxymoron) who are not controlled by the private party system will the mistake be rectified and our membership annulled.

            Britain’s entry into the Common Market (later to be transformed into the EU) was also illegal for another reason. The Prime Minister who signed the entry documents, Edward Heath, later confirmed that he had lied to the British people about the implications of the Treaty.

            Heath told the electorate that signing the Treaty of Rome would lead to no essential loss of National Sovereignty but later admitted that this was a lie. Astonishingly, Heath said he lied because he knew that the British would not approve of him signing the Treaty if they knew the truth. Heath told voters that the EEC was merely a free trade association. But he was lying through his teeth. He knew that the original members of the EEC had a long-standing commitment to political union and the step by step creation of a European superstate.

            Edward Heath received a substantial financial bribe for taking Britain into the EU when he was Prime Minister. (Heath was no stranger to bribery. One of his aides bribed a senior Labour Party official £25,000 for details of Harold Wilson’s election tactics.) The reward of £35,000, paid personally to Heath and at the time a substantial sum of money, was handed over to him (in the guise of The Charlemagne Prize) for signing the Treaty of Rome.

            Because of Heath’s dishonesty we never actually joined the Common Market. And so all the subsequent treaties that were signed were illegal.

            Britain’s Treason Act (1351) is (at the time of writing) still in place. It states `that treason is committed when a man be adherent to the King’s enemies in his realm, giving them aid and comfort in the realm’.

            And under the Treason Felony Act (1848) it is treason if `any person whatsoever shall, within the United Kingdom or without, devise or intend to deprive our most gracious Lady the Queen (Elizabeth) from the style, honour or Royal Name of the Imperial crown of the United Kingdom.’

            Our membership of the European Union will mean the end of the United Kingdom. So, since our membership of the European Union will doubtless `deprive our most gracious Lady the Queen from the style, honour or Royal Name of the Imperial crown of the United Kingdom’ Britain’s entry into the Common Market, under Edward Heath’s signature, was null and void.

            Heath committed an act of treason. He betrayed the Queen and he deliberately misled the British people.

            Does any of this really matter to politicians?

            Is there any hope that Parliament will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and restore sovereignty to the people? Not in the immediate future.

            But the errors made by Heath and Wilson mean that when we want to leave the EU it will be very easy.

            Because, officially, we never joined.

            An independent British Parliament would simply have to pass one short Act of Parliament and give notice to the EU and we would be out of this accursed club.

            Copyright Vernon Colem

          • AnthonyTuffin

            Although it looks quite well written, most of it is very superficial and not worth answering point by point, so I’ll confine myself to two comments:

            1. If the UK’s entry into the EEC/EU had really been unconstitutional or there was even a reasonable chance that it had been, someone would have challenged it in Court years ago.

            2. I agree with the remark in your quotation, “Only Parliament can reclaim the legislative powers that Heath and subsequent Prime Ministers have
            handed to the European Union.” So there’s the answer to your other posts. Only Parliament (not the Government) can trigger Article 50. QED.

            If you answer this, would you mind expressing your argument clearly and logically without ad hominem insults? Believe me; I have had to restrain myself in replying to you!

          • Stephen Bond

            Knock yourself out you can say anything to me you like, water ducks back

          • AnthonyTuffin

            QED.

          • Stephen Bond

            BY LAWYERS for BRITAIN

            “A deeply troubling and wrong-headed decision”

            When it comes to using the prerogative for “less Europe”, there are implied limitations which do not seem to exist for “more Europe”

            On 3rd November 2016 the Divisional Court handed down its judgment in R (Miller) -V- Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin). The court has, to the surprise of most informed observers, decided that it is outside the prerogative powers of the Crown for notice to be given under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union to withdraw from the European Union.

            In reaching this decision, the judgment has overturned the accepted understanding about the respective power of the Crown on the international plane to accede to and withdraw from international treaties, and the powers of Parliament to alter the internal law of the United Kingdom.
            BREXIT Judges
            The European Communities Act 1972 was a constitutional innovation for the United Kingdom. It linked international treaties directly to the internal law of the United Kingdom by giving the European Treaties and supranational legislation made under them so called “direct effect.” That means that they have force in UK internal law – and therefore alter the content of the law – without recourse to Parliament.

            The judgment argues that this feature of the 1972 Act means that the Crown has no power to withdraw from the EU treaties, because doing so would have the effect of altering domestic law, which only Parliament can do.

            This argument is illogical and does not hold water. There are many acts which the government can carry out on the international plane under the European treaties which have the effect of altering UK domestic law, and in doing so either confer rights on people or deprive them of rights. Whenever the UK representative on the Council of Ministers joins in passing into law a directly applicable EU Regulation then the Crown in using the prerogative power to alter internal UK law without that alteration of the law going through Parliament. This is simply a consequence of the direct effect machinery of the 1972 Act.

            So why should it be OK to have “more Europe” through exercise of the prerogative power, but wrong to have “less Europe” as a result of Article 50 being invoked and the direct effect parts of EU law ceasing to apply within the UK? Nothing in the wording of the 1972 Act supports such a distinction.

            There is a further reason why this decision flies in the face of the obvious intention of Parliament. The Lisbon Treaty, which inserted Article 50 into the Treaty on European Union, was given effect in UK law by the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008. That Act therefore made the Article 50 power available for use by the Crown but did not specify that its exercise would need the approval of Parliament. That Act however explicitly provides for Parliamentary control over certain prerogative acts under the EU treaties, including Article 49 on Treaty revision. But notably, the statutory scheme of Parliamentary control of prerogative power does not extend to notifications under Article 50.
            BREXIT Art 50 High Court announcement
            There has a been a long string of attempted challenges to the use of the prerogative power to extend EEC or EU powers, all of which have been rejected by the courts, sometimes in peremptory terms. However, when the prerogative is used to achieve “less Europe” in order to implement the decision of the British people which an Act of Parliament empowered them to take, it is suddenly found that there are implied limitations on the prerogative power which prevent it being used for this purpose.
            Gina Miller
            Gina Miller

            We welcome the decision of the government to appeal from this judgment. We hope that the Supreme Court will apply the law in a more orthodox and logical way, allowing the government to fulfil its promise to the British people to implement their clear decision.
            Martin Howe QC
            Thomas Sharpe QC
            Clive Thorne
            Francis Hoa
            COMMENT

            Dixie Hughes
            Dixie Hughes

            Dixie Hughes:
            The true title of the legal case that ended in the High Court on Thursday, in which three judges ruled that 650 individuals had the right to frustrate the wishes of 17.4 million voters; should have been “Parliament v the People”
            By the European Referendum Act 2015, Parliament temporarily resigned its authority into the hands of those from whom it is derived: the electorate. This was voted for by 544 MPs to 53, on 9th June 2015.
            The vast majority of MPs are of the Remainian ilk; but only the SNP members, possibly due to their referendum-losing heritage, actually voted against allowing the “Will of the People” to be expressed. It is arguable that they have some case for interfering with Brexit; the 544 have not the shadow of a justification for doing so.
            The 544 include the Remainian rump that was so supremely confident that the People would give the “right” answer, they nodded the Bill through.
            It also included the Brexit MPs who wisely kept shtum.
            The Bill was approved by the House of Lords on 14th December 2015; Remainiacs again too slow to spot their chance; and the European Union Referendum Act received Royal Assent three days later.
            The government pledge to be bound by the referendum result was repeated in the controversial Remainian pamphlet, announced on 6th April 2016 and delivered to every home in the UK a week or so later.
            The wording used was; “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”
            The sending-out of that pamphlet, containing that pledge, was debated in the House of Commons; though many MPs voiced objection to the pamphlet, not one MP or Peer called for that pledge to be denied or removed.
            While the 2015 Referendum Act did not specifically state that the referendum was binding, the purpose of the referendum was billed by all sides as the place at which the decision on the UK’s membership of the European Union would be made.
            There would have been no point in calling a referendum if its result was not intended to be respected.
            The government could have hired focus groups.

            Over past decades, there has a been a long string of attempted challenges to the use of the prerogative power to extend EEC or EU powers, all of which have been rejected by the courts, sometimes in peremptory terms.
            However, when the prerogative is used to achieve “less Europe” in order to implement the decision of the British people, which an Act of Parliament empowered them to do, it is suddenly found that there are limitations on the prerogative power which prevent it being used for this purpose.
            So why should it be OK to have “more Europe” through exercise of the prerogative power, but wrong to have “less Europe” as a result of Article 50 being invoked and the direct effect parts of EU law ceasing to apply within the UK?

            But there is another crucial point.
            When Bills are presented in Parliament they are accompanied by a “Briefing Paper;” an outline; so even the dimmest Lib-Dem MP will know what he’s voting for or against.
            The European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16 was no exception.
            By invoking the Bill’s briefing paper in their ruling, the High Court referred to a paper that in one crucial respect undermines that ruling.
            This is from the relevant section in that briefing paper, entitled, ‘Types of Referendum:’
            “It [the referendum] does not contain any requirement for the UK Government to implement the results of the referendum, nor set a time limit by which a vote to leave the EU should be implemented. Instead, this is a type of referendum known as pre-legislative or consultative, which enables the electorate to voice an opinion which then influences the Government in its policy decisions.”
            Anyone spot what the High Court missed?
            The wording does not say that the result of the referendum is designed to influence PARLIAMENT, it says it is designed to influence “the GOVERNMENT.”
            The reason why it says that is that it was widely understood that parliament had indeed transferred its sovereignty to the people, and that it would then be up to the Government (not Parliament) to take the process further, and implement the will of the people.
            In other words, on 9th June 2015, MPs actually voted specifically for the Government to take action; to use the Royal Prerogative.
            Like · Reply · 3 · 6 hrs
            ART. 50 THE PLEDGE

          • AnthonyTuffin

            The self-styled “Lawyers for Britain” are entitled to their opinion but it is only an opinion. The judges decided what the law is and it must be respected unless a higher court reverses it, but that is unlikely,

          • Stephen Bond

            It makes no difference Brexit will happen one way or another. We are leaving and that will not be stopped by clegg farron Jones or anyone else, your beloved EU is finished in this country,

          • AnthonyTuffin

            I haven’t said it won’t happen and nor did those who brought the case. The case wasn’t about brexit; it was about due process, which the Government was trying to prevent.

        • Stephen Bond

          Constitutional authority and obligation
          So far, we have considered the question of who has the legal authority to trigger Article 50, and it is the government exercising Royal prerogative powers.
          However, under the UK’s unwritten constitution, the question of who has legal authority to do something is not always the same as who has constitutional authority to do it according to the practice and conventions of the constitution. There are many instances where the holder of a legal power is constrained by constitutional practice to exercise it or not to exercise it in a certain way.
          A famous and well known example is the constitutional convention under which the House of Commons alone is responsible for taxation. When the House of Lords broke that constitutional convention by exercising its legal power to vote down Lloyd George’s 1909 budget, it provoked a constitutional crisis which ended with the curtailment of the powers of the House of Lords under the Parliament Act 1911.
          The legal power to trigger Article 50 rests in the Crown (i.e. the government) as explained above. However it is clear that as a matter of constitutional practice, that government legal power must be exercised to give effect to the declared result of the referendum.
          First, the Conservative General Election Manifesto of 2015 promised a referendum on membership of the EU in the following terms:
          “We believe in letting the people decide: so we will hold an in-out referendum on our membership of the EU before the end of 2017.”
          It should be noted that the election promise was to “let the people decide”. It was not a promise to hold an advisory referendum, with the final decision being left to Parliament. Nor was there any mention of minimum thresholds of percentage of vote or of turnout before the referendum would be binding. Therefore the British people were given a politically and constitutionally binding promise in the election manifesto of the successful party that they would be given the final and deciding say in a referendum in which the majority would prevail.
          As a matter of constitutional practice, the inclusion of a policy in the election manifesto of a political party which achieves a majority at a general election gives rise to a constitutional mandate to implement that policy.
          Secondly, Parliament enacted the European Union Referendum Act 2015, whose formal title stated that its purpose was “To make provision for the holding of a referendum in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union”. That Act authorised the holding of the referendum, regulated who would be legally entitled to vote in it and other matters about the conduct of the campaign, and specified that the question would be: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
          The Act does not contain any provision saying that its result is subject to a minimum turnout threshold or a mininum percentage vote in favour of either remain or leave. Such thresholds can be imposed, for example a 40% of the electorate threshold was specified by Parliament in the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum. What would be unprecedented would be restrospectively imposing a threshold after the vote has taken place, as proposed by the petition mentioned above.
          The letter from 1,000 barristers claims that the result of the referendum is “advisory” because that Act “does not make it legally binding”. Clearly there is something seriously wrong with legal education today if 1,000 barristers can be found with such deep ignorance of the British constitution. It is true that the Act does not contain a section at the end expressly saying that the government is under a legal duty to proceed to implement the result of the vote.
          But that does not mean that the referendum result is “advisory”. The Act itself does not say that it is advisory. At no point did ministers in their public statements either to Parliament or outside say that the referendum result would only be advisory. On the contrary, they repeatedly said that the referendum would allow the British people to decide the question of whether we remain or leave.
          In opening the second reading debate (Hansard) on the Referendum Bill on 9 June 2015, the Foreign Secretary said:-
          “This is a simple, but vital, piece of legislation. It has one clear purpose: to deliver on our promise to give the British people the final say on our EU membership in an in/out referendum by the end of 2017.” (emphasis added)
          And he concluded that speech as follows:
          “Few subjects ignite as much passion in the House or indeed in the country as our membership of the European Union. The debate in the run-up to the referendum will be hard fought on both sides of the argument. But whether we favour Britain being in or out, we surely should all be able to agree on the simple principle that the decision about our membership should be taken by the British people, not by Whitehall bureaucrats, certainly not by Brussels Eurocrats; not even by Government Ministers or parliamentarians in this Chamber. The decision must be for the common sense of the British people. That is what we pledged, and that is what we have a mandate to deliver. For too long, the people of Britain have been denied their say. For too long, powers have been handed to Brussels over their heads. For too long, their voice on Europe has not been heard. This Bill puts that right. It delivers the simple in/out referendum that we promised, and I commend it to the House.” (emphasis added)
          Thirdly, in the course of the referendum campaign the government spent £9.5million of taxpayers’ money on printing a leaflet and distributing it to all households in the United Kingdom. That leaflet attracted widespread (and deserved) criticism for its gross bias in favour of remaining in the EU. However, on the consequences of the referendum it could not have been clearer. On the page headed “A once in a generation decision” it stated that:
          “The referendum on Thursday 23rd June is your chance to decide if we should remain in the European Union.”
          It did not say “it is your chance to advise on whether we should remain, the actual decision being taken by Parliament.”
          But it went on to be even clearer and more emphatic:
          “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”
          It is therefore clear that the referendum was not merely advisory, but was constitutionally decisive and binding. The clear, repeated and unequivocal promise made to the British people was that their vote in the referendum would finally decide the course which our country takes. Treating the result as merely advisory would be a flagrant breach of the repeated and unequivocal promises made to the British people. There should be no second guessing or reversal of the result by Parliament or by anybody else.
          The government is therefore constitutionally mandated to exercise its legal power under the Royal prerogative to trigger the Article 50 process.

          • AnthonyTuffin

            That’s too well written and spelt for you to have written it so you plagiarize as well as inciting insurrection.

            That is an opinion, but the Court has decided on the law. Unless the Government wins an appeal, you should accept the decision and not incite people against it.

          • Stephen Bond

            You are a complete waste of space, but then you are a quisling for the EU so I don’t expect much more.

        • Joe King

          Edmund Burke also said. Also note that it should be Edmund not Edmond.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/82b3eab9d1bcc8741d291492f46d3006fffddc2a9e95dcdfa8cc7accd8f7b191.jpg

          • AnthonyTuffin

            Oops, sorry! You’re right it’s Edmund not Edmond. Mea culpa!

            Thank you for the quotation. I haven’t checked it but I have no reason to suppose it’s wrong. But you seem to have misunderstood it. The key phrases are, “We are the expert artists; we are skilful workmen, to shape their desires into perfect form and fit the utensil to the use” and “we know the exact seat of the disease and know how to apply the remedy …”.

            In other words, the voters have expressed their wishes in the advisory referendum and now it’s Parliament’s – not the Government’s – right and duty to interpret the wishes (e.g. hard or soft brexit) and how best to do the best for the nation as a whole.

          • Joe King
    • Bob Jp

      What about the peoples sovereignty its time we had a written constitution. as no politician do not understand that the Magna Carta is still sacrosanct plus the laws concerning treachery.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/08180292901eb7c6b985b9a2878359e16729fbc44242d4ff5a9322f7d580dae3.jpg

      • AnthonyTuffin

        Indeed so! That is precisely the point that Gina Miller has established by this Court ruling. The Government cannot do whatever it likes without parliamentary approval and ride roughshod over people. That is the way to dictatorship. The Government requires the consent of the people’s representatives in Parliament.

        Whether to have a codified constitution (we already have a partly written one) is a separate question. There is a lot to be said for one and, if we had one which, like the USA’s, specified separation of powers, the PM probably wouldn’t even have tried to avoid Parliament and the legal challenge wouldn’t have been necessary.

        • Bob Jp

          But voting against the needs of the MAJORITY of people wish is riding over the peoples wish. That’s exactly why there is a need for a written constitution. All this crap would not of happened if the government actually understood the Magna Carta and other laws that make up of which is termed an unwritten constitution. In fact your argument could be looked at as treacherous. Because what we are really talking about is sovereignty that was given away, or loaned. This is why it should be observed that sovereignty is the people sovereignty it now seems that the government can not be trusted with it anyway.

          • AnthonyTuffin

            I agree the Government should understand the constitution even though it isn’t codified. Stephen Bond might be excused for not understanding it, but there is no excuse for the Government.

            The Court did NOT ride over the people’s wishes, or even over the wishes of the 52% of those who voted. It merely ruled that Parliament, not the Government, must take the decision; sovereignty rests with Parliament, not the Government.

            I cannot agree with your implication that the will of the majority of voters is always right. Although I’m not equating brexit with these extreme examples, the principle is the same and they illustrate my point, If the majority wanted to deport all black people, close all mosques or ban all political parties except one, the minority would depend on the Courts and Parliament to protect their rights.

          • Aasvogel

            Then, you contest the concept of democracy. It is quite true that the UK is NOT a democracy. It is a Constitutional Monarchy. However, when parliament delegates a decision to the people, and furthermore, accepts, in writing, that the will of the people be executed by that Parliament, it is on shaky ground if it question the decision of the people.

          • AnthonyTuffin

            You seem to have overlooked the point. You say the will of the people should be executed by Parliament but that is precisely what the Government is trying to prevent because it wants to trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary consent. The Court ruling protects Parliament and the rest of us from Executive power exercised by the Government in the name of the Crown. It doesn’t prevent Brexit and the issue is far greater than Brexit.

    • Aasvogel

      The people of the UK are sovereign. Parliament are elected civil servants of the people. Normal rules of representation do not apply to a referendum, which is direct democracy in action; parliament gave the decision, quite legally, to the people – which included themselves. Gina Miller is anti-democratic and her challenge will cause many pro-Remain MPs to lose their seats in due course and Brexit will happen regardless.

      • AnthonyTuffin

        It cannot be undemocratic to ask the Courts to do their job of interpreting the law that Parliament created.

        It is undemocratic to flout the law as the Government was trying to do before it was challenged.

        Also democracy is not simply the rule of the majority. That would be mob rule. Democracy is the rule of the majority with respect for the rights of minorities.

        For example, it would not be democratic to ban football even if a majority of people voted for it.

  • Never mind arguing that the judgement is immoral, undemocratic, infuriating, etc.; it’s
    wrong as a matter of law and logic. I explain why at http://jttlov.no-ip.org/soundandfury/articles/16-11-05-parliamentary_supremacy.htm
    tl;dr:
    leaving the EU treaties will not automatically disapply EU law
    domestically (the ECA 1972 doesn’t _care_ whether we’re a signatory to
    “the Treaties” or not), thus it doesn’t affect domestic law, thus the
    prerogative power can do it.

    I’m not sure why no-one else has noticed this — maybe no-one’s bothered to read the 1972 Act?

  • Dominic Pinto

    By demanding the rejection of the rule of law, IDS et al. appear to be calling for popular mass sovereignty through continuous referenda and plebiscite. That is a call to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary sovereignty. Are these Conservatives and patriots? Surely they should now be prosecuted for subversion if not treason?

    It gets better, with May and co. saying they will appeal to the Supreme Court .

    Even though it was common ground between the parties at the High Court that an A.50 notice was irrevocable, that may well have to be tested, and that will have to be on a reference to the EU Court of Justice:

    ‘In short, my understanding of the CILFIT test is that a highest court of a Member State (here, the UKSC) must request a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of the Treaties to the CJEU
    and has no discretion not to do so unless: (a) the question is (objectively) irrelevant for the adjudication of the case, or (b) the provision has already been interpreted by the CJEU, or (c) there is no scope for reasonable doubt in the interpretation of the provision. None of these apply in the specific case of the Article 50 litigation.’

    Ho hum that will definitely put the cat among the pigeons at Westminster and in the gutter press, UKIP, Little Englanders, etc etc. A red rag to an already raging bull!

  • TrishD

    Sadly, Parliament probably won’t stop Brexit, which is a shame, given that it will hurt the economy and pander to racism. But they should still get a vote, no matter how spineless they ultimately prove to be.

    • Bob Jp

      It will not hurt the economy in anyway staying in a collapsing EU will however. Investors will soon see thats very very true.

  • Paul roche

    Politicians should stick to their job description to enact the will of the people whether they like it or not. They’re supposed to be impartial but this stinks of agenda…..

    • AnthonyTuffin

      You seem to have missed two points.

      The first is that the judgement enables politicians (MPs) to do their job. The Government was trying to stop them by taking the decision out of their hands.

      The second is that MPs’ job is to act in the interests of the people, which isn’t always the same as what they want. I have quoted Edmond Burke’s views on this elsewhere on this site.

  • Bear1664

    “There is every prospect of the decision being reversed”. Mr Manby I assume you are a lawyer & qualified to make this assertion. I am a (retired) lawyer & I believe there is little chance of the Supreme Court overruling a very learned judgement by the Divisional Court. There can be little or no argument on their Lordships interpretation of the European Communities Act 1972. We can but see.

    • AnthonyTuffin

      Indeed, the judges found against the Government on every single count and they were unanimous.

  • AnthonyTuffin

    Law Society calls attacks on judges ‘dangerous and damaging’

    Attorney General Jeremy Wright’s comments about defending the rule of law following the Brexit ruling have been welcomed by the Law Society, which hosted the event where he was speaking.
    Society president Robert Bourns said: “Attacks on the judges simply because they were doing their jobs does our country no credit and government ministers must be unequivocal in their support for the rule of law even if they disagree with the judgment.”

    “It is part of the role of lawyers to defend unpopular causes and there has been an increasing narrative in recent months that seeks to conflate the jobs solicitors and barristers do with the causes they represent as part of our system of justice. The extension of this to disparaging and criticising judges is dangerous and damaging.”

    The point is not whether we leave the EU or not but whether we respect judges and courts and uphold the rule of law.

  • Bob Jp

    Conservatives for liberty what a joke. lol A fixed poll to boot. Would be nice to see the names. lol All I can say is OPERATION BEACON. and stop being silly boys. lol

  • As the invoking of Article 50 is simply a procedural process that hasn’t occurred yet what exactly are parliament going to vote on, the EU referendum Bill which was voted in favour of by 517 members of parliament passed the mandate to the people to decide, that was parliaments vote, not only giving the people the right to decide but also giving government the right to implement whatever outcome was decided. As the end result was to Leave then the next stage has to be notifying the EU of the result which automatically triggers Article 50. Really this should have taken place on 24th June. The EU Referendum Bill is the key to all of this nonsense and I think all this court case fiasco is nothing more than a Tory delay tactic anyway because they want Brexit to happen as close to the next GE as possible. Ironically, should the Supreme Court not overturn this judgement then it can be taken to the European Courts and wouldn’t that be an amusing end to all of this.

  • Aasvogel

    The MPs had their chance to vote on June the 23rd. Why should they get another chance when the people of the UK have already decided to leave? Are MP’s votes worth more than citizens’ votes? What business is it of 3 judges to interfere, when no laws were broken?

    • AnthonyTuffin

      The law would be broken if the Government took the decision without proper scrutiny and approval by Parliament.

      • Aasvogel

        Nonsense. A referendum is the most proper scrutiny. Parliament, which is the servant of the people, has elected to withdraw from the ballot, which, by definition of referendum, is entrusted to the people. It seems to me that you fail to understand the concept of direct democracy; imperfect, but better than all the other alternatives, as Winston Churchill explained to us all those year ago. Sir, you are rooted in the past.

        • AnthonyTuffin

          Winston Churchill was talking about representative, not direct, democracy.

          You say it’s nonsense that “The law would be broken if the Government took the decision without proper scrutiny and approval by Parliament” but that was the Court’s decision and, although you may disagree, with it, who are you to say it’s nonsense. We’ll have to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision.

          Also morally, the Government shouldn’t interpret the referendum result however it likes and probably behind closed doors. That’s the job of our representatives in Parliament in open, public debate.

          • Aasvogel

            How do you know what Winston Churchill meant? Moral interpretation is not the Government’s job. We, the people of the UK are the masters. They are supposed to keep our house secure. We were lied to by Heath and Wilson when we joined the Common Market. I believed them and voted to remain. Had I known about the Great Deception (political union) I would have voted differently. Brexit has righted that wrong. Government are our servants. We entrust the keys to the house to them from time to time. When they give the keys to neighbours, we have the right to sack them. That is sovereignty.

          • AnthonyTuffin

            In Winston Churchill’s day, UK democracy was representative. We had never had a referendum so there was no question of so-called “direct democracy”. Winston was talking about representative democracy.

            The rest of your comment is your opinion and we aren’t going to agree on that.

  • Joe King
    • AnthonyTuffin

      That is your opinion but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject of this string; i.e. whether Government or Parliament interprets the referendum result and decides when and how to trigger Article 50.

      • Joe King

        That is my opinion and also that of 17,410,742 others. The electorate decided and parliament should not be allowed to vote. All MP’s had voted already in the referendum they do not have the right to vote again. They also endorsed the referendum in Parliament by a vote of 6:1.

        From what I can see from your comments on here you must be an expert in constitutional law and democracy. Sorry to tell you but Brexit will happen. Leave means Leave. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62b2e6657194cdef8dfac17eb81d45611c33aa8df0af64cc58b1b1caf333f44b.jpg

        • AnthonyTuffin

          This forum isn’t, and the Court case wasn’t, about whether brexit will happen or not. Whether or not I’m an expert in constitutional law I leave others to judge but, as the Divisional Court judges agreed with me, I’m probably more of an expert than you are. We’ll have to wait and see what the Supreme Court decides, but I’m confident, it will uphold the original judgement.

  • vernony

    As far as Parliament is concerned it voted to allow the citizens of Great Britain a referendum on membership of the EU. That referendum has been taken and the vote was leave. Parliament have,, done therefore done their job. The referendum did not include other questions such as instructing the government, or its opposition to negotiate . The referendum said ‘leave’, and that is what Parliament must do

  • vernony

    Yes, I agree, with you Andrew, once a party or a group starts to warp the law in its own favour, then we are heading for the totalitarian state . The Judges have given their opinion, and that is open to appeal. UKIP, like any other party, has to follow the law . I am sure that there are some very clever people in Westminister who will find a legal way around this

  • vernony

    I think that there is a way around this and here is a letter which I sent to my MP. If the government simply implements the referendum and tables Art 50 to leave the EU, with no negotiations. Then Jeremy Corbyn and Nick Clegg, will have no ground to argue . Here is a letter which I sent to my MP . I think some of the countries listed I( and by the way I left Southern Ireland off of the list and we are their biggest export market) So please add them in mentally as you read down the list:

    I think there is far too much talk, to the effect, that we have to have an negotiated settlement with Europe.

    The question(s) asked of the British public was if they wished to remain in the EU, or leave it. The vote was leave.

    Leave does not require negotiations, it is a clear cut and precise instruction to the British Government from the people.

    There is nothing to suggest that a simple leave would create havoc in the United Kingdom, for example, and these are

    only just the countries in the EU that I have researched.

    1. Great Britain is the worlds biggest market for German manufactured cars.

    2. Great Britain is France’s second largest market for its wines.

    3. Great Britain is the third largest market for Danish goods and services

    4. Great Britain is the third largest market for Swedish goods and services.

    5. Holland, in one estimate that I have read, claim that Brexit will cost them ten billion Euros.

    6. Spain . There are Seven hundred and sixty one thousand British nationals living in Spain. Each month and each

    year those 761.000 import their pensions into Spain, they also import, more than likely, huge amounts of money to

    buy Spanish properties, and often import their assets such as bank accounts and investments. So all, in all, probably

    more than ten billion British Pounds find their way into the Spanish exchequer every year . I suspect, to a lesser

    degree that Greece, Cyprus, and Malta benefit greatly from British settlers too .

    It seems that the rest of the world are able to trade with the EU, but for some reason the Government thinks we are

    different and we must have a trade agreement, for reasons that are somewhat obscure.

    Looking at the figures above:- The EU exports far more to us than we buy from them. So assuming we just get out.

    Exports from Great Britain to the EU, would suffer an import tariff.

    Likewise imports from the EU would suffer a similar tariff in this country. Mathematically, the UK would be making

    more v/v from import duty than the EU does. As we would no longer be bound by the Treaty of Rome, we would be

    able to assist our exporters to the EU from tariffs taken on our imports from them.

    Really to hang on like this is breaking the country apart and it will only get worse. If the Prime Minister will simply

    repeal the Treaty of Rome, then Parliament does not have to vote upon it, because that is in abeyance with the

    instruction LEAVE. The more complicated the government makes it by interpreting this as an instruction to negotiate

    with the EU, the trickier it is going to get in Parliament, and it will undoubtedly lead to strife across the United

    Kingdom.

    In the long run strife will cost us dearly and maybe even in lives lost. May I urge you to support, in Parliament, the

    immediate repeal the Rome Treaty now, before it is too late ? !

  • Denis allen

    GB joined the common market which then became known as the EEC , European economic community , then the EU as we know it now, none of us voted to join the EU.