24 January 2017
The Supreme Court ruling is in, and it could change the course of Brexit.
The Supreme Court has now ruled by a majority of eight to three that the government is unable to trigger Brexit by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty through the use of the royal prerogative – that is, without the express consent of parliament. The case followed the High Court ruling against the government in R (Miller) vs Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
The outcome had been expected for weeks, with many going so far as to predict a split decision. It came after the EU links of the unelected lawyers were exposed, with calls across the spectrum for President of the Court, David Neuberger, to stand aside because of his wife’s open contempt for the democratic process. She denounced referendums as ‘mad and bad’ in an infantile rage after the national vote didn’t go the way she wanted.
The verdict has been hailed by anti-democratic Brexophobic campaigners across the political spectrum but it will not, however, be seen as uniformly good news among Remainers. Many had hoped to use bases of power within the devolved administrations to retard the Brexit process, particularly in Scotland where the First Minister is one of the country’s outstanding whingers: Nicola Sturgeon. But the Court has ruled unanimously that the devolved administrations must have no say in the process – one small victory for common sense. We voted as a United Kingdom, and we should leave as a United Kingdom.
Mrs May must now move quickly to ensure she hits her self-imposed deadline and begin the formal Brexit process by the end of March. Her Brexit Secretary David Davis today confirmed that Article 50 legislation will be ready by the end of the week, amid reports that four versions of the bill had already been drafted to account for the various possible judgments of the Court.
But the parliamentary approval process could be difficult, with a majority of members of the House of Commons backing Remain in June’s referendum and the antiquated House of Lords being stuffed full of Liberal Democrat peers and puppets from the other political parties – a chamber which perhaps represents the people even less than the House of Commons, if such a thing could be imagined. A number of Europhile puppets have already insisted they will vote to block Brexit, including Ken Clarke, Caroline Lucas, and David Lammy.
Of course the entire case is a product of several missed opportunities for decisive action which actors in the political elite missed – either through incompetence or wilful sabotage. David Cameron promised throughout the referendum campaign to respect the will of the British people, with the government’s outrageous £9m propaganda leaflet making clear that it was our decision. He vowed to invoke Article 50 swiftly should the public return a Leave vote, but instead of keeping his promises he left office like a coward and threw the first spanner in the works.
Mrs May too had weeks to trigger Brexit before the Miller case was brought, and had she the nerve to act in the national interest we may be half way out of the European Union today. Instead she’s opposed by the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, and large parts of the Labour party. Hypocrite Jeremy Corbyn celebrates the Supreme Court ruling, even though he famously demanded that Cameron invoke Article 50 on the morning of June 24 – a rare moment of good sense from Mr Corbyn, and one he didn’t hesitate to undermine quickly.
The case against
Unlike the ruling that devolved administrations could not intervene in the process, which was a clear matter of law on which all the Justices agreed, the central question was not a unanimous decision and three of the country’s most esteemed lawyers recognised the will of 17.4 million people – savaging the absurd case brought by Gina Miller and exposing its numerous errors.
All three of the dissenting Justices, Lords Reed, Carnwath, and Hughes, understood that the European Communities Act was conditional on EU membership and did not in any way impose or stipulate that the EU was to remain subject to the European treaties. Lord Carnwath also recognised that Article 50 notice merely began the Brexit process. It did not necessitate any loss of rights.
It’s heartening to know that some of those in the judiciary are capable of hearing a case dispassionately and seeing the legal realities. Let’s hope that Mrs May can work effectively to get the wheels turning on Brexit now, so that this disgraceful interference in our nation’s destiny recedes into a mere footnote in the history of our path to restored national independence.