IMG_0126.PNG

 

We began the year with Brexiters urging us to take back control, to have our laws made by the British parliament, and our laws interpreted by British judges in British courts. We end it to a rousing chorus of Leavers saying “No, not that parliament. And not that court”.

Theresa May told the country she could unilaterally trigger Article 50, only to be told by the High Court she could not but required parliamentary authorization. The government appealed this decision to the Supreme Court, which will deliver a verdict in January.

In addition to the original parties who brought the case against the government, the Supreme Court heard interventions from Edinburgh and Cardiff as the devolved governments argued they too should have a say on the timing of any notification. An additional claimant was also permitted to argue that the unique situation of Northern Ireland meant it deserved special consideration.

Much of the press coverage focused with predictable venom on the character of those seeking to assert their rights rather than on the central issue of how the UK should go about implementing the referendum result and leaving the EU, which Vote Leave’s campaign director called the “hardest job since beating the Nazis”.

In court, David Allen Green writes, the government faced the problem that much of its case rested “on inferences and implications”. Parliament has not explicitly stated that the executive cannot exercise its power in this way, its lawyer argued, and there is an implied legal consequence to a leave vote in the act allowing for the referendum. 

The parties on the other side had an apparently more straightforward argument. The government had described the referendum as advisory, so any consequences would be political, whereas to repeal the 1972 European Communities act would require explicit legislation.

In addition to that case were the specific concerns of the devolved regions. The government will need to be proved right in every argument to proceed as it wishes.

However the Supreme Court rules, the government received something of a grilling. At one point, government lawyer James Eadie was described by Lord Sumption as seeming “to have given two diametrically opposed answers in the last five minutes to the same question”.

At stake is the prerogative of the executive versus the rights of elected lawmakers. As InFacts argued back in July, whatever the courts say it should be our sovereign Parliament that gets the final say.

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 09.12.2016


From time to time we'll share exclusive interview clips (including never-seen-before footage), the most incisive blog posts and the most interesting dispatches from our event organisers as they take the europe debate to the furthest, biggest, smallest, weirdest, most unusual places around europe and beyond.

Sign up to the Newsletter



Share this

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Stay in touch Get our Newsletter

Address

info@thewakeupfoundation.eu

Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3GA

About

The Wake up Foundation is a registered charity no. 1152894

Donate now

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.

Created with NationBuilder

X Close

Join Wake Up Europe!

Wake Up Europe is a campaign brought to you by the Wake Up Foundation. It was sparked by the themes explored in The Great European Disaster Movie by Annalisa Piras and Bill Emmott.

We believe in the values that inspired the European project but that this project isn't working. Europe is sleep-walking towards disaster. We must wake up Europe so that we can save Europe from itself.

This job is too important to be left to the elites, the media, the political parties alone: ordinary people must be encouraged to discuss what Europe they want to see.


Or support us another way

Donate Host an event