Following a High Court ruling yesterday which states the UK Government has to consult Parliament before triggering Article 50, Shy Society has responded with the 5 key reasons why this ruling should be opposed at all costs.
- UK Government should act on its promise
The democratically elected UK Government delivered a clear, concise message to voters ahead of the EU referendum. This message featured prominently on websites, billboards, advertisements and, unforgettably, that disgraceful £9m propaganda leaflet which was delivered through every British letterbox at a cost to the taxpayer.
That message, in black and white, declared the June 23 vote as a “once in a generation” decision before going on: “The referendum on Thursday 23rd June is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union. This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”
If this was wrong at the time, why did the likes of Gina Miller not mount their legal challenge at this point? At the very least, why did Remain MPs and supporters not highlight the so-called technicality which meant the referendum was merely advisory? They didn’t, of course, and the UK Government should not be sabotaged after the event in their efforts to implement the will of the majority which is to leave the European Union.
- Vote was backed by Parliament by 6 to 1
A popular argument used by people still struggling to accept the result of the referendum is “This (the High Court ruling) is democracy in action because the referendum was never legally binding and a sovereign Parliament should be given a vote.”
However, what they fail to acknowledge is that Parliament already has had a vote. The then Prime Minister David Cameron put his EU Referendum Bill to the House of Commons and MPs voted unanimously in favour by 316 votes to 53 before the legislation was also passed in the Lords. On 17 December 2015, after the legislation was granted Royal Assent, a joint statement from David Lidington and John Penrose on the Government website stated: “…The British people will then have the final and decisive say.” The Government, with backing from MPs in Parliament, left the public in no doubt that the outcome of the vote would be acted upon.
Most sensible Remainers have accepted the result but predictably, the same people now quoting ‘Parliamentary sovereignty’ with glee are the same people who were happy to give more and more powers away to Brussels for 41 consecutive years.
- Legal technicality doesn’t hide the sour grapes
Not a single mainstream media outlet or leading figure in either campaign spoke out about the advisory status of the referendum or the fact it wasn’t legally binding ahead of June 23. Isn’t it ironic that we now have a millionaire born outside of Britain attempting to scupper a democratic vote because she didn’t like the outcome? In her words, the Brexit vote “made her feel sick”. Well Gina, such self-interest has left the bitter taste of sick in the mouths of more than 17 million people and we will not take this absurdity lying down. Would these wealthy, high-powered elites have launched a High Court challenge on a legal technicality had leave lost the vote? I think we all know the answer to that.
The process of leaving the EU was always going to create a period of short to medium-term economic uncertainty but again, ironically, it’s the very people now trying to derail democracy and subvert the will of the majority of people that risk prolonging that uncertainty. Both sides in Britain need to work together and, at the very least, wait to see what deal Theresa May negotiates with Brussels rather than trying to disrupt the negotiation process, which starts with Article 50, before it has even begun.
- Backsliding will destroy trust in politicians for a generation
Brexit is numerically the largest democratic mandate in the history of the UK with 17,410,742 people voting leave. That is more than voted for the Governments of Tony Blair, John Major and David Cameron as well as being larger than the 1975 Common Market referendum and No2AV referendum of 2011.
Advisory or not the British public offered its overwhelming advice and with trust among politicians already at an all-time low, not delivering on the referendum result could destroy any remaining trust for a generation as well as sparking civil unrest across the country.
But don’t take our word for it. One very sensible Remainer, Dan Jones, spelt out on Facebook exactly the dangerous precedent it would set. He said: “I don’t want to leave the EU personally but to not leave would make a mockery of any so-called democracy. While the referendum wasn’t legally binding, to call for one and put the power into the hands of the people before ignoring them would set one hell of a precedent. It would be bad news for everyone, not just leave voters. It would show a complete disregard for the entire electorate.”
- Central judge with clear conflict of interest
Legitimate questions have to be asked as to why the leading High Court judge in this case had such a vested interest? The Lord Chief Justice, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd, is a founding member of the European Law Institute (ELI). In its ‘manifesto’ it says one of its aims is the “enhancement of European legal integration” and to “contribute to the formation of a more vigorous European legal community.”
Rather like local councillors declare a conflict of interest on a planning matter if they live close to a proposed development, Lord Thomas should surely have been ruled inappropriate to sit on such a matter of huge national significance given his affiliation with the ELI?
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain