Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court has rejected the UK government’s appeal.  The Court has upheld a previous ruling that parliament must pass an Act to approve the triggering of Article 50 which  starts the process of withdrawal from the EU.

The eleven Justices reached their decision by a majority of 8 to 3, on the following basis.

Under the British Constitution,  the Crown cannot use the Prerogative to infringe domestic rights. As Article 50 is irrevocable, its notice would undermine rights given under EU law. Parliament approved the entry of EU law into UK domestic law and only parliament can undo that by an Act of Parliament.

The issues around this were discussed in a previous post on 11th December 2016 entitled ‘The reality around the Supreme Court deliberations’. They don’t need reiterating here.

Especially as the UK government has committed to bringing the necessary legislation before parliament for approval so that Mrs May can meet her March 31st 2017 deadline for triggering Article 50.

Die hard Remainers are expected to vote against, as are the Scottish Nationalists who systematically and automatically use all issues to try and separate Scotland from the United Kingdom.

However, the government is expected to have a majority, especially as the Leader of the Opposition has said that Labour MPs are expected to respect the verdict of the June 23rd Referendum.

The above is a basic outline of the position on the evening of the day the Supreme Court gave its ruling.

One or two matters are worth noting too.

Paragraph 60 [and following] in the Supreme Court decision today tells us all we need to know about the reality of just how powerful the EU has been. It gives the lie to the attempts by the Remain camp to play down just how much our national sovereignty has been eroded.

I quote.

60. Many statutes give effect to treaties by prescribing the content of domestic
law in the areas covered by them. The 1972 Act does this, but it does considerably
more as well. It authorises a dynamic process by which, without further primary
legislation (and, in some cases, even without any domestic legislation), EU law not
only becomes a source of UK law, but actually takes precedence over all domestic
sources of UK law, including statutes. This may sound rather dry or technical to
many people, but in constitutional terms the effect of the 1972 Act was
unprecedented. Indeed, it is fair to say that the legal consequences of the United
Kingdom’s accession to the EEC were not fully appreciated by many lawyers until
the Factortame litigation in the 1990s

This paragraph alone gives the lie to the claim by the those who brought this action that their concern was to assert the supremacy of parliament. A bare faced lie they repeated in their public pronouncements today following the court’s ruling.

In fact, the UK government  was simply following the logic of the Referendum result, a Referendum held by Act of Parliament. The intended use of the Prerogative was entirely  in accordance with this. There was nothing arbitrary or despotic about the government’s intentions, as the deniers of Brexit imply.

Such a court action might have been justified had the UK government gone ahead to trigger Article 50 without a Referendum vote and without a Referendum Act and without an explicit manifesto commitment, and explicit statements in Parliament.

In fact, our present system of Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary sovereignty was established in 1688/9 against the abuse of Crown Prerogative by James II, a monarch in league with foreign powers against his own people … a situation not dissimilar to our contemporary situation with an Establishment in league with EUrocracy… 

The other matter of note is this. The Court kept both itself and the Brexit process out of the minefield of devolved administrations having a legal/constitutional right to determine/veto the UK government’s negotiations and final severance agreement with the EU.

Quite simply, it is a matter for the UK parliament. Having ruled that an Act of the UK Parliament is needed, there are no grounds for devolved administrations to interfere constitutionally or legally in a decision by Parliament at Westminster.

It is worth reminding ourselves that  the devolved Administrations are, after all, constituent institutions within the United Kingdom. They are not themselves the United Kingdom which has a government in London – not Edinburgh, or Belfast or Cardiff. They are devolved administrations, not superior administrations, and the populations they serve are very small minorities by comparison with the population resident in England which has no nationwide devolved assembly of its own.

The Scots had their once in a generation Referendum in 2014. In 2016 they participated in a United Kingdom referendum which asked the question as to whether the United Kingdom should remain in the EU or leave it. Scotland was nowhere mentioned on the ballot paper.

But a minority of Scots with their disproportionate representation at Westminster [as well as their representation at Holyrood] demand a disproportionate say in the future of the United Kingdom. Or I should say a disproportionate say in order to achieve the break up of the United Kingdom – a key principle in the EUtopian agenda for the UK which few people realise. 

What is clear from their actions, if not their professions, is that the various interests contesting Brexit refuse to accept the Referendum result and its inevitable consequences. The excuses are varied but their aim remains the same: frustrate or minimise the impact of the decision made by the electorate of the UK last June.

They won’t succeed.

Ray Catlin

for legal technicalities on this issue, go to: http://www.lawyersforbritain.org/

May means it !

As I sit down to write this post the sun is shining in a clear blue sky on a cold mid January day. I have just returned from a walk in the countryside with my wife after listening to Theresa May’s Brexit strategy speech live.

I cannot help feeling that the day and the setting match the mood of the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit. Bright and optimistic set in a realistic appreciation of the UK’s position regarding the the negotiations to exit the EU.

I do believe Mrs May understands that Britain holds all the aces in this game. So we cannot lose. She knows, and the EU knows, whatever their public face to the contrary.

Mrs May made a great deal of the idea of Britain as a global player and globally oriented, open to other peoples and ideas. This was more than ideological. It was the full PR works leading up to – and interspersing – the message that Brexit will mean Brexit.

She was anticipating the little England accusation beloved of Remoaners.

We will not be partial members, or even associate members of the EU, but equal partners with the EU. We will be good neighbours, friends and allies co-operating on security and defence. But we are going to be a fully sovereign nation making our own laws, no longer accountable to the European Court of Justice.

As a convinced Leave voter of many years standing I would be among the first to spot any indication of compromise or hedging.

Yes, there may be room for such in the suggestion the UK will look for some deal on Customs Union; in her desire to look at transitional arrangements on trade beyond the 2 year Article 50 limit; in the willingness to look at the UK’s continued participation in specific projects.

She did not mention any in particular but I understood that to mean projects like ERASMUS, the student exchange programme – programmes which of necessity would mean a financial contribution.

But she specifically ruled out the massive budget payments which have characterised membership. She also ruled out Single Market membership, and any engagement in the Customs Union provisions which tie the UK’s hands in making her own Trade deals world wide.

She made very clear the need to respect the June 23rd 2016 Referendum vote, and made clear in answers to questions that she fully anticipates that Parliament will do the same when it comes to debate and vote on the final Brexit deal.

What especially made me aware that she intends to see this through, and that she can and will walk away with no deal, was her calm and polite message to those in Europe who want to punish the UK or set terms to dissuade other members leaving.

For their part that would be an act of “self harm” [and I just love the apposite use of a term beloved of Nick Clegg in his propaganda attempts to undermine the Brexit vote]. She understands full well how dependent EU states are on trade into the UK market. And she made clear her willingness to walk away from any deal which did not meet the terms necessary to match the June 23rd vote.

She knows full well she can do it and that the EU would lose out, not Britain.

I do believe that Theresa May understands the strength of Britain’s position and the weakness of the EU’s; that she is prepared to make deals on a proper free trade basis; that she can and will walk away if the EU does not come up with the necessary.

And I believe it because Brexit spells the end of decades of Tory party division on the issue, and it spells the end of the electoral threat from UKIP.

To achieve this prize for his party, Cameron was prepared to gamble on a Referendum. May won’t throw it all away !

Ray Catlin

ps

As a British expat living in France, I note that the UK Prime Minister stated in her speech that EU leaders refused to settle the question of expats in each others countries at this stage. Theresa May had wanted to take people out of the equation and provide certainty. The EU did not. Even though there are twice as many EU nationals in UK as there are UK citizens in the EU.

This speaks volumes about the condescending and callous mentality of EUtopians: like all ideologues, their Ideal takes precedence over the reality faced by ordinary human beings.

Just one of the many reasons I voted to Leave the EU