CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM
The reaction to the High Court decision saying that Parliament should be able to debate and trigger Britain’s application to leave the EU has been both depressing and ludicrous.
Newspapers like the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph have treated the judges as ” enemies of the people ” just for having the temerity to lay down what is a perfectly valid constitutional decision.
They have NOT ruled that Britain should never leave the European Union but only that our leaving should follow proper constitutional procedures.
The papers have whipped up popularism on a totally false premise and played to the ignorance of people about what is actually happening.
The people who voted to leave the European Union should be delighted not furious about what has happened.
Their main case for leaving the EU was that they didn’t want to be ruled by Brussels and wanted to take back our sovereignty to rule ourselves.
Well what has happened. A British court composed of British judges has ruled that a British Parliament should have the last word and decide how we leave the EU. Brussels or any other foreign power has not said a word.
That seems perfectly reasonable to me. We are a Parliamentary democracy who elect MPs to pass laws and take up issues on our behalf. What we had earlier this year was a referendum not a general election in which the people decided to leave the EU. Therefore it is Parliament not the government that should be guardian of that referendum.
The last general election was won by a party that promised a referendum on whether we should leave the EU, not on a mandate that we will leave the EU – you had to vote UKIP for that.
The other criticism of media coverage of this ruling is the despicable attack on both the person who brought the case and on the judges themselves. Anybody has a right to bring a case and the idea they should be pilloried for doing so is anathema to democracy.
And the attack on the judges – particularly the homophobic criticism of one of them – was absolutely beyond the pale. What right has the Daily Mail to highlight that one of the judges was gay. Do we have ruling that no gay judge can pass judgement in this country? That is utterly despicable – worthy more of Donald Trump than Paul Dacre.
There is another profound reason why Parliament should make the final decision. Yes we voted to leave the EU but nobody was given a clear picture of how we were going to leave the EU during the referendum. The No camp did not have a plan.
So given there about 57 Heinz varieties of doing so – it is right that our MPs and for that matter peers under the present system should debate how we are going to do it and question the government on their plans.
The government is arguing that to do so would give away their hand. This is ridiculous and untenable. If the government think they can negotiate in secret they misunderstand the role of the press in this country and Europe. their plans will inevitably be leaked and when it comes to the negotiations to leave in Europe- journalists will have the resources to tap officials from 28 countries to find out what is going on. Theresa May is living in cloud cuckoo land if she thinks she can keep a lid on it.
So what is all this sound and fury about this decision by the judges – in my view it is much ado about nothing. People should grow up and accept in a mature democracy the issue should be debated and decided in the best forum to safeguard our sovereignty- Parliament.