Art 50 case in court(10 Posts)
As it is now in court we will haev to wait for the result.
My money is on the Government winning. I support Brexit but although it's finely balanced I think the law favours the Government's side - no Parliamentary approval needed to serve the Art 50 notice.
Today , Thursday, 16 QCs and 20 - 30 solicitors in the High Court where it will all be happening. www.ft.com/content/91712c72-908b-11e6-8df8-d3778b55a923
I think the government will lose. But will then appeal. This could drag on for months, but ultimately the sovereignty of parliament will prevail, the courts will not allow this sneaky power grab by TM
I hope the government will lose. Will be watching with interest
It is such an imortant issue that I expect to get before the Court of Appeal fairly quickly and then the Supreme Court hopefully both before March. I am sure it would be escalated before other cases.
I don't regard it as a sneaky power grab to go with a referendum result (even though I voted Remain). Arguably it is quite the opposite - it is the people of the UK (albeit by a small majority only) saying "f. off rich Metropolitan elite MPs" - the people have spoken.
Jack of Kent's blog provides a good summary of what it's about:
The case is not about whether Article 50 is triggered or not. The case is instead about who makes the decision. Is the decision to be made by the government or by Parliament?
Peregrina - I agree with you but I think it has become contentious because of all the calls for more votes and blocking Brexit since June mean it isn't necessarily viewed like that. Even now some people hope that it is about stopping Article 50 altogether.
Cameron's promise to trigger Article 50 on June 24thif the leave vote won went largely unchallenged in the run up to the vote. Certainly nobody in Parliament was vocally saying that this was an outrage and a bypassing of democracy. But when it actually went leave, suddenly many in Parliament wanted to be involved which makes people suspicious that they are only seeking to be involved to block the process. Afterall most of them supported remain even if 66% of them represent constituencies that voted leave.
It would all be a lot neater to have an Article 50 debate, let it pass the Commons and then be enacted. And that may well happen whether court directed or not. As it happens, I think it would pass. Nicky Morgan for example said yesterday she would vote for it (or probably vote for it - I don't remember how strongly she worded it) since she said it is the nature of Brexit not Brexit itself that she feels parliament now has to have a say on.
And of course May could do as Major did and attach a vote of no confidence to any such vote. So if too many Tories strayed and not enough Labour MPs backed it, then the government would effectively brought down as a result and either Corbyn would be left to run things (if he could secure enough backing in the house - which he almost certainly couldn't) or a new General Election would be needed which in all likelihood would return another Tory government with an automatic Brexit mandate and an extra two years in office before another election was needed.
Tiggytape - I think we are largely in agreement. The judges won't see it as an attempt to block A50, whatever Joe Public thinks - but just as Jack of Kent says, an important discussion of constitutional law. Since that isn't clear, it will be good to have clarification.
I personally think that the vast majority of the HoC showed a dereliction of duty, and didn't insist on a defined majority being required e.g. like two thirds of the vote, or 51% of the total electorate. That might be what they are trying to compensate for now. I think there should be a proper debate, then there is no doubt about its legitimacy, which I think there always will be if Royal Perogative is used.
Yes - the courts aren't there to decide what political capital may be made via either outcome. They address the constitutional principle - and that's as it should be.
As for the retrospective regrets about not insisting on a turnout threshold, a majority threshold and a double lock (Scotland and/or Northern Ireland needing to agree with the majority outcome to make it valid) - well it is all far too late for that. The Act that set out the terms of the referendum passed by a massive majority and if MPs now regret how they framed it, they have no-one to blame but themselves. That was after all an area where they were heavily consulted and had full involvement.
The only case I can see against debating Article 50 (aside from the small chance it would fail and bring down the government throwing us into an extra 6 months of chaos for the same result with a bigger Tory majority) is to query what it would achieve. The tone is very much "We're best off in the EU but we accept we have to leave" (a very few lone voices in Parliament don't accept that last part) versus "It will all be fabulous but we cannot tell you how else we'll reveal our hand and then it will be a bit less fabulous than it might have been"
In other words a re-run of most of the pre-referendum arguments. One side says we can have free market access and control immigration (that spectrum of access mentioned yesterday). The other side says that's wishful thinking. And neither side can prove it because until we start negotiations, nobody can say with full authority what we will get, what we will concede and what the EU are bluffing about (or will change their minds about with some newly elected EU leaders next year). In other words thrashing out our "Brexit Position" is just a glorified wishlist that anyone can say is as realistic or unrealistic as they want.
But of course the main argument for allowing it anyway is to be seen to be consulting and listening even if, in reality, the Brexit deal we get is going to be at best 50% based on what the government decides it wants.
By the way I understand the Supreme Court is already booked to hear any appeal from the CA before the end of the year so this will certainly be rushed through given the importance.
No one seems to have been given permission to tweet from the high court hearing as far as I can see.
You can read the transcript of what was said in court yesterday at www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications/santos-and-m-v-secretary-of-state-for-exiting-the-european-union-transcripts/
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