The Supreme Court’s decision could be viewed as something of a non-event in that it ruled that HM Government must hold a vote in Parliament to trigger Article 50 – something that Theresa May has already promised to do.
The Court has said that triggering Article 50 requires an Act of Parliament. This leaves the way open for the Commons and the Lords to put in amendments to the Act. The Remainers in both Houses of Parliament will no doubt do all they can to qualify, restrain, delay and thwart the process as best they can.
All this was entirely avoidable had Theresa May triggered Article 50 by writing a simple note to the European Council the day after she was appointed. She did not. Instead she did nothing and allowed the Remainers to regroup and counter attack through the courts. They now have the upper hand in that they can amend the Act that we will see in March.
The Remainers strategy is to bog-down the leaving process, and either to find a way of preventing entirely, or ensure that the Government negotiates a ‘deal’ that means that in real terms we really do not leave at all. For what that looks like refer to the ‘Swiss and Norwegian models’. They pay contributions to the EU, obey a great many of their laws, and have open borders to EU citizens.
Mrs May has said that we are leaving the Single Market, and that we will control immigration. But our final departure is a long way off in mid-2019. Who knows who will be Prime Minister or in office by then. We cannot say what the outcome of the leaving process will be. The Remainers will wage a relentless campaign to keep Britain in the EU.
The one good thing about the Judgement is that it did not allow the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies to have a say in the process.
This Judgement merely reinforces the UKIP policy that we should begin the leaving process not by triggering Article 50 but by Repealing the European Communities Act (1972).
HM Government should put such a bill before Parliament now. This would achieve the following:
- MPs would have to decide it they are going to implement the decision of the people in the Referendum, or put themselves in opposition to the people and precipitate a constitutional crisis.
- HM Government would then be in the process of leaving – not the European Union.
- HH Government and Parliament could then take emergency legislative action on key issues such as immigration, trade, farming and fishing; and repeal or amend other Acts of Parliament enshrining EU law in UK according to its own priorities and timescales.
The Referendum was just the first battle in the war to free ourselves of the European Union.