Freedom of the press, one of the bastions of a democratic society! True, I suppose, but it is still hard to accept the irresponsible (in my view) headlines against the recent Court Rulings on the Brexit affair.
For those not conversant with this, essentially the Government of Teresa May was stopped from the ability to enable Article 50 which triggers the UK’s withdrawal from The EU, without the express support of Parliament. It had been the Government’s view that since the Government had authorised, through Parliament, the Brexit Referendum the Government were expressly mandated by the People of the UK to get on with Brexit.
The Government not Parliament negotiate treaties was the prevailing idea. ‘Wrong’ said the Courts – you must get Parliamentary approval and that will, entail the Government laying out its goals for a Hard/Soft Brexit. No one knows what the negotiations will bring but Parliament wants to have a say in the parameters that the Government will use as its base for the negotiations, thus revealing their hand to the formidable bureaucracy that is the EU.
Lots of Parliamentarians are of course against Brexit altogether and many see danger in the divorce from the single market. Yet others feel that free movement of people through the UK’s porous borders is a good thing whilst others feel the opposite.
There is a ground swell of opinion that these political elite will water down “Brexit” and thus deny the will of the people, in effect giving away our border control, for example, for the ability to stay in the single market/customs union.
It may well turn out an ‘either or’ option, but Mrs May hopes she can pull off some miraculous compromise. The one thing she does not want is one arm tied behind her back by the parliamentary elite. This includes the House of Lords where one hundred plus unelected Lib Dem peers sit, who are known to be dreaming the impossible. This arcane process could delay or even sink Brexit altogether and in the process undermine the prosperity of both UK and the EU as uncertainty rolls on for years. All very inconvenient I admit.
Now the press have waded in crying “foul”, the judiciary they say are negating the will of the people. Worse, some of the right wing press are shouting “Judges are the enemy of the common man.” All this is reminiscent of Nazi Germany during the nineteen thirties and the Press concerned should be ashamed of themselves for such seditious remarks.
Again it’s the media not the message, the Press are planting the idea that the state and judiciary are in some sort of conspiracy to thwart the majority. This is manifestly untrue and the separation of the judiciary from Parliament is one of the fundamental pillars of our democracy.
Yes there is now a constitutional crisis, and yes, people like Nick Clegg will vote against the so called will of the people (the referendum result) but that is not the doing of the judiciary. They merely interpreted the law that exists, and they have done so dispassionately and properly. They are not responsible for the ensuing chaos. That responsibility lies firmly at the door of David Cameron for the half-baked execution of an In/Out referendum with no plan for the Out option.