THE BLOG

Brexiteers' Attack On Parliamentary Sovereignty 'Outrageous'

08/11/2016 12:07
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Many of those that I know who voted to leave the EU have told me that their main motivation was that they wanted to restore British sovereignty. Why, then, are they up in arms about the recent judgment by the High Court that Parliament needs to be consulted before Article 50 is triggered?

This seems contradictory to me and the attempts by the government to prevent Parliament from having a say have been outrageous. The June referendum was advisory only and it was totally unclear what Brexit meant. We have a parliamentary democracy and it is for Parliament to decide how we should proceed, not a small group of ministers.

Bond Street stores have apparently started rationing how many items Chinese tourists can buy in one go

Leave supporters have been buoyed in recent weeks by the strong economic data that has been published and have seized on this as evidence that Britain can go it alone and that the remain camp were merely scaremongers. However, there has been an initial benefit from the collapse of sterling, with hordes of tourists arriving and spending huge sums of money. Some of the stores on Bond Street have apparently started rationing how many items Chinese tourists can buy in one go. Our exporters have benefited too. But we must remember that Britain imports vastly more than it exports, and when the current stocks run out in our shops, there will be a sharp rise in prices, choking off the retail boom and fuelling inflation. When inflation comes back into the system, it will focus the minds of British households as wages will not be able to keep pace and there will be a squeeze on disposable incomes.

Let us also remember that Bank of England governor Mark Carney took rapid action in the wake of the leave decision and that too has helped to buoy the economy in the short term. As inflation creeps back into the system, the Bank of England's scope for manoeuvre will be dramatically reduced. At the same time, it is the case that many foreign-owned businesses will invest less in Britain as the uncertainty continues. The news with regard to Nissan was very heartening, but I doubt that other businesses will be so sanguine about the possibility that we may leave the single market.

One of the fundamental tenets of our democracy is judicial independence

The High Court's decision is very welcome as it is likely to prevent a precipitous decision and a rush to hard Brexit. It is absolutely right that Parliament should be involved in the most important issue that our nation has faced since the end of the Second World War. The vilification by the press of the judges who made the decision is ridiculous. They are merely interpreting the law - and one of the fundamental tenets of our democracy is that the judiciary is independent. I would expect that the Supreme Court will uphold the decision, and rightly so. It will then be the job of Parliament to respect the result of the ADVISORY referendum in June and assist the government in getting the best possible deal for the UK when negotiating with the EU.

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