Thursday, 3 November 2016

Call a General Election, Prime Minister

The Remainers may think that they have won a famous victory with the High Court's ruling that Article 50 must be triggered with the consent of parliament but they haven't really. There is no great problem about consulting parliament, it just makes matters messier and more long winded. Britain cannot leave the EU without the consent of parliament anyway since the legislation required to take us out would need to be voted upon. Article 50 is just an administrative measure. For that reason I take issue with this ruling, not because I think that parliament has no right to be consulted, of course it does, but that Article 50 is just a means for the Government to start the process that would culminate in the repeal of the legislation that took us in back in 1973.

The Government is appealing the decision anyway, as it should. The courts should not be getting involved in this matter. Parliament legislated for a referendum and that referendum delivered a vote to leave. The remainers may not like that, but that is the reality. This court case is just a spoiler exercise, it is the sort of thing that so enrages people about the EU. It is about elites talking amongst themselves and refusing to acknowledge the views of ordinary people. The people spoke on June 23rd. That is the bottom line and what the High Court should have recognised. Instead they have taken a high handed approach. Such judicial activism is sadly typical. It is the courts legislating and intruding on matters that they would be well advised to stay clear of.

You have to love the cant of those who brought this case. They are standing up for parliamentary democracy they say. What, by trying to keep us in the EU which dilutes parliamentary sovereignty. This case was nothing to do with parliamentary sovereignty and everything to do with trying to delay our leaving the EU in the hope that something will turn up to prevent it happening. For that reason the PM probably ought to call their bluff, abandon the appeal and just introduce the legislation next week and call a vote. Vote against invoking Article 50 at your peril.

But perhaps the time has come to settle the matter once and for all and just call a general election. The Tories are riding high in the polls and Labour have settled into grumpy obsolescence behind Chauncey. What would Labour's position be in an election with regard to Brexit? Would Chauncey try to avoid talking about it as he did during the referendum campaign? Would the Lib Dems campaign to ignore the result of the referendum and stay in the EU? How would that go down in constituencies like Nick Clegg's in Sheffield, which voted for Leave?

Mrs May has a wafer thin majority to push this through parliament. She has said that there will be no early election. But, with a persistent lead in the polls and a divided opposition, she would be well advised to consider this a convenient excuse to go to the country. She could well be rewarded with a huge majority and the added advantage of plenty of time to push Brexit through and make a success of it.

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