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“Parliament is sovereign.”

Of Judges, Politicians, Crown Prerogative And Article 50

My RSS feed makes interesting — and amusing — reading this morning. Both in the mainstream media and the blogosphere, there are many interesting and strident opinions on yesterday's judgement in the Queens Bench Division of the High Court. Most of them are wrong.

Britain's Constitution is famously "unwritten" but can be summarised in three words; Parliament is sovereign. The reassertion of that Constitution was, for many, what the Leave campaign was about. Many Leavers believed Parliament was not sovereign for so long as the UK remained a member of the EU. I was always relaxed on that point because Parliament could not (without actually dissolving itself and the UK) lose the power to leave. It was certainly wrong to have delegated many of its powers to Brussels via the European treaties but it could rescind that at any time.

When Parliament legislated to grant us a referendum, it began the process of leaving. The government promised it would act on our decision. But it was always going to be Parliament that would carry out those actions. I am therefore not shocked by or concerned about the High Court's decision. That so many journalists and bloggers are concerned rather amuses me.

I wish this was a legal or a constitutional problem to be resolved by the judiciary. I have far more faith in our judges than our politicians. But it isn't. It is, and always was, a political problem.

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