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Friday, 4 November 2016

High Court ruling was the right one.

Upholding the pre-eminence of Parliament and its members.

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Leaving aside individual views on whether or not the United Kingdom should leave the European Union, the High Court ruling made yesterday, that the matter of triggering Article 50 must be debated by Parliament, was the right one. Frequently in the past, Parliament, Lords and Commons, has been bypassed by a small clique of government ministers, an "inner cabinet" in fact, led by the Prime Minister of the day, who have taken decisions in isolation, and presented Parliament with a "fait accompli".

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Thus it was with Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to commence "Article 50" negotiations by the use of "The Royal Prerogative" and thereby prevent Parliament from debating an issue of momentous importance to this country now and for generations to come. I have always believed and argued, that the House of Commons, as elected by the people of this country, must be the supreme body to debate and determine all matters affecting the United Kingdom and its people. Indeed, between the years of 1642 and 1651 this country endured civil war to establish the supremacy of Parliament over the Monarchy. 

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However, by the use of the archaic "Royal Prerogative", the Prime Minster and her inner cabinet sought to circumvent Parliament and implement her decision to commence the implementation of Article 50. A decision which was more to do with appeasement to some elements within her own party than with any regard to the proper function of the Commons to debate the matter. There is a glaring flaw in the Theresa May argument however, in that the "prerogative" is rarely if ever, available to the Monarch's own discretion or use, because the exercise of the prerogative is in the hands of the prime minister and other ministers or other government officials. Consequently, Parliamentary Democracy can be undermined by a small clique of MP's using an antiquated and now corrupted concession, for purposes other than those which were originally granted.

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The government has stated that they will appeal the High Court ruling at the Supreme Court, in early December. In the mean time, we must hope and believe that the 11 Justices of the Supreme Court will uphold the decision and affirm the pre-eminence of Parliament and its members.