Today’s ruling by the High Court that the UK Parliament must be consulted before Article 50, which is the process via which we leave the European Union, is triggered has seen the tiresome responses from both camps.
The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee says, “Only Parliament can save us from the havoc of Brexit”, whilst UKIP’s Eternal leader Nigel Farage warns of, “half a Brexit” and, “betrayal is imminent”. Meanwhile, Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron sees the rulings as a means for Parliament to re assert itself by ordering another damaging a divisive referendum.
The most depressing aspect of these comments is the apparent truth that the political class have learnt nothing from the dire nature of the discourse during the campaign that delivered a Leave majority in June.
They continue to treat the voters as inherently stupid, and incapable of developing an opinion that is different to theirs. The truth is that this ruling means that the Government is to be held accountable for their actions to us, the people via our elected representatives in the Commons.
I don’t trust the likes of Liam Fox and David Davis to reach a deal which doesn’t involve something akin to TTIP or CETA whereby our public services such as the NHS can be flogged off to the highest private bidder from the USA using an EU subsidiary as a front in return for UK access to the single market AND immigration control. The free market extremists in the Tory Party would sell their Grannies to obtain this dream deal. We saw off TTIP. We must not let a backdoor public services sell off as part of Brexit.
David Davis is correct to say that Parliament voted six to one to give the decision to the people. Duly done. Surely a guy like Davis and his allies such as Daniel Hannon must be over the moon that our House of Commons, and not unelected bureaucrats in Brussels will be setting the terms of reference for our exit?
And from the Remain side Brexit Shadow Minister Keir Starmer confirmed to BBC News this afternoon that Labour will do nothing to subvert the will of the people regarding getting out of the EU, and would support an agreed approach to negotiations.
The result in June was clear. No vote taken in the UK has ever produced such overwhelming support. But 48% voted Remain and their opinions on the finished product must be heard and the Commons is the forum by which this can be done.
The role of the Labour Party is crucial here and they must scrutinise every line of what is being done as I wouldn’t put it past the Tories to sacrifice the NHS and the wider public sector TTIP style in return for their inherently contradictory dream of single market access and immigration control from EU nations.
But Labour’s current obsession that self-mutilation is a somehow purer form of politics will mean this will not happen and Mrs. May will be in a position to hammer the final nail in Labour coffin in an immediate post Brexit election.