Who’s ‘moaning’ now? Brexiters react to Article 50 ruling

What happened to the sovereignty of parliament and British courts?

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Those of us who are sceptical about the wisdom of leaving the EU, or who believe parliament should be able to scrutinise the government along the way, have been defamed as ‘unpatriotic Bremoaners’ by a right-wing in full flush since June 23.

How are the usual suspects taking today’s High Court ruling that government has no power to trigger Article 50 without the approval of MPs?

Hard-right gossip hole Guido Fawkes has compiled a helpful summary of reactions from the Brexit camp. Notice the self-pitying tone, the weasle-worded fudge on parliament’s sovereignty, and, in one case (guess who), a veiled threat of violence on the streets:

Liam Fox [Tory Trade Secretary]: “The government is disappointed by the court’s judgement. The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by an Act of Parliament. The government is determined to respect the result of the referendum.”

Nigel Farage [UKIP leader]: “I worry that a betrayal may be near at hand. I now fear that every attempt will be made to block or delay the triggering of Article 50. If this is so, they have no idea of the level of public anger they will provoke.”

Dominic Raab [Tory MP]: “This case is a plain attempt to block Brexit by people who are out of touch with the country and refuse to accept the result. However, the vote to leave the EU was clear and they should not seek to obstruct it.”

Suzanne Evans [UKIP Deputy Chair]: “How dare these activist judges attempt to overturn our will? It’s a power grab and undermines democracy… The government must appeal. People power must win. Predictably, the same people now quoting ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ are the very same people who were happy to give it away for last 40 years.”

Policy Exchange [Right-wing think tank]: The High Court has made a bad mistake. It has wrongly lent its authority to a claim that undermines both democratic self-government and the rule of law. The basic point of this litigation has not been to defend parliamentary democracy.  Rather, the aim has been to introduce a new stumbling block to Brexit.”

What a shower. So much for the champions of parliament’s sovereignty and being good losers.

Brexiter and former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith went so far as to say ‘it’s not the position of the courts to tell parliament or the government how that process should work.’ Those are British Courts, Iain, not some kangaroo court in Strasbourg! Why do you hate Britain?

I could go on and say the government’s decision to appeal today’s ruling in the Supreme Court is a ‘do-over’ comparable to a second referendum, but that would be cheap.

In a democracy, all sides of an argument have the right to contest matters in print, by protest, in parliament, and in the courts. Only one side in the Brexit debate is saying otherwise.

Perhaps we could drop the accusations of treachery and hash this out as if we don’t secretly want to banish our opponents to Siberia?

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Theresa May’s Brexit ‘U-turn’ on MPs vote is a hostage situation, not democracy

15 Responses to “Who’s ‘moaning’ now? Brexiters react to Article 50 ruling”

  1. Mick

    A disgustingly hubristic article. The huge difference is that Remoaners had trouble swallowing the majority vote in the referendum. However, Brexiteers are genuinely concerned as Remoaners rejoice at the chance to smash it at the 11th Hour.

    And would LFF have cheered had the devolution referenda been held up in court? I very much doubt it. And it ISN’T the place of the courts to intervene when Remain MPs get the chance to defy their voters again.

  2. CR

    It is not good when the judiciary subverts the will of the people.

  3. Steve R.

    Must annoy Remainers that despite tipping over Brexit via legal technicality, the Brexit camp isn’t blowing our tops nearly half as much as Remainers did on results day.

    Although in fairness they have been crying since results day that they’d do this, so there isn’t that big surprise factor to inform our reaction.

  4. Mick

    I don’t think they meant to, though, more it was where the law took them. Unless there was some backstairs stuff going on.

  5. Craig Mackay

    Isn’t it wonderful! Before the referendum Nigel Farage was quoted as saying “if the result is 48-52 there will be unfinished business and there will be pressure for a second referendum”. Given that the promises of the Brexiteers are progressively turning to dust (no chance of participating in the single market unless free movement is maintained) we shouldn’t be surprised that they are so unconfident of their case that they dare not put it to Parliament. As Farage said, there is indeed unfinished business and the Remoaners who were nearly half of all those who cast a vote perhaps now will be taken slightly more seriously. The Brexiteers have not established an overwhelming majority by any stretch of the imagination. It’s clear that many more lies were generated by the Brexit operation than by the Remain operation (still waiting for our £350 million per week for the NHS), and future months will certainly make this more obvious. Certainly a vote in parliament and, either another referendum or a general election if our present hard right hard Brexit government cannot take it on the chin!

  6. John J

    “….who believe parliament should be able to scrutinise the government along the way.”

    Subverting the will of the electoral majority and holding the ruling Party to account are not the same thing.

    “In a democracy, all sides of an argument have the right to contest matters in print, by protest, in parliament, and in the courts.”

    So why exactly are you criticising the Government for utilising their constitutional and legal right to contest the decision?

    “I could go on and say the government’s decision to appeal today’s ruling in the Supreme Court is a ‘do-over’ comparable to a second referendum, but that would be cheap.”

    Well you could, but it would be a truly idiotic statement if you did.

    ” Only one side in the Brexit debate is saying otherwise.”

    Obviously. Remainers would’ve been saying exactly the same thing if they had won. Please don’t use that as a stick to beat Leavers with, it holds absolutely no weight whatsoever.

  7. Mick

    “As Farage said, there is indeed unfinished business and the Remoaners who were nearly half of all those who cast a vote perhaps now will be taken slightly more seriously. ”

    Unfinished business in terms of campaigning, not unfinished business in terms of an unbalanced Parliamentary chamber having the chance to scupper a public vote.

    Indeed, given huge media bias in favour of the EU, barring some newspapers, there would indeed have been unfinished debating business in the face of such probable rigging of opinion.

  8. Nick

    the bottom line is that you cant have an unelected prime minister call the shots on brexit without a vote from the mp’s who are elected by the public

    that is the law of the land and that’s also the view of the court

  9. ted francis

    It wasn’t the “will of the British people”. It was the will of only 17.5m out of a total of 42m. Yet another myth being pronounced by the Leavers.

  10. Mick

    Aah, the FLIMSY SQUAD!

    ‘..the bottom line is that you cant have an unelected prime minister call the shots on brexit without a vote from the mp’s who are elected by the public.’ Theresa May is an elected MP too. She had the mandate to push Brexit in the teeth of a wholly unscrupulous Remain side, prepared to use the finest legal illusionists to ruin perhaps the biggest public mandate ever. Project Fear also still runs on.

    ‘It wasn’t the “will of the British people”. It was the will of only 17.5m out of a total of 42m. Yet another myth being pronounced by the Leavers.’ It was a majority of those who voted in a historic turn out.

    And are you sure that 17.5 is 52% of 42?

    Flimsy-whimsy!

  11. Clive sims

    I think we should have another vote. I have not met a single person who voted leave who regrets thier decision. But I have met plenty of people who voted remain who now wish they had voted leave. Also if the pm cannot do anything that may change existing legislation without a parliamentary vote. How can the pm ever call an election, which by default will lead to changes in existing legislation. This just makes the uk look stupid in the eyes of the rest of the world. Clearly we have truly caught the European political disease.

  12. Mick

    Parliament’s locked into elections every five years, unless they vote for one or there’s some true constitutional emergency. And if there is, it would be caused by Remainers.

    I don’t think a second referendum would help, even if the independence side won again. Labour people found it a drudge to vote for Corbyn again and began to resent those who brought a second contest about. They’re only Labour but I think it’s a study in some kind of human nature for the rest of us.

  13. MarioB

    Looking from below the equator all this big mess called brexit where a simple majority of 50%+1 is enough to let individual rights be caught and crunched by a despotic leader, with almost no one crying for help, the corrupted banana republic where I live in started to seem very civilized to me. Fortunately the third world participants Gina Miller and Deir Santos helped Britons to put a bit of order in the chicken coop through the high court ruling. In fact I am twisting fingers for the UK, I can’t believe that such a former reference-country for the rest of the world could turn into what Boris Johnson aims to be a “titanic success”.

  14. ted francis

    No Mick, 17.5 is only 41.6667% of 42. You’ll get it eventually.
    I’ll do a deal: when £350m is being pumped into the NHS each week, I’ll vote Leave (and I’m not either a Blairite or Corbynista Labour supporter).
    I believe in the rule of Law, unlike what appears to be the stance of so many others.

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