Brexit and Article 50

I must confess to being afraid that the Referendum would cause dissent and disunity in the country at large and that appears to be the case.

 

I do not believe that the Referendum campaign itself cast glory on either side of the argument and it will not go down in history as one of our great democratic moments.

 

However, we have a result and we can fiddle around with all sorts of nuances of it but the Leave campaign won and we must now deliver our resignation from the EU.  I care little whether it is a hard, soft or something in between Brexit.  These are false distinctions.  I want the right Brexit for the UK: right for subjects, business, agriculture and our institutions.  I do not plan or envisage my involvement in frustrating the will of the majority of those of the British people who voted and who voted to leave.  The court case was not brought about by one side or the other but by both.  One voted to leave and one to remain. Both would cast their votes in the same way were the Referendum to be tomorrow.  The case was not about seeking to overturn or re run the Referendum but about asserting the rights of your sovereign parliament.

 

Last week's judgement explicitly did not comment on Brexit as a policy but merely asserted the Law as the judges saw it.  Our democracy stands on three pillars: Parliamentary democracy; a free press and an independent judiciary. I will die in a ditch to preserve and protect all three. I have to say I deplore the fury cast down upon our judges.  In some quarters it has been akin to judicial criticism of 1930s Germany.  Ideas that we should elect or control our judges is alien to our constitution and must be resisted.  The notion that judges are the enemy of the people is as risible as it is dangerous.

 

Many who wanted Brexit did so because they wanted an independent parliament and independent courts free from oversight or diktat from across the Channel.  It now ill behoves that aspiration if many of those people are now arguing against either Parliamentary sovereignty or independent judges.  To misquote St Augustine, it seems that some in our country wish to be 'independent but not yet' and only want an independent judiciary if the judges obey them. Democracy just does not work like that.  So, it is time to take a breath, pause and let the Supreme Court do its job.  It will be independent. It will not be swayed by marches, vitriol and bile.  Our judges, thank God, are made of a more robust character.