In a guest blog, James Keeley, of 15 New Bridge Street Chambers, comments on the relationship between the Supreme Court and Parliament, in the wake of the historic judgement over Brexit.
We, the people, have the final say on how our country is run. We do this by voting. We vote for our MPs. Our MPs then make our laws. The Judges apply the law. As for Brexit our MPs started the ball rolling by giving us a chance to vote on Brexit. In giving us that chance they didn’t say that how ever we voted would bind Parliament. If that’s what our MPs wanted they should have spelt it out in the Referendum Act. They didn’t. EU law affects everything we do. It has had such a direct and great effect on our law and our lives that the Prime Minister has not got the power to simply say that we are coming out of Europe Therefore, Parliament never threw the ball to us. They kept it and therefore have always had the final say on whether or not we Brexit or not. Today, the Supreme Court Judges, like referees, have simply done their job and applied the law that Parliament passed. It’s up to Parliament to listen to the people and give effect to the Brexit vote. Parliament can do this by passing a law. Therefore, the Supreme Court, has not prevented Brexit but actually moved it on. Keep your eye on the ball. Over to you Parliament.
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