Tom Inniss Journalist and podcaster

Parliament has to vote to trigger Article 50, now what?

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You may heard this week that there was a ruling made by the Supreme Court that stated, despite the Government’s objections, that Parliament have to vote to trigger Article 50.

On the surface, this seems like a very sensible and reasonable request. That’s because it is, regardless of what anybody says.

What the courts have voted on is the preservation of the rule of law, and bolstered the sovereignty of Parliament. Is that not what those who voted in favour of Brexit wanted? British laws passed by British Parliament. All this ruling has done is ensured that the there is no precedent set for the Government (i.e. the PM and her cabinet) having sole authority to remove significant swathes of legislation, and in the process potentially throw out our rights along with the bath water.

Already there are those who are saying, somewhat paradoxically, that this is an affront to democracy. That, somehow, British judge’s ruling that British parliament has to have a say on enacting an advisory referendum is counter-intuitive to the principles we apparently wish to recapture.

Particular scorn and contempt is reserved for those who attack Gina Miller, and outright disdain is willed upon those who wish her dead. Regardless of her political leanings and regardless of her income of class, she had the legal right as a British citizen to challenge the Government in our courts. That is how free countries work. The government is not above the law. She took them to court not to overrule the referendum vote – those are, as we’re so often told, set in stone. She went to court to ensure it was carried out legally with proper oversight from all our representatives, not just Theresa May and her gaggle of fumblebucks.

I’m not quite sure at what point we, as a country, are meant to be healing our divisions, considering that some cancerous corners of the journalism world have taken to petty name-calling in their headlines.

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There are now rumblings from the politically irrelevant Lib Dem party that they will vote to bog down or disrupt Brexit, alongside Labour dissenters.

Although I believe it would probably be a good thing to push the brakes on this act of self-destruction, I think the ‘will of the people’, however misinformed we were during the referendum, should be respected. Thankfully though, as we live in a democracy, this means the will of all people. At least having Parliamentary oversight means there will be some representation for the 48%.

Disclosure here: I personally still am of the opinion that leaving the EU is a bad decision. Every day I hear new evidence that suggests we will be left floating up the creek without a paddle, a canoe, a life-jacket, a snorkel or hepatitis vaccines – we couldn’t afford them after the NHS got privatised.

Believing Trump will provide us with favourable trade deals is like trusting Jeremy Hunt with the NHS, or Boris Johnson to represent Britain abroad. A terrible idea; a joke worthy of the cheapest christmas cracker! Oh wait…

Regardless, this is another level of fantasy. It’s actual economic suicide. He has a deep seated mistrust of China, so any attempts to negotiate deals with them will only aggravate him. Believe that’s irrational? This is the same man that threw a tantrum over Twitter, and got his Press Secretary to outright lie during a press conference, before refusing to engage with journalists. The same man who wrote (yes, apparently he can write) that he will always make deals that are in his favour. In other words, he will screw over others at the table.

Deals with India are at risk before they’re even negotiated due to the Government’s stance on visas and immigration. And since we’ve already told the EU we’ll walk away from anything that doesn’t meet our every demand, they are going to be more than happy to see us leave and be subjected to World Trade Organisation tariffs. With the financial sector saying they’ll look to move to the continent, this is a divorce where the other side keeps all the money.

Either way, we, as a country, continue to wander aimlessly towards triggering Article 50, with no real plan, no real cohesion, and currently, no reliable leadership.

This court ruling hasn’t stopped Brexit, but it’s given opportunity for more careful consideration, scrutiny and representation. If nothing else was apparent in 2016, the fact that it’s all too easy to get caught up in party politics was.

Given how tumultuous the tempest is that currently represents global politics, do we really want to lay our hope in a rubber dinghy, or indeed, a paddle-less canoe, and go it alone?

About the author

Tom Inniss

Tom is a journalist and feature writer with interests in politics, technology and culture. He currently works as the editor of Voice - an online magazine for young people interested in art and culture.

Tom Inniss Journalist and podcaster

Tom Inniss

Tom is a journalist and feature writer with interests in politics, technology and culture. He currently works as the editor of Voice - an online magazine for young people interested in art and culture.

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