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It means the courts have ruled that the government needs to publish the legal advice it has received that it has the power to govern the country.

 

For some reason some of the people that can't let go of their rejection of the verdict of the country on the EU in the referendum seem to be clinging onto this as holding out hope that Article 50 might not be triggered.

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It means the courts have ruled that the government needs to publish the legal advice it has received that it has the power to govern the country.

 

For some reason some of the people that can't let go of their rejection of the verdict of the country on the EU in the referendum seem to be clinging onto this as holding out hope that Article 50 might not be triggered.

 

That, Sir, is a rather one-sided interpretation.

 

The principle at stake here is one of parliamentary democracy, and eventually the courts are going to have decide whether Mrs May alone has the legal authority to invoke Article 50, or whether - as one might reasonably expect in a parliamentary democracy - MPs are entitled to debate the issue before any decision is taken.

 

In a country which is clearly drifting further to the right, and in which the left is in total chaos, it would not be surprising for the courts to rule in Mrs May's favour. When one person has the final say, one might reasonably wonder how much further towards totalitarianism a country can go.

 

One who truly believes in democracy will let the people decide whether the terms of the Brexit deal (if there is one) are satisfactory or not. If that principle cannot be accepted, perhaps one could accept that parliament should decide whether the terms of a Brexit deal are helpful to the future of the country or not,

 

If it cannot be accepted by a section of society that either the people or parliament could decide on that question, one would have to wonder what the objectors are frightened of.

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But parliament already approved the referendum and the terms of the referendum....surely by implication, parliament has therefore accepted the outcome of the referendum. If the outcome of the referendum has no status in parliament then why was parliamentary approval needed to hold it in the first place?

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The referendum was advisory only, as surely we all know by now.

 

The public did its best to make a decision on the information that it had. OK. The government has now told its ministers, specially appointed from the "Leave" side, to negotiate the terms. If those terms are not very favourable, Gareth, would you like the PM to accept them on your behalf? Or would you like a say?

 

And even before they get to that stage, would you prefer parliament to discuss first whether they actually want to take the public's advice and invoke Article 50? If you object, what harm do you think it would do? Bear in mind that the referendum was only advisory, and does not commit politicians to doing anything in particular.

 

Your point about parliament accepting the terms of the referendum only emphasises the point that MPs accepted the advisory nature, rather than a legally prescriptive nature, of the referendum. The status of the referendum was that (once again) it was advisory.

 

Mrs May wishes to use what is called the "Royal prerogative" to force it through parliament, thus stifling all debate.

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That, Sir, is a rather one-sided interpretation.

 

The principle at stake here is one of parliamentary democracy, and eventually the courts are going to have decide whether Mrs May alone has the legal authority to invoke Article 50, or whether - as one might reasonably expect in a parliamentary democracy - MPs are entitled to debate the issue before any decision is taken.

 

In a country which is clearly drifting further to the right, and in which the left is in total chaos, it would not be surprising for the courts to rule in Mrs May's favour. When one person has the final say, one might reasonably wonder how much further towards totalitarianism a country can go.

 

One who truly believes in democracy will let the people decide whether the terms of the Brexit deal (if there is one) are satisfactory or not. If that principle cannot be accepted, perhaps one could accept that parliament should decide whether the terms of a Brexit deal are helpful to the future of the country or not,

 

If it cannot be accepted by a section of society that either the people or parliament could decide on that question, one would have to wonder what the objectors are frightened of.

 

Exactly droopsnout. Although triggered by the governments refusal to consult all parties over brexit this case is really on the far wider principle of whether governments are constitutionally allowed to bypass the countries elected representatives by claiming "Royal Prerogative" on any matter they wish. Also refusing to disclose on what grounds they think they have that right is an important part of the case.

 

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But parliament already approved the referendum and the terms of the referendum....surely by implication, parliament has therefore accepted the outcome of the referendum. If the outcome of the referendum has no status in parliament then why was parliamentary approval needed to hold it in the first place?
The referendum bill specifically stated that the referendum was advisory only. That was written into the bill as it would have been unlikely to have been passed otherwise.

 

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But your point earlier was about democracy. I agree completely that there is a lot of work to do, and surely a lot of parliamentary debate needed, on the question of the nature of the deal. But this particular newspaper article on this particular court ruling is nothing to do with the nature of the deal (which one could quite rightly say was not part of the referendum). It was to do with the specific issue of triggering article 50, ie starting the process to leave. And the question of whether or not to leave was precisely what the referendum was about. In fact, voters went to the polls on the understanding that article 50 would be invoked the Tuesday after the referendum (that was what liar Cameron told the electorate he would do if the vote was to leave). So, for all the faults of the campaigns and all the misinformation peddled, there could have been no doubt that the issue at stake in the referendum was the invocation of article 50.

 

So, where are we with that in the democratic process? A democratically elected parliament took a democratic decision to hold a referendum. In its questionable wisdom, it took a democratic decision for that referendum to require a 50% majority and to place no required limit on the turnout. (Personally I think that was a mistake, for reasons I have articulated prior to the vote, but that is water under the bridge, that is what the democratically elected parliament decided). The matter was then put to the country in a democratic vote and the electorate turned out to vote in the largest numbers of any election in recent history. The outcome of that democratic vote by the largest turnout in recent history was a vote to leave under the terms the democratically elected parliament set for the referendum. How can you possibly argue seriously that a government choosing to act on the verdict of that piece of democracy in action is undemocratic? On the contrary, ignoring the vote would be the thing that would be undemocratic, and even most of our democratically elected politicians who were on the remain side accept that to ignore the electorate would be unacceptable in our democracy.

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It was to do with the specific issue of triggering article 50, ie starting the process to leave.

 

That is exactly correct. It is not really about brexit per se but it is about democratic accountability. The brexit mantra was "take back control" so in a way the current court case is 100% brexit. While I remember "take back control", I don't remember "then bypass parliament and give exclusive control to a self selected group to let them make whatever agreement they want". Perhaps I missed that bit.

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It means the courts have ruled that the government needs to publish the legal advice it has received that it has the power to govern the country.

 

For some reason some of the people that can't let go of their rejection of the verdict of the country on the EU in the referendum seem to be clinging onto this as holding out hope that Article 50 might not be triggered.

Thanks Gareth - did find the article a bit wordy.
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Cameron lied about various things, didn't he? Said he would stay on as PM even if there was a Leave result, for example.

 

But he's gone. And yes, the advisability of holding a referendum under the terms agreed is at most highly questionable. We agree.

 

Now, what is the problem with accepting that the result was and is only advisory? What is the difficulty with allowing MPs to have a proper debate about the invocation of Article 50? Are you afraid to let MPs have their say? If so, why?

 

Why are you, as a confirmed democrat - in a parliamentary democracy - happy to let the PM ride roughshod over her colleagues? Is that parliamentary democracy?

Edited by droopsnout
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I have been looking through various history websites about the original 1975 referendum and as far as I can see the outcome was binding and enacted immediately without any parliamentary debate required. All the debating and wrangling was done beforehand. I fail to see why today's situation should be any different.

Ed.

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Why are you, as a confirmed democrat - in a parliamentary democracy - happy to let the PM ride roughshod over her colleagues? Is that parliamentary democracy?

 

I'm not. The PM does not have a right to do whatever he/she wants. He/she has a responsibilty to govern within an electoral mandate. There is no electoral mandate, for example, to suddenly make a decision to reintroduce grammar schools. I happen to be in favour of grammar schools, but to suddenly make that government policy when it was not in any way the platform on which that government was elected cannot be right.

 

There is no democratic mandate for the shape of how Brexit (for want of a better word) looks like. To form a closed group of tories to just go and decide that amongst themselves would be democratically wrong. (And with that I agree with you and G4rth because I suspect that is what may happen).

 

But on the particular issue of invoking article 50 there is a very clear electoral mandate and I don't see why it needs further debate. (Especially as I'm quite sure the outcome of any such debate would be to ratify the referendum). Let's get on with the more pressing question of what happens next.

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But on the particular issue of invoking article 50 there is a very clear electoral mandate and I don't see why it needs further debate. (Especially as I'm quite sure the outcome of any such debate would be to ratify the referendum). Let's get on with the more pressing question of what happens next.

 

The issue is not about further debate. It's about who has the right to trigger article 50. We don't have a written constitution therefore whenever a unique situation arises there will always be disputes about the legality of any decision made and of who has the right to make any decision. The current court case arose because the PM claimed she alone had the right to trigger article 50. At the same time she refused to disclose the thinking behind her claims. This country is fast going down the route to "Banana Repuplic Dictatorship" the current court case is to try to reassert the roll of parliament, nothing more.

 

 

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I have been looking through various history websites about the original 1975 referendum and as far as I can see the outcome was binding and enacted immediately without any parliamentary debate required. All the debating and wrangling was done beforehand. I fail to see why today's situation should be any different.

Ed.

 

The 1975 referendum was also advisory - it didn't really need any post-referendum wrangling as nothing happened, we voted to remain in. The wrangling pre-referendum which resulted in a Dublin deal was analogous to the renegotiation which Cameron did this time round.

 

Leaving then would presumably have been a much less complicated affair as we weren't so enmeshed in the institutions and the benefits of 40 years of peace, free trade and gradually increasing mutual prosperity hadn't had chance to kick in.

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I don't really get this idea of a referendum being "advisory". What does that mean? If your plan, as a government, is to hold a referendum that you are either intending to ignore or heed depending on what you think the outcome should be, then why go to the expense of holding the referendum in the first place? Doesn't make sense. Just don't bother with the referendum and do what you have pre-decided in the first place.

 

But....having taken the decision to hold one, whatever its smallprint status, surely no government is going to inflict the political fallout on itself that would come from ignoring the outcome of a referendum that it commissioned? Once you have handed the decision on a matter over to the people by holding a referendum, you have implicitly conceded that this is an issue on which we should let the people decide.

 

So...how can a referendum that was a referendum worth holding be "advisory"?

 

Doesn't make sense.

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I don't really get this idea of a referendum being "advisory". What does that mean? If your plan, as a government, is to hold a referendum that you are either intending to ignore or heed depending on what you think the outcome should be, then why go to the expense of holding the referendum in the first place? Doesn't make sense. Just don't bother with the referendum and do what you have pre-decided in the first place.

 

But....having taken the decision to hold one, whatever its smallprint status, surely no government is going to inflict the political fallout on itself that would come from ignoring the outcome of a referendum that it commissioned? Once you have handed the decision on a matter over to the people by holding a referendum, you have implicitly conceded that this is an issue on which we should let the people decide.

 

So...how can a referendum that was a referendum worth holding be "advisory"?

 

Doesn't make sense.

 

Gareth, if you take this as the definition of 'advisory' then it makes more sense:

 

"having or consisting in the power to make recommendations but not to take action enforcing them".

 

The public are unable to enforce their own recommendations but parliament as the commissioning authority are, so it would be illogical,as you so rightly pointed out, to go through all the hassle and expense of organising it to then just ignore the result. It should therefore lead to the automatic enforcement of the outcome, without further debate, but at a time and under conditions which are the most appropriate to guarantee a seamless transition.

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy
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The margin of "victory" for Brexit was not enough in a referendum to warrant so much change.If those who support Brexit try to railroad this through without taking that into account then a very large proportion of the population will feel that there opinions have not been taken into consideration.

A second referendum after a General Election should be the way forward.

At the moment the UK has a PM not elected by the country and not really by her own party(no votes were cast).

This doesn't seem to me to be enough of a mandate for her to make so much change.

 

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The mandate is what parliament agreed it should be before the vote took place - more than 50%. I agree it should have been set at a higher margin, but you cannot change the rules after the event. Why were more people not more vocal before the vote making the case for a higher margin? That was the time to make that case.

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I think, Gareth, that most of the big-wig Remainers were far too confident of victory. Surely that can be the only reason that the government had made no plans in the event of a Leave win. Their attitude of smug assuredness contrasted sharply with the points of view of many people (including some of my family) I met on my visits to the UK, where over many years I heard few political conversations that didn't concern or include immigration.

 

So, convinced that they would gain a perhaps comfortable majority, the leadership never thought that they might be well advised to set a 60 or even 65% majority as the winning margin.

 

Don't forget that Farage himself said that if his side lost the referendum by a small margin, he would demand a second vote. (I have no respect for that man, but many do, and he did and does represent the views of many Brits). Had Farage lost, I feel sure that he would be demanding a debate over Article 50, and for once he would be right!

 

I believe that before the referendum, some 60-70% of MPs said they were Remainers. (Including Mrs May, though other stories are surfacing now, and perhaps some other MPs said they were Remainers merely to support or curry favour with their party leader). If we have the parliamentary debate over Article 50, it will be interesting to the electorate to see which MPs have changed their spots! My own Remain MP has suddenly started sliming up to Johnson to further his career. A debate would help reveal just what our representatives now believe in, compared to what they used to say they believe in and so we'd learn just how many are the two-faced, self-serving parasites many Brits think they are. That would be a bonus!

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I think if Article 50 is triggered in the new year, the negotiations will be very slow until after the French and German elections.

 

Both Merkel & Hollande's popularity are in freefall and we are now seeing the Deutsche Bank issue a warning which if true, could trigger a massive bailout affecting Merkel even further.

 

Three years ago Merkel's party, CDU, almost gained an absolute majority, this year with the Berlin vote, her party has now lost four in a row. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rhineland-Westphalia and Baden-Wurttemberg.

 

Berlin is massively in debt, a debt which is payed by Germany's other cities... cities which are beginning to struggle in their own right.

 

It's a similar outlook for Hollande whose popularity rating stands at just 17%, the majority of his party are threatening not to vote for him and his idea for the nationality law and labour reforms were catastrophic.

 

There's no point beginning a negotiation when the political landscape of two of the major influences could change drastically in 2017.

Edited by jonno
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..."surely no government is going to inflict the political fallout on itself that would come from ignoring the outcome of a referendum that it commissioned?" In fact, this was an even worse cockup. Cameron thought there was no way he could lose, and only held the referendum to avoid haemorrhaging votes to UKIP. Johnson never thought he could win, but was hoping for a close result so he could challenge for the leadership. They both got it wrong, and that is the political fallout we have to live with. And that is a tragedy for this country, because the only logical way out of the ensuing mess is for the government to do precisely that: to ignore the outcome. But of course that would mean losing face, and to politicians that is more important than the greater good of the people they supposedly represent.

I should add that while some people don’t like the “political” debate going on in this thread, I am glad that the issues being raised are being discussed in a civilised way, and after all, they are important to all of us who travel regularly with BF, for work or play.

 

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The PM is never elected by the country, in the UK anyway.

The PM is in the vast majority of cases is the leader of the party that wins the General Election.A leader that is voted PM by it's party in the middle of a parliament,does not have the same mandate than a leader that has won at a General Election.

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When we have a government who are so in the pocket of big businesses that they can't even impose a sugar tax then you can be sure that the form of Brexit that we will get is the form that suits big business the best or perhaps I'm being cynical.

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