An amended speech for Parliament to take back control

I have reworked some remarks I made in Parliament recently. It is background to the current debate about whether Parliament should immediately get on and approve a short Bill to send the Article 50 letter, or whether the government should continue to seek to reverse the strange decision by the High Court of England, effectively in conflict with the High Court of Northern Ireland, over how to handle our exit from the EU. As someone who thinks exit does have to be passed by Parliament I am all in favour of pressing on, as I believe there is a clear majority for an Article 50 letter, which is why Labour has never tabled a motion to stop one as they could have done! I do not think these large constitutional issues are ones for the Courts, but are for Parliament and people to decide.

17.4 million people voted to leave the EU.
That’s more people than have ever voted for a new government in the UK.

We voted in good faith
We voted knowing exactly what we want our country to do
We voted in optimism, expecting a better future out of the EU
We voted knowing many experts thought it would do substantial short term economic damage
We thought them wrong, and so it has proved
We voted to leave.

We did not vote to stay in parts of the EU
We did not vote to carry on paying them money or accepting their laws
We voted to take back control
We voted to have our own borders policy
We voted to spend our own money
We voted to be able to make our own laws

We voted Leave because we want to live in a democracy again
To live in a country with its own sovereign Parliament
Serving a sovereign and free people
To live with the freedoms, rights and responsibilities our ancestors fought to give us
We voted to transform this puppet Parliament into a proper Parliament again
17.4 million voters understood our liberties had been pillaged
Our voting rights eroded
Our control of our laws had been stolen away
Some of our taxes had been taken to spend elsewhere

We have been lied to
We no longer believed the endless reassurances that we still had a UK democracy
That we still had a sovereign Parliament
Under pressure they told us we were still sovereign because we could leave the EU that took so many of our powers
So we took them up on that promise
The people have spoken
What part of Leave do some in the establishment not understand?

On May 24th I spoke in Parliament
I explained why it is a puppet Parliament
I reminded MPs of how impotent Parliament has become
Unable to change benefits, when government and opposition was united in wanting to
Unable to control our borders
Unable to abolish VAT on tampons and green products
Unable to make our own decisions about so many things from energy to the environment, from tax to trade

I asked if the people will do what Parliament feared to do
Would the people demand that we stop this charade of power
And take back control?

We now know the answer
So today the question is
Can this once might Parliament be mighty again?

Does this Parliament have it in it to take back control?
Does this Parliament accept that all its true power comes from the people?
And all its power has to be used in the interests of the people.

Today we must pledge to do as the people decided
The people are merely telling us to take back powers so needlessly tossed aside
So we can again do good for them
So we can again carry out their will
So we can restore to the Mother of Parliaments her full dignity
Or else perish at the next election

Are there enough MPs willing to sweep aside this puppet Parliament?
Enough peaceful Pyms and Hampdens wishing to empower us again?
There are still strange forces trying to impede the popular will
This Parliament needs to tell the courts we must send an Article 50 letter
We need to show an earnest urgency to do what the voters told us to do

It need not be difficult to take back control
It does not need Mrs Merkel’s consent
Or is this now a House of people who fear to take responsibility?
Are we but shadows of past glories
Still marionettes in the Brussels drama
Still too timid to step into the light of accountable power?

Of course not
If the people can be brave
Surely we can follow
If the voters get it
So must the establishment

The High Court of Parliament answers to no UK or English Court in matters of the constitution and high politics
Soon we will no longer bow to the courts of Brussels either.

Lets take back control
Send the letter
Leave the EU
Reunite voters with their Parliament


  1. Sam Stoner
    November 16, 2016

    I’m sorry, but this is getting silly. The vote was to Leave. The vote was not about the single market (of which Norway is a member), the vote was not about the role of the European Court (which has an influence over many states who are not members of the EU), the vote was not about closing borders (states like Norway and Switzerland are not EU member states but have free movement of people).

    Leave means … well, nothing really because Boris said one thing, Gove another, Farage another, etc etc.. You’re trying to impose your version now, and you’re welcome to do so, but you don’t have any backing for the British people for your preferred version of Leave because that was never on the ballot

    By pretending the vote was for your version of Leave you are as disrepectful of the British people as Farron is in asking for a 2nd referendum

    1. Jerry
      November 16, 2016

      @Sam Stoner; Well said! It is clear that Thatcherite’s are trying for a political land grab to go along with Brexit that was not asked for by the electorate any more than they asked for a (Tony) Bennite style larch to the left.

      As for the “European Court”, did you mean ECHR rather than the ECJ?

      1. Come On
        November 17, 2016

        Thatcherite jibes are oldstyle. Get with the groove .

    2. Denis Cooper
      November 16, 2016

      Norway is not a member of the EU and therefore it cannot be and is not a member of the EU’s “single”, or more correctly “internal”, market. Like every other country in the world, apart from any which has been placed under a comprehensive trade embargo by the EU, Norway has a defined, but necessarily incomplete, degree of access to the domestic markets which comprise the EU’s “internal market”. Talk of leaving the EU, so making the UK “external” to the EU, but nonetheless staying in the EU’s “internal market”, is and always has been nonsensical, and during the referendum campaign that reality was made clear enough by most of those who campaigned to stay in the EU – as a threat that they repeatedly deployed – as well as by most of those who campaigned to leave the EU.

      1. Jerry
        November 17, 2016

        Denis Cooper; “Norway is not a member of the EU and therefore it cannot be and is not a member of the EU’s “single”, or more correctly “internal”, market.”

        Oh yes it can, as any EEA member is!

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 17, 2016

          No, the EFTA states are outside the EU’s internal market but through the EEA Agreement they have very high, but incomplete, access to it.

          1. Jerry
            November 20, 2016

            @Denis Cooper; You are dancing on that head of a pin again I see, were has anyone mentioned “full” access or “rule making” access, Norway is a member of the EU’s single market, just as much as someone might have been an associate member of the RAC years ago (before its 1999 sale) but not a full member with access to their Pall Mall HQ, their Woodcote Park country Club or the ability to cast votes at the AGM – on the other hand a non member had neither access to the HQ, Club or road side assistance!

          2. Denis Cooper
            November 20, 2016

            The question is whether Norway is a member of the EU’s “single “or “internal” market, and however much you may blather on about the RAC or anything else the answer is “No”.

          3. Jerry
            November 20, 2016

            @Denis Cooper; Best you tell that to the Norwegian government then as they seem to think they are members of the single market, as indeed do eurocrats!…

            The fact that you did not understand the analogy with the (pre 1999) RAC -a ‘members club’ which had two distinct types of membership giving many of the same benefits but not all to ‘associate members’- just goes to show why you have failed to understand how and why Norway can be a member of the single market just as much as Germany is but, as I said, without being able to attend the membership HQ or vote at the AGM etc. so to speak.

        2. Edward2
          November 17, 2016


    3. Matt
      November 16, 2016

      The EU is not simply the council, commission and parliament, and it is therefore not honouring the referendum result to simply leave those institutions.
      The ECJ is part of the EU, the EU internal “single” market is part of the EU and the customs union is most certainly part of the EU. They did not start out as such, but that’s what they are now.

      Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein and part-members of the EU. they are members of some of the EU institutions and organisations.
      We voted not to be members (part or otherwise) of the EU.

      If “Brexit means Brexit” is to mean anything, it must mean this. That we leave wholly. If we leave partially, or worse still we get some kind of Brexit in name only, then the electors will rightly feel betrayed and are likely to punish the government accordingly come the next election.

    4. Elaine Turner
      November 16, 2016

      Remain was staying in the EU and Leave was coming out of the EU. It is very simple really. Both sides made it clear we couldn’t stay in the single market, Leave were emphatic about taking control… so what bit about not having a hokey cokey arrangement do you not understand?

      There were two different Leave campaigns, both playing to different parts of the electorate – it didn’t matter that they sometimes said different things – one was largely Conservative and one largely UKIP – but neither campaign was part of the Govt of the day and neither was in a position to enact the suggestions they were making.

      One thing is for sure, we voted to extricate ourselves from the EU laws and obligations to it. You have to accept that.

    5. Hope
      November 16, 2016

      I note. Arney, yet again, is carrying on with project fear saying businesses are lining up to leave if there is a hard Brexit. Why is he not sacked? May only recently gave him her support, therefore do we deduce he is acting in accord with her wishes to get some form of EU light/associated membership?

      Come on JR, please explain why he is allowed to continue to talk our country down and weaken the U.K. Negotiating position.

    6. Roy Grainger
      November 16, 2016

      The Remainiac position is that we should respect the will of the people and leave but only as long as nothing at all changes. Oh, and they are also better placed to know why people voted Leave than people who voted Leave. It’s pretty academic actually, once Le Pen gets elected the whole thing will collapse anyway.

    7. MPC
      November 16, 2016

      I would not agree. ‘Vote Leave’ was the officially recognised campaign group which campaigned for Brexit on the basis of ending our membership of the ‘Single Market’ with its hefty annual membership fees, and restoring Parliament’s sovereignty. Freedom of movement is an EU membership obligation which by definition is inconsistent with the referendum result and parliamentary sovereignty.

      There would of course be no sovereignty issue post Brexit should a political party put together a general election manifesto which undertakes explicitly, or in effect, to take the UK back into the EU, through single market membership with borders completely open to all EU Nationals as now.

    8. BoingB'doying
      November 16, 2016

      Sam Stoner
      Given your case has merit,for the sake of argument, it has to be equally true the Remain vote was not about the single market, was not about the role of the European Court, the vote was not about open borders, was not about continuing to allow freedom of movement.

      Remain means…well, nothing really because Cameron said one thing, Corbyn another, Benn another, etc etc..You’re arguing your version of Remain now, and you’re welcome to do so, but you don’t have any backing from the British people for your preferred version of Remain because that never was on the ballot

      By pretending the vote was for your version of Remain you are as disrespectful of the British people as Farron is in asking for a 2nd referendum

      1. Sam Stoner
        November 20, 2016

        No, you are confused.
        Remain meant staying in the EU on the basis of the existing treaties, amended by Mr Cameron’s renegotiation. That simple.
        ‘Leave’ by contrast meant something different every day- and it still does.

        Come back when you have decided what Leave means. Norway? Canada? Zimbawe? Then, at last, we can have a referendum on whether the British people like the terms on offer for leaving

    9. Paul Cooper
      November 16, 2016

      The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion
      I did not see any of the your speech mentioned on the ballot paper, you are showing yourself as an elite who tells us what to think and then trys to be person of the people. Keep to the facts and it is correct that parliamnet decides and abides by the referendum.

      1. Anonymous
        November 16, 2016

        Dr Redwood has written exactly how I think and feel. The whole thing was laid bare during the referendum. None were more adamant that Leave meant Leave than the Remain side through Project Fear.

        As a consequence those who voted Leave meant leaving the EU entirely.

        Those who didn’t mean to leave the EU *entirely* either abstained or voted Remain.

        So the option for half-in the EU was in the ballot.

        It’s very simple really and any attempt to interpret it otherwise is a wilful subversion of democracy.

      2. Jerry
        November 16, 2016

        @Paul Cooper; “I did not see any of [Sam Stoner’s] speech mentioned on the ballot paper,”

        Nor do others, that was his point – Leave does indeed mean Brexit but what does leave its self mean, it wasn’t defined on the ballot paper and nor was their any single Brexit or Remain campaign for people to choose from.

        “an elite who tells us what to think and then trys to be person of the people.”

        Cough… The only people who are trying to tell others what to think are Brexiteers, especially those on the political right!

      3. whiteroom
        November 17, 2016

        Hey Paul Cooper
        He’s not elite. He’s one of the good ones.

      4. David Price
        November 18, 2016

        You may have a world embracing view but that is your choice and you are not entitled to demand anyone else follows it.

        John Redwood is my MP and what he has written above and for the most part does represent close to my views. You do not.

        Even without all the warnings and qualifications made by ministers and representatives of the two campaigns the referendum outcome was to simply leave the EU. Not leave a bit, but to leave entirely.

        If you do not like that outcome you have only yourself to blame, perhaps you and all the other pro EU people should have done a much better job ensuring the benefits of EU membership were of more value to our people generally and were actually realised.

    10. nigel seymour
      November 16, 2016

      A few mixed comments there me thinks…
      Would you like the supreme court to uphold the HC ruling?
      If it does then we may as well start from scratch and amend our constitution to comprise –

      The Executive
      The Legislature
      The Judiciary
      The High and Supreme Court

    11. libertarian
      November 16, 2016

      Dear Sam Stoner

      You missed the whole pre vote referendum debate then?

      The then PM, Chancellor and others from Remain plus all the leading members of the Leave campaign made it abundantly clear that a vote to leave was a vote to leave the EU it was explicitly stated we would leave the single market, we would regain control of our border policy and negotiate our own free trade agreements. The 17.4 million majority who voted to leave the EU, Single Markets and open borders know exactly what they voted for. The only silliness is people like you who dont accept democracy when your side loses . Trying to find a weasel back door way of staying part in the EU wasn’t on the ballot paper

      1. Sam Stoner
        November 17, 2016

        Nope. Talk to D Hannan, talk to C Booker etc etc. None argued for or wants the extremist Redwood version

        1. Anonymous
          November 17, 2016

          Sam Stoner

          So that means Remain’s continuing campaign on Boris ‘lies’ can be discounted then ?

    12. getahead
      November 16, 2016

      In my dictionary leave means leave. I have never heard Johnson, Gove or Farage define it otherwise.
      Apart from that your comment is absolute tosh.

    13. zorro
      November 16, 2016


      Pure nonsense… Did you not listen to the campaign arguments during the referendum? Cameron and Osborne were very clear what voting LEAVE meant as where a myriad of other REMAIN politicians who seem to have had a collective memory failure and now say people weren’t told what voting LEAVE really meant when the campaigns were very clear. As Roy Grainger implies, the Remaniac position as expounded by yourself is total guff…..

      Once more, Vote LEAVE means leaving the Single Market (we can still access it) and the EU and all its tentacles of control and restoring ALL decision making processes to national sovereignty.


      1. Hope
        November 18, 2016

        They even tried to scare us that leave would mean leave and there would be no second chance! So get on with it. A bit like the Monty Python threat scene. I mean it, I really really mean it. Okay, we accepted the threat and voted to leave.

        I am fed up with the Clarke, Heseltine, Kerr, Bryant, Kinnock type gripes and insults to the public. If they had honour they would resign. They lost the public vote, if they do not like it get on and do something else with their lives and make a positive contribution to society.

    14. Alan Hinkley
      November 17, 2016

      Yes, it’s true. If we put our hands over our eyes, we can’t see.

    15. Peter D Gardner
      November 17, 2016

      Sam Stoner is right to pont out that the referendum was not about alternative relationships to membership of the EU. Nor could it have been because the Government of the day did not have an alternative to offer and adopted project fear instead of rationality on the pros and cons of membership, and because the Leave campaigners were not an alternative government with a manifesto.

      What is clear is that the vote was to leave the EU. Mrs May however is busily trying to slide from one form of membership into another form in the same timescale as the Treaty of Lisbon quite reasonably allows for agreeing the terms of withdrawal. She faces an impossible task and simultaneously encourages the referendum debate to continue as if there had never been an actual referendum result.

      It is becoming increasingly clear, as I have argued all along, that the best course of action is to leave the EU as quickly as possible to become a fully independent sovereign nation, dwell a pause to gain perspective, adjust to the new circumstances, concentrate on developing Britain’s own policies and economy while allowing the EU to redefine itself and set a new path. After some time, perhaps five years, only then would it be wise to review the situation and contemplate any further entanglement with the EU.

      A clean break now without further entanglement would give organisations, businesses and individuals the certainty they need right now. They will adapt. The government’s role right now is to steady the ship asap and provide political leadership, not convoluted bureaucratic circularity. Mrs May’s busying, lack of clarity about her direction of travel and secretiveness is doing the opposite and prolonging the agony. In short, she is making a meal of it.

  2. Ordinary Person
    November 16, 2016

    Thank you

  3. Roy Grainger
    November 16, 2016

    Well according to a speech yesterday by Lady Hale, one of the Supreme Court judges, you probably won’t be able to send the A50 until you’ve comprehensively replaced the 1972 act thus delaying the process considerably.

    I wonder when it became acceptable for judges to make public comments on cases which will be coming before them before hearing the arguments presented ? It is quite improper. This just shows how desperate the Remainers are, they will do literally ANYTHING to stop Brexit. The Lord Chancellor should sack her (probably not possible ?).

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 17, 2016

      Officially it needs an address to the Queen by both Houses of Parliament, which has not been done for a very long time in England, if it has ever been done; as I recollect a persistently drunken Irish judge was removed by that mechanism in the nineteenth century, although I would need to go back and check that.

      Section 33 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005:

      “33 Tenure

      A judge of the Supreme Court holds that office during good behaviour, but may be removed from it on the address of both Houses of Parliament.”

      However while a senior judge can only be removed by an Address of both Houses he can be suspended during the proceedings for an Address, Section 108(6):

      “He [the Lord Chief Justice acting with the agreement of the Lord Chancellor] may suspend a person from office as a senior judge for any period during which the person is subject to proceedings for an Address.”

      So that’s how to get the clearly prejudiced and arguably disloyal Lady Hale off the Supreme Court bench for the coming appeal, start proceedings for an Address.

    2. Peter D Gardner
      November 17, 2016

      Roy Grainger, actually Lady Hale has raised a question which would have sprung into the mind of anyone who has thought about Article 50 for more than five minutes. Basically, without agreement on the terms of withdrawal, the treaties cease to apply after two years unless all parties agree to continue negotiations – unlikely. Therefore, it is obvious that an Act of Parliament that clarifies the law is required before then. Lady Hale is right that since that Act does not yet exist invoking Article 50 now carries considerable risk.

      If I were in charge (!!!) I would ask parliament to pass an Act now to revoke ECA 72, write all current EU regulations applicable to Britain into UK law immediately and to treat all subsequent new EU law on a case by case basis and do this concurrently with invoking Article 50. EU Directives are somewhat different. All future directives would be ignored and current directives not yet enacted in UK wold be considered on a case by case basis. EU Directives already enacted should be considered, case by case for repeal or amendment.

      This approach would give everyone certainty and allow both the UK and the EU to quickly get on with setting their new directions, and avoid the risks to Brexit that mount every day.

  4. Duyfken
    November 16, 2016

    I fear we have a PM too cautious to act decisively in the way we certainly need right now. If only Mrs May would do something, but she gives the impression of being too scared of the consequences, of perceived obstacles and of opposition. Madam, please just send the damned Article 50 letter, or you may be the one who is damned.

    1. Mitchel
      November 16, 2016

      She comes across as an inveterate ditherer and her speech the other night could have been written for Blair or Cameron in the same circumstances,it’s just that she delivered it through the persona of a vicar’s daughter rather than a smarmy PR man or a cheesy-grinned lawyer-effectively we will continue with globalism and liberalism but please,please,please you one-percenters out there throw some crumbs back at the masses lest they rise up.

  5. Lifelogic
    November 16, 2016

    Indeed spot on, but as you know the PM is an ex(?) remainer who seems to be rather indecisive.

    One who even tried to deceive the electorate into voting remain by lying that we had control of our borders through Schengen even while in the EU, fortunately few were taken in by this lie. Parliament and the Lords are essentailly still heavily pro remain, though MPs are clear aware of the dangers of defying the people. Cameron and Osborne in failing to make proper provision post a Brexit result and making the result advisory has left a huge mess.

    Their agenda is to delay and delay until they can forget or overturn the referendum result. I was never convinced we would actually escape in the end. The BBC is still unbelievably biased on the issue, as usual taking the wrong line on nearly every argument.

  6. DaveM
    November 16, 2016


  7. matthu
    November 16, 2016

    Good words, John – although some may like to point out we have had good words before, only to be disappointed when they were not followed up by appropriate deeds.

    If parliament “takes back control”, will this include steps to “drain the swamp” in Westminster of inefficient and corrupt establishment MPs – or will this be left to the people? And if left to the people, will there be a proper right of recall as previously promised?

    1. Hope
      November 16, 2016

      The Tory party and its MPs have shown its substandard behaviour in whipping a vote for Vaz for the Justice Select Committee, against all the promises to clean up Westminster. JR gave a lame excuse but it holds no credibility. The Tory party and Westminster is still rotten to the core. It also demonstrates May is insincere in her comments about one fair nation nonsense.

    2. Mitchel
      November 16, 2016

      C’est beau mais ce n’est pas la guerre…or is it?!

      1. getahead
        November 16, 2016

        I saw the movie. Trevor Howard and David Hemmings.

        1. Mitchel
          November 17, 2016

          “There,my Lord,is your enemy!There,my Lord,are your guns!”

          Howard as Lord Cardigan was,indeed,magnifique!

  8. Edward.
    November 16, 2016

    Hallelujah and amen!

  9. Anonymous
    November 16, 2016

    “As someone who thinks exit does have to be passed by Parliament”

    And the Lords ? Are you as confident that they will allow Art 50 ?

    I am ever more confident that a second referendum would deliver an even more convincing public majority for Brexit. Especially since the Trump win and especially since tensions have been reduced to Defcon 5 now that the pro EU Democrats have lost the US election. Britain is and will continue to boom if we embrace Brexit. Project Fear is being proven to have been based on bigger lies than anything written on the side of a bus.

    But why should we take a risk ?

    It is quite clear to me that the Commons voted 6:1 to give the decision on the EU to the people. Putting it back to the Commons is giving MPs and the Lords a second bite of the cherry.

  10. The Active Citizen
    November 16, 2016

    Whatever you had for breakfast this morning, can I have some?

  11. Brexit
    November 16, 2016

    Excellent piece Dr Redwood, thank you. We’ll link to this for our readers.

    We’re unsure why Labour’s official new policy on Brexit hasn’t been splashed widely in the press? Yesterday’s speech by John McDonnell effectively emasculates the attempts at a Commons overthrow of the Article 50 notification by the LibDems, SNP, and a small number of Labour and Tory Remainer MPs.

    Your readers can view the details here:

  12. DaveK
    November 16, 2016

    Sorry to be pedantic, but as I will be linking to this later. The full stop before the 17.4 million needs removing and the “many” experts typo correcting. Regards Dave

  13. Mick
    November 16, 2016

    Very well put Mr Redwood, I agree with it all and all these remoaners who clutch at any straw saying the people were not informed well I think a lot of voters would have been turn off voting if every thing you’ve said today was said every day upto June 23rd, I also think Mrs May should invoke article 50 before march just in case the remoaners try and find another way of blocking Mrs May of invoking it

  14. Leslie Singleton
    November 16, 2016

    That is very very good indeed but please correct the apostrophe and, oddly, in the same phrase, is it not England that is, per the quote, the Mother?

    1. steppenwolf
      November 17, 2016

      I think he probably needs some new specs, Also, I only just discovered control and plus which magically makes everything bigger. Nobody tells you these things !

  15. Jerry
    November 16, 2016

    “the strange decision by the High Court of England, effectively in conflict with the High Court of Northern Ireland, over how to handle our exit from the EU.”

    What is so strange, NI (and Scotland) have their own courts and, in some cases, constitutional laws and arrangements.

    “I do not think these large constitutional issues are ones for the Courts, but are for Parliament and people to decide.”

    How do the people do that without involving the courts though, wait for the next GE, by which time the government of the day could have driven a coach and horses though our constitution and parliamentary democracy. Surely the courts are, in effect, the people?

    “We voted knowing exactly what we want our country to do”

    Yes, we voted to leave the European Union, so first we need to try and define what the term “EU” means, then and only then can anyone claim to know what “leave” means. It will also define if we can retain favourable customs agreements etc. or not. No one knows why people voted ‘Leave’, that wasn’t asked, nor was there a single voice for Brexit but 28 campaign groups [1], all with different ideals and road-maps, some even suggesting that converting our membership to that of EFTA or EEA might be the solution.

    [1] even those who wanted to stay in the EU were split amongst 19 different groups.

    “We voted knowing msny experts thought it would do substantial short term economic damage
    We thought them wrong, and so it has proved”

    Except that we have not left yet, nothing has been proved, although the GBP, and Stock market are bouncing up and down like a football – even before the election of Mr Trump ion the USA.

    “We voted Leave because we want to live in a democracy again”

    Not so, otherwise Brexiteers would be pushing for the government to place everything to do with Brexit before Parliament and MPs binding votes, at the moment we seem to have voted to jump from one autocracy to another.

    “The High Court of Parliament answers to no UK or English Court in matters of the constitution and high politics”

    Then best you introduce a Bill to that effect Mr Redwood, it’s called a dictatorship! Otherwise parliament and the courts will carry on answering to constitutional law, even the High Court of Parliament can only act within that constitutional law, as laid down my the peoples representatives (MPs).

  16. ChrisS
    November 16, 2016

    I don’t disagree with a single word !

    Why wait for the appeal ? Just put the three line bill to Parliament now. When it gets an overwhelming majority in the Commons, the Lords will vote it down at their peril. If they do, Mrs May should appoint as many Peers as is necessary to outvote the Remoaners.

    I would be quite happy to be appointed to the Lords for as long as it takes to pass all the necessary legislation to enable us to leave. I would give an undertaking to then resign.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 16, 2016

      Me too, Theresa May can add my name to the list of potential temporary unelected legislators-for-life who would be willing to turn up and vote as required.

    2. BOF
      November 16, 2016

      I second that and also undertake not to collect the daily allowance.

      If required I would sit for another day to vote ourselves out of existence to allow proper reform of the second chamber!

  17. Original Richard
    November 16, 2016

    “We voted knowing many experts thought it would do substantial short term economic damage”

    The UK voted to leave DESPITE being told by many experts that leaving would bring both short term and long term economic damage to the UK and the world.

    Leaving the EU was clearly more important to these voters.

    [And without this powerful “frightener” the result would have been 75/25 to leave.
    Who knows a remainer that thinks the EU does not need reform ?]

    If the leavers did not have a plan on how to leave the EU it was because it did not matter. Anything is better than remaining.

    Parliament gave the making the decision to the people of the UK via a referendum, and since the people decided to leave, then Parliament itself should now vote to leave.

  18. Ian Wragg
    November 16, 2016

    All very good John but it just highlights your frustration with the lack of progress on exiting the EU.
    Inflation dropped but had to be qualified by the BBC telling us it was in the pipeline.
    Just what is Mrs Mays plan. 5 months after the vote and absolutely no movement.
    Another 8 billion pounds sent to Brussels and another 300,000 new mouths to feed shelter and use the public services.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 16, 2016

      Well there is not that much in the pipeline, even if the pound stays at current levels lots of stuff is not imported so a 10% fall in sterling might only put perhaps 1% on average inflation.

      Anyway if T May and P Hammond set a sensible cheap energy, bonfire or red tape, lower taxes, pro-business agenda (for a change) the pound will rise. Even better if they scrapped HS2, Hinkley, lagoons and other drivel.

  19. Sean
    November 16, 2016

    The feet dragging on Brexit will continue. many more laim excuses will be heard. The lefties will continue to find ways to kill off Brexit, in their undemocratic I don’t care what the people want attitude. As will the Tory Liberals

    We need to leave the Eu hell hole and moneypit yesterday.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 16, 2016

      50% plus of Tory MPs are clearly Libdims, including T May much of the cabinet, and (I suspect) Philip Hammond too.

      We shall see for sure in his Autumn Statement very shortly.

  20. David Edwards
    November 16, 2016

    I see in relation to leaving the EU that at least Merkel now understands that freedom of movement is not a founding principle of the European project, but instead was introduced by case law starting with Antonissen in 1989 (i.e. to move to look for work, rather than to take up a job offer actually made), since she recently avoided reference to founding principles and instead said that free movement is essential to the internal market which wasn’t established until 1993 or thereabouts.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 16, 2016

      It was in the Treaty of Rome as a general founding principle.

      Article 3(c):

      “the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services and capital”

  21. Chris
    November 16, 2016

    I am very concerned by some reports in the Press this morning that Merkel may be prepared to “give” on the issue of free movement. This, I fear, is only a trap to keep us in the EU in some form or other, still under their control and still paying in to their coffers. It is of course the “compromise” tactic that Merkel et al have always employed to basically obtain their way. It is a game to them, I believe, and they are masters of the craft. The Merkel solution would of course be just what the Europhiles and Remain voting Conservative MP would like so it will be heavily promoted by them and much of the apparently pliant media.
    Mrs May, we want out of the EU, and that is what we voted for.

    1. Chris
      November 16, 2016

      PS to the above comment of mine:
      the apparent concessions hinted at by Merkel are something that were appropriate at the David Cameron stage of negotiations for a better deal, and should have been offered then. It is too late for concessions now. We have moved on from that stage and have voted clearly to Leave.

      The reason that we were not offered anything substantive in the Cameron negotiations was that Merkel knew that he was not serious about negotiating anything significant for the UK, particularly having admitted beforehand that he wanted us to stay in the EU anyway (and that he was confident that he would win any vote).

    2. ChrisS
      November 16, 2016

      My thoughts exactly.

      Any concession from Merkel would be far too little and much too late.

      Any overtures from Brussels now would just reinvigorate the Remainers, especially the undemocratic lot in the Lords, to defeat the A50 measure.
      This latest development from Berlin is probably the most dangerous moment for us.We simply HAVE to get on with it.

      What on Earth is stopping Mrs May from bringing forward the A50 measure in the Commons now ?

      Can’t the usual suspects table it yourselves, John ????

    3. Roy Grainger
      November 16, 2016

      what Merkel thinks is largely irrelevant. She does not speak for the EU.

      1. Chris
        November 16, 2016

        I would agree that there are now very obvious splits within the EU, meaning that she does not represent all. However, I don’t think Verhofstadt et al are going to take kindly to being contradicted.

      2. rose
        November 16, 2016

        She did when she extended Free Movement to Africa and Asia – at least she did in effect because it was a fait accompli and there is no knowing how it will be reversed..

    4. Mitchel
      November 16, 2016

      I wonder if the Russians would let us borrow Sergey Lavrov,Mr Nyet, for a few months.We might actually get somewhere – and quickly.

  22. Martin Bowden
    November 16, 2016

    Hear hear !!!!
    Let’s get on with it.

  23. Bert Young
    November 16, 2016

    All the points are valid . The hypocrisy of the Hugh Court ruling is a smack in the face to the public . Of course we should ignore Article 50 requirements and simply let Brussels know “We are out”. If trading arrangements have to follow – they will suffer more than us if the proceedings are drawn out . Our border controls should immediately only allow those who can and will contribute to our society ; those already here – and properly in work , have nothing to fear .

    What the Supreme Court has to take on board is the will of the people – nothing more . What Theresa has to do is to put her foot down !.

  24. Iain Moore
    November 16, 2016

    Supreme Court Judge Lady Hale has been reported making comments about Article 50 in Malaysia, which suggests she is forming an opinion before even listening to the arguments. Not a good indicator that Brexit will get a fair hearing in the Supreme Court.

    1. rose
      November 17, 2016

      Why has so little been said about this? The lawyers seem to have got themselves above the law and not ot understand the constitution. Have the papers been cowed by LEGO? Can anyone think of a case where a judge gave a lecture about it abroad in advance of hearing it? The Supreme Court says she was only giving both sides of the case but she wasn’t giving the third course which is not to interfere at all. It doesn’t weem to have occurred to them.

      Another worrying aspect of all this irregularity is that she said both sides had accepted the matter was justiciable. What was the AG thinking of in giving way on that? Why hasn’t someone coached him on how our constitution works? For that matter why did he give way on the other remainiac point aobut the referendum only being advisory? Or is she misrepresenting him?

      1. rose
        November 21, 2016

        It appears that justiciability did not come up in the High Court.

        In saying she had to babble about the case in Malaysia because otherwise it would have been discourteous to her hosts, she must have thought the etiquette here is of no importance.

  25. Mike Stallard
    November 16, 2016

    I adore the epistrophes!

  26. Ed Mahony
    November 16, 2016

    ‘To live in a country with its own sovereign Parliament’

    – is, perhaps, over-rated. History, common experience and Machiavelli tell us that so often politicians use Parliament for their own benefit and not that of the people.
    What the people really want is decent jobs, homes, healthcare, peace and security. Things like that. If the EU helps deliver that, then that means far more to people than ‘sovereignty of Parliament.’
    In a perfect world of course we would have our own sovereign Parliament (but then whose to say in a perfect world we would need national Parliaments at all!). But our world isn’t perfect. Far from it.
    So whatever best serves the majority of people in this country, in the long-run, then they will opt for that (so if Brexit works – in economic and geopolitical sense – then we’ll have sovereignty of Parliament, if not, then people will revert – via referendum at some point in the future – to the EU, but next time trying to reform it for all the countries of the EU in the best interests of the people in general).
    So let’s get on with Brexit, hope it works, and if it doesn’t, then let’s have a plan in place to make sure we try and reform the EU next time (not just get concessions for the UK) if we have to return to the EU.

    1. Ed Mahony
      November 16, 2016

      (and what I’m saying is completely objective, common sense and pragmatic – I don’t see how anyone can argue with it! – except i hear very few people talking about having a plan in place in case things don’t work out – and that’s a dangerous position to be in)

  27. Roy Grainger
    November 16, 2016

    Off-topic, but here’s a quote from Mark Carney:

    “The thing about forward guidance is that it is guidance that is forward. Which isn’t to say it’s meant to be in any way accurate. Indeed, it would be surprising if it were. The most important thing about forward guidance is that the underlying economic determinants should be correct, not that it should be helpful.”

    I think the one bit I’d agree with there is that I’d be surprised if his forward guidance was accurate. The rest sounds like nonsense.

  28. Peter Wood
    November 16, 2016

    Good Morning,

    Will you kindly update your message to include clarification on the apparent softening(from the Empress) on the freedom of movement issue. We voted to leave to achieve all the objectives stated, chief among which is the overarching objective to return sovereignty to our own Parliament, not just a minor restriction on immigration. We are philosophically separated from the EU because we do not believe in an ever closer federation.

    Thank you.

    1. Chris
      November 16, 2016

      Agreed. This is absolutely crucial.

    2. Mitchel
      November 16, 2016

      Not just Empress but the new leader of the “Free World”now that Trump has been disqualified by the globalist Camarilla.

  29. JJE
    November 16, 2016

    Methinks you doth protest too much. Parliament must vote so get on with it.

    I thought that the High Court judgement was completely correct, reiterating principles that Parliament fought against the Crown for in the Civil War and later asserted in the Glorious Revolution. I expect the Supreme Court to uphold the judgement so get on and do your jobs in Parliament and pass the legislation.

    The courts know nothing of the will of the people except as expressed in Acts of Parliament. Save the hot air for politics, it won’t get you anywhere in the Law. So pass the legislation.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 16, 2016

      This is not a continuation of the historical Parliament v the Crown contest, it is (some) parliamentarians v the people, with judges choosing to take the side of those parliamentarians while the Crown was trying to keep its promise to the people, and now it is on the edge of becoming (most) parliamentarians v the judges.

      In the High Court the Lord Chief Justice seemed aware of the real reason why the cases had been started, and that it was not to defend the law or the constitution or the supremacy of Parliament; page 64 here:

      “You have to say that because otherwise you fall into the argument that you are trying to go back on the referendum.”

      Nonetheless the judges were willing to take the claimants’ pretext at face value.

    2. rose
      November 16, 2016

      Parliament doesn’t need Remainiac judges without trained minds to tell it what to do and how to do it. Parliament makes the law and the judges interpret it. This constitutional question is one for Parliament and if they wanted to challenge the government on Article 50 they would. They chose not to.

    3. Anonymous
      November 16, 2016

      JJE – Your point is self defeating.

      Cromwell did not win an argument. He won a war and – as you yourself say – ‘asserted’ principles.

      Those laws were established by means that were illegal at the time – and only of real purpose to nobles and not the common man.

      They happen to be good when they work but when they are used to subvert a democratic vote and when they are used to cede our freedoms and sovereignty away then it’s useful to remember their bloody and illegitimate origins.

    4. getahead
      November 16, 2016

      It was made perfectly clear by former Prime Minister David Cameron that Article 50 would be triggered if the British people voted to leave the European Union on June 23.
      Parliament passed the referendum bill under the clear understanding from David Cameron that Article 50 would be exercised immediately. The then-Prime Minister’s view, as stated to Parliament and to the country, was that he would exercise Article 50 on Friday morning.
      That didn’t happen but that doesn’t change the fact that Parliament gave the responsibility to decide whether we remained in the European Union to the British people.

      So why does parliament need a second vote?

  30. Antisthenes
    November 16, 2016

    When we voted to leave we new exactly what we wanted. We wanted our sovereignty and our right to self determination back, to control immigration as we see fit, stop or reduce our contribution, continue to cooperate with the EU in areas that were of mutual benefit. We wished to continue to sell our goods and services to the EU. How that was to be achieved we trusted the government to plan and negotiate that. It is their job to do so.

    We are not fools we know it will incur difficulties and compromises but as long as the main objective, the reinstatement of the power of the British people to have control over it’s own laws and destiny, we will be content. We are not intransigent either so we accept that we will gain most things back but not all. Of course the gain must at least be that we shed the malignant influence of the EU. That we have a bilateral agreement that allows the EU only dictatorial powers in areas we are prepared to concede(probably in the same way we do when we sell to countries outside the EU or cooperate with them) as by doing so we gain considerably more in return.

    Our membership as it stands allows the EU to dictate everything without us seeing any appreciable benefits from them doing so. The average UK citizen abrogated much of their personal responsibility and self-reliance to the state and that was a mistake. The UK has passed that on to the EU compounding that mistake. Sure progressives see no danger in either action blinded by their statism ideologies so their current negative actions we can well understand. To be deplored by all liberty loving peoples. So we must prevail in our endeavour to leave the EU so as to make a major step in freeing us from it’s undemocratic clutches.

  31. Roderick Roberts
    November 16, 2016

    Thank you JR that about sums it up perfectly. 59% of the electorate in the west midlands voted leave. However some of the Conservative MP’s were for remain. I hope they follow their constituents lead and vote for article 50 if it comes to a vote, or all hell will let loose.

    1. JJE
      November 16, 2016

      And will you expect the MP for Wokingham to vote remain, because that’s what his constituents voted?

  32. rose
    November 16, 2016

    “I do not think these large constitutional issues are ones for the Courts, but are for Parliament and people to decide”

    And we read that thte Token Woman at the Supreme Court has said she – they – don’t know what to do! If you don’t knpow what to do the least you do is not go prattling about it across the world. These Baby Boomer lawyers really do think it is just an amusing game to be dined out on, knowing that their side has all the power.

    To your list you might have added something about our wanting our Queen to be sovereign again and not a citizen of the EU.

  33. James Matthews
    November 16, 2016

    Only marginally on topic, but here is the response from my MP to an email from me asking her to ensure that the referendum result is implemented:

    “I warmly welcome the high court ruling handed down by Lord Chief Justice Thomas and Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, (the two highest judges in England and Wales) that states that Parliament must have a vote on invoking Article 50.

    I do believe that Parliament must be sovereign, and therefore have the right to scrutinize and vote on the proposals brought forward by the Government.

    When it comes to the actual vote I have already made my position public. In our borough of Haringey, over 75% per cent of people voted to remain in the European Union, the fourth highest remain vote in the UK. I will continue to stand with the people of Hornsey and Wood Green on this issue by voting against invoking Article 50 when a vote comes before parliament.”

    It is at least honest, so those of us who want to leave the EU know what we are up against. This is no time to relax our efforts. Please keep contributing to your chosen leave campaign (s) with both money and effort. We are still a long way from where we need to be.

  34. James Neill
    November 16, 2016

    there’s no point in worrying unnecessarily ? Brexit is here – it has been voted on – there is absolutely no going back- Article 50 will be activated in March 2017- and even if we wanted to change our minds now or at any stage the French and others would throw up so many roadblocks that it would be impossible. Mrs Merkel, probably our only true friend left in Europe, will not be there after another year- so we’ll be left entirely on our own free from the EU. So don’t fret- its only a matter of time.

  35. ArrestingTimes
    November 16, 2016

    We did not vote for Parliament to vote on authorisation of sending the Article 50 letter.

    Mr Cameron clearly expressed in Parliament and repeatedly that he would sign the Article 50 letter immediately. No mention was made nor intended for it to be otherwise.

    Mrs May still has not honoured the Referendum vote. June 24th 2016 was the absolute deadline.
    The High Court, the Supreme Court, the Wimbledon Tennis Court may have a thousand and one objections, concerns, they may call Let or Fault or Lets bogie. They may choose as they have done with the High Court to play a game of tennis. Sweet. Now remove yourselves! You do know what you do. You are over 18 years of age. You are not infirm of mind. Social reports are not required. You are disallowed bail.

  36. Antisthenes
    November 16, 2016

    Another Mises Daily article well worth reading If it correct in it’s assumption about Trump’s presidency having a negative effect on the euro and the EU we may well see the EU collapsing sooner than we have been predicting.

  37. Colin Hart
    November 16, 2016

    Almost poetry.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 16, 2016

      But will it happen.

  38. Denis Cooper
    November 16, 2016

    “We voted in good faith”

    We did, but one argument is that we should not have been so naive as to believe anything we were told about having the final say, or about the Prime Minister anticipating that he would trigger Article 50 straight away if we voted to leave, or about:

    “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

    in the official leaflet distributed to all households by the government, without lawyers or judges or parliamentarians jumping up to say:

    “No, be aware before you go to vote that the final decision will be with us, not you.”

    I am getting absolutely sick of these disgusting efforts by small numbers of EU fanatics to neutralise the result of a national referendum ordered and arranged by Parliament, in which 46.5 million citizens were invited to participate and 33.6 million took the trouble to do so, and as you say in good faith.

    At least now we have had a Supreme Court judge, Lady Hale, indirectly making it very clear that these cases are not about observing the law and upholding our constitution by defending the sovereignty of Parliament, those are mere pretexts and the real purpose is simply to prevent our withdrawal from the EU by all possible means.

  39. Lawman
    November 16, 2016

    If the Supreme Court judges do not uphold the government’s position one hundred per cent then they should within moments of their decision by arrested under the Terrorism Act. Oh yes can be.
    In good time, and after appropriate interrogation to find any co-conspirators,they can be charged or perhaps not charged at all but incarcerated nevertheless. There is not any precise legislation that they should be given trial.( We will have just seen that movie )

  40. PizzaPan
    November 16, 2016

    Should they not be brave/principled enough, then at least you know you’re not alone in the fight any more. Everything is coming into the daylight. There is even talk of deselecting the bad guys. The arrogant ones on the steps with their black cloaks swirling don’t intimidate the people.

  41. Jane
    November 16, 2016

    I totally agree with everything you have said. Peace loving people are becoming angry because of this desire by pro EU MP’s to frustrate the referendum, still saying it was only advisory. We are not blind to the fact that the word advisory would not have been brought up had Remain won. The referendum would have given these pro MPs the OK for further integration. That is the lie. This is a delicate question but did Tony Blair consult the Queen when he signed the Lisbon treaty. If she wasn’t made fully aware of the consequences then under the Constitution would his not doing so have been illegal? The citizens of this country were fully aware of the terms of Brexit, the argument being we might have been but didn’t understands the implications. However the suggestion that 16 year olds should vote makes a mockery of this supposition.

    1. Sam Stoner
      November 16, 2016

      “The citizens of this country were fully aware of the terms of Brexit”

      Well, go ahead. Spell them out and send me a source

      In fact, NO terms – not one – were offered on the ballot paper, which is the only document that has any weight

      1. BrexiteerwivMusket
        November 17, 2016

        I see Nick Clegg is all for a European army now as suggested by the EU High Command. Isn’t he the one who debated with Farage one-to-one and said the very idea of it was nonsense? So, he agrees and promotes non-existent nonsense now. Let’s face it he always advocated crankiness. It is good he is seriously thinking about retirement. Hopefully the House of Lords will be abolished robbing him of entering into that nonsense too. If he believes it exists or perhaps he believes just 7% of the House of Lords exists.

      2. Anonymous
        November 17, 2016

        Sam Stoner

        There was no ambiguity about what ‘leave the European Union’ meant.

        Stop being a silly boy.

        1. Sam Stoner
          November 18, 2016

          Do, please, go ahead then and send me a source which details whether LEAVE on June 23 meant being in the customs union or not, being committed to EU laws in order to gain preferential access to the single market or not, being signed up to EU climate change rules or not. Etc.

          Because, you see, my ballot paper didn’t explain any of this. Did yours?

          And Mr Hannan said very different things from Mr Gove who said very different things from Mr Redwood who said very different things from Mr Farage. And Mr Johnson said all of these things.

    2. Chris
      November 16, 2016

      Well said, Jane.

  42. BrexiteerwivMusket
    November 16, 2016

    Parliamentarians, particularly the Remainers are in a time warp. They wish to exercise powers of a UK sovereign parliament in regard to Brexit. However, they and we, do not have a UK sovereign parliament. If they put down their toys for a moment and pay attention: the Referendum was to restore the sovereignty of Parliament.

    Post-Referendum: When we have left the EU entirely the “potential-in-waiting- Parliamentarians” will have the right to discuss belatedly what they believe should have been the terms of Brexit being negotiated under PM May who had the sole right as far as We the People were concerned after Cameron ran way, to get us out of the EU and restore democracy.
    In a sense, in the hearts of the British, she is Lady Protector until such time as she herself has restored democracy and the sovereignty of Parliament. Well, for one, and all for one that’s fine by me.

    1. Iain Moore
      November 16, 2016

      They don’t seem to understand the concept of sovereignty full stop, for they can’t understand that if there is something they don’t like about Brexit when it is completed, they can always seek a mandate from the people to change it. They still live under the idea that post Brexit the authoritarian rule of Brussels remains, where our future is determined by the edicts carved into stone be Brussels bureaucrats and were nothing can be changed .

      1. BrexiteerwivMusket
        November 17, 2016

        Good point! You are right. That is exactly how they behave.

    2. Ed Mahony
      November 16, 2016

      ‘the Referendum was to restore the sovereignty of Parliament’

      – No it wasn’t! Get real. It was about immigration.

      And this is how reality will test this:

      – there are going to be some economic ups and downs over the next few years (at least 10 years) whilst re-rejig our economy (doesn’t make that much difference to our economy – in the long-term – say 10 to 20 years – if we’re in or outside the EU). For those who can afford these ups and downs, won’t be a problem. But it will be a problem if those millions of working class people, who voted Leave, find their standard of living dropping (especially at a time of austerity when we have to pay back a large national debt). And if things are too severe, then they’re going to be calling for a second referendum (plus saying there were let down by Brexiteers making promises they couldn’t keep).
      So it all depends on how severe these economic ups and downs are.
      Then we will see what these working class Brexiteers are really concerned about: immigration and their standard or living or ‘sovereignty of Parliament.’
      But to claim it was about ‘sovereignty of Parliament’ is dreamland and helping no-one, above all those who want to make a success of Brexit in general.

  43. Chris
    November 16, 2016

    Slightly O/T, but perhaps wee should also be taking back control from Mark Carney. Does this quote of his reassure you? (Source: Guido, quote of the day). I feel we deserve and need someone who speaks plainly. Is that such a hard ask?

    “Mark Carney explains the Bank of England’s forward guidance…

    “The thing about forward guidance is that it is guidance that is forward. Which isn’t to say it’s meant to be in any way accurate. Indeed, it would be surprising if it were. The most important thing about forward guidance is that the underlying economic determinants should be correct, not that it should be helpful.”

  44. robpbyw
    November 16, 2016

    Brave words.
    Meanwhile Brussels is saying that Brexit will cost us £billion 60. How do they figure that out?
    They stand to lose more than we do (imports from EU vs exports to EU and the large reduction in job opportunities).
    Who is going to blink first?

    1. Sam Stoner
      November 17, 2016

      They stand to lose 6 per cent of their export trade. We stand to lose 47 per cent of ours.

      I think I know who will blink first.

      1. Anonymous
        November 17, 2016

        Loss of trade need not be total.

        Only if it becomes a power game – in which case we were right to vote Leave.

      2. Edward2
        November 17, 2016

        You are assuming absolutely no trade with Europe either way.
        How likely is that Sam?

        1. Sam Stoner
          November 18, 2016

          Very unlikely, Edward.

          We might lose only, say, 25 per cent of our exports. While they lose 3 per cent of theirs.

          This is why it is UK government ministers who are bleating with fear about how these Europeans jolly well better keep trading with us or else we’ll stop buying their prosecco. You’re not getting such panicky whistling to keep up the spirits as the boat sinks from the other side of the channel are you?

  45. Denis Cooper
    November 16, 2016

    While his speaking style is rarely as impassioned as yours can be, JR, Bill Cash also makes good speeches and in view of the revelation about Lady Hale I am reminded of this speech he gave on January 11th 2011:

    “Mr William Cash (Stone) (Con): I beg to move amendment 41, page 11, line 25, at end insert –

    ‘(1) The sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament in relation to EU law is hereby reaffirmed.’ …

    … Amendment 10 would add to the end of the clause the simple phrase, “and not by virtue of a common law principle”.”

    I will just quote some relevant passages:

    “The effect of that would be to prevent the courts from applying a common law principle, which has become entrenched in certain thinking in influential academic and legal circles, and in the Supreme Court.”

    “It is a matter of grave concern to many of us – far more than may turn up in the Lobbies today – that the courts, on a range of matters, have accumulated greater and greater influence, and, indeed, action, in relation to their judgments on Acts of Parliament. I refer not merely to interpretation or construction of the words but the underlying judicial activism, sometimes of a quasi – political nature.”

    “I am concerned to ensure that the courts are excluded from the construction or interpretation of the nature or legal effect of parliamentary sovereignty. It is of course still inherent in the arrangements, even after the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, that the judiciary are not only quamdiu se bene gesserint, as the Latin has it – in other words, they hold their position during good behaviour – but, in exceptional circumstances, it would be possible for judges to be removed, by an address by both Houses of Parliament, if they were to depart from that dictum. I would have said that some of the remarks relating to the sovereignty of Parliament that have emanated from some judicial circles in recent years have trespassed closely on the question of whether Parliament is the supreme law-making body in this country.”

    “The sovereignty of Parliament is the most important principle of the United Kingdom constitution, and has been since 1688, as confirmed by constitutional authorities without question until very recently. Indeed, the greatest judge in recent times, the late Lord Bingham, who died only a few months ago, stated in the Jackson case in 2005:

    “The bedrock of the British constitution is … the supremacy of the Crown in Parliament.”

    I fear that the sovereignty of Parliament is in grave danger, however. There are judges in the Supreme Court whom Lord Bingham himself felt it necessary to name in black and white in chapter 10 of his book “The Rule of Law”, published shortly before his death. He publicly criticised their judgments and their attitude to parliamentary sovereignty. In the Jackson case, Lord Hope, who is now deputy president of the Supreme Court, said that

    “parliamentary sovereignty is no longer … absolute”.

    He went on to say that, “step by step”, it “is being qualified”. In his view, the rule of law, enforced by the courts, is the ultimate controlling factor on which our constitution is based. Lady Hale, who also remains on the Supreme Court, agreed with Lord Hope.”

    “The Supreme Court justices, who have a process of selection outside the Judicial Appointments Commission, have a significant critical mass of those with profoundly Eurocentric credentials. I mention this because the sovereignty of Parliament, which is a constitutional doctrine of the United Kingdom, is also under threat by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972.”

    “The threat comes not only from the common law radicalism of such judges but from the EU law itself, which claims constitutional supremacy over member states’ constitutions.”

    “… attitudes within the Supreme Court, particularly since the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, have so enhanced its independence that, in conjunction with the arguments it is beginning to present, very serious questions are raised.”

    “Removing sovereignty from Parliament would pass that sovereignty to some other body, whether it be the European Union, the Supreme Court or any other organisation. Sovereignty is about giving ultimate power to the people’s democratic representatives in Parliament, not to the courts and not to international bodies such as the European Union. It is that democracy which gives voters freedom to choose who governs them and how, and for which people have fought and died.”

    “That would be the case if it were accepted by the judges in the Supreme Court. It is precisely because we know that they are not inclined to take that view that the amendments are necessary. We are extremely grateful for the evidence that we have received from distinguished witnesses, but the problem is not what they have said, because they aided us in arriving at conclusions in the light of our need to defend parliamentary sovereignty. The problem does not lie in Parliament or with the witnesses; it lies in the assertions of a circle of certain judges and lawyers.”

    “… as I mentioned earlier, under the Constitutional Reform Act, there is no displacement of the doctrine and, indeed, the constitutional principle that judges may be removed by an address of both Houses of Parliament. Furthermore, as my hon. Friend has mentioned the 17th century, the 1610 case of Dr Bonham continues to apply, up to and including the 2005 Act. Lord Chief Justice Coke asserted that the common law could usurp Acts of Parliament – I am paraphrasing, but he was specific – but he was dismissed by Parliament for making such assertions. My hon. Friend’s point is therefore well made, and was part of the constitutional settlement in the Act of Settlement 1701 and is still part of that settlement by virtue of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.”

    This is why I think the government short Bill should not only include Bill Cash’s “magic words”, “notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972”, it should also end by saying:

    “In accordance with Article IX of the Bill of Rights 1688 no provision of this Act may be questioned in any court in the United Kingdom on any ground whatever”.

    1. Excalibur
      November 17, 2016

      Valuable research as usual, Denis. This is a good illustration of the subtle and insidious erosion of our sovereignty by the European Union and by the courts. We must resist it at all costs. Over to you JR……

    2. Sam Stoner
      November 17, 2016

      What a baffling post.

      No judge has the slightest intention of questioning the supremacy of Parliament.

      Quite the reverse. If the government tries to evade the supremacy of Parliament, judges will step in. As the High court did two weeks ago.

      Where’s the problem? (apart from Mr Cash’s total misunderstanding of .. well, everything)

      1. rose
        November 17, 2016

        Read what Brenda Hale said in her lecture in Malaysia. She is considering telling Parliament what to do and how to do it and how long to take over it.

        She is a new breed of judge, infected by the EU way of running things by decree rather than democratically. It is called judicial activism and has nothing to do with our ancient constitution.

        1. Sam Stoner
          November 18, 2016

          I read it. She’s telling students the arguments on both sides. There’s not a hint that she’ll tell parliament anything. Nor did the High Court tell parliament anything – they addressed only the government.

          1. rose
            November 20, 2016

            From the Barrister Blog:

            Lady Hale’s point has predictably enough now been taken up by a group of lawyers (Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Geoffrey Nice QC, Ben Chigara, Julian Petley, Ignacio de la Rasilla and Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt) writing for the the Britain in Europe think tank, published here on the London School of Economics blog. This is what they say about it:

            “In fact, the deputy president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, has suggested the Court might have to go beyond simply determining whether it is Parliament that has the power to trigger article 50. It might also have to decide what the form of the bill triggering article 50 might be. Taking the unusual step of commenting extra-judicially on a pending case, she noted that an important question for the Court will be ‘whether it would be enough for a simple act of parliament to authorise the government to give notice, or whether it would have to be a comprehensive replacement of the [European Communities] Act.”

            This, Sam, is from people who are on her side!

            No-one else has mentioned making Parliament do this. She has introduced a completely new consideration – before she has even sat.

          2. rose
            November 20, 2016

            Sorry, Barristerblogger.

      2. Edward2
        November 17, 2016

        Parliament is supreme

      3. Denis Cooper
        November 18, 2016

        Well, if you think that Bill Cash misunderstands “everything” then his speech will have given you plenty of opportunities to point out in detail where he has gone wrong. But he is not alone in having warned of the dangers of a continuing “drift of judicial opinion” on our constitutional position vis-a-vis the EU; this is what Martin Howe QC had written about it in his November 2003 analysis of the proposed EU Constitution:

        “However, the doctrine of the supremacy of Parliament is not written in stone, but rests on continued judicial acceptance of its validity. There have been arguments by academic lawyers that the European Communities Act 1972 created a wholly new constitutional order which superseded the sovereignty of Parliament. An argument was advanced by prosecuting counsel in the Metric Martyrs case that the importation of Community law via the 1972 Act imported the ECJ doctrine of primacy and so inhibited Parliament from repealing EC law by implication in a later Act. That argument was rejected by the Court, but the fact that leading counsel for a public authority should think it worth advancing suggests that the doctrine of the supremacy of Parliament is not quite so certain and secure as one would wish.”

        These arguments have been going on for years, indeed to conserve effort I have lifted that quoted passage from a comment I made here:

        in July 2009, where there was an extended discussion.

        I have no way of knowing for sure what the Cameron administration intended when it introduced a Bill for an EU referendum lacking any provision to say what would ensue from a vote to leave the EU, any more than a judge has any way of knowing for sure what Parliament intended when it passed that Bill without even discussing that glaring defect, let alone correcting it.

        I do know that the defect was there in the Tory party draft Bill published in May 2013, and that it was pointed out on the same day that the draft appeared – in fact within minutes of its publication – and that the same defect was pointed out for the two Private Members’ Bills which preceded the 2015 government Bill.

        It could be that the Tory leadership simply could not conceive that it might lose the referendum. Or, it might have thought that there was a remote possibility that it might lose, and deliberately left this defect in the Bill to leave the door open for legal challenges to obstruct our withdrawal from the EU, part of a contingency plan which included Cameron breaking his word and immediately resigning without having put in the Article 50 notice.

        Or, it could even be that the government lawyers genuinely believed that it was unnecessary to put anything on the face of the Bill because from what was being said both inside and outside Parliament there was no way that any of its members could be oblivious to the government’s intention to use its prerogative powers to serve the notice – that is, unless they were as I put it just “lazy and inattentive parliamentarians”.

  46. ale bro
    November 16, 2016

    Are the Houses of Parliament really ready for the long slog ahead?

    The coming years will require serious amounts of new legislation, and I’m concerned that MPs are not used to legislating. Much detailed legislation has historically been provided by the european institutions, with recent governments only offering very light legislative programmes.
    I hope that MPs have the right skills to implement what is needed over the coming years, but I am doubtful that they can. Just look at the failure of parliament to enact a snoopers charter, or to agree any kind of NHS reform.

    Half of the House of Lords is over 70 years old – I’m not ageist but I really doubt that these members will have the energy to scrutinise all of the legislation that’s needed over the coming years, especially since peers are also employed outside the House of Lords. Surely a second chamber with full time participants is needed, rather than the current crop of 760 superannuated politicians and party donors.

  47. Roadie
    November 16, 2016

    PM’s Question Time today mentioned and discussed questions by more than one MP the recent terrible tram accident in Croydon , South London. Seven people lost their lives. It was also discussed on BBC Politics immediately afterwards with another MP. That is good.

    What is not immediately clear however to many viewers is why seven road deaths at one time is discussed in Parliament and on TV at the highest levels when similar road accidents involving more deaths are seemingly not discussed at all.

  48. Graham Wood
    November 16, 2016

    JR I strongly agree with your view: “I do not think these large constitutional issues are ones for the Courts, but are for Parliament and people to decide. ” Absolutely!
    The courts exist only to interpret the law and the Constitution, not to make law.
    Now that the Brexit issue has been forced via Miller et al before the courts then it has now become as much a constitutional issue as a political one.
    That being the case it is to be hoped that the Supreme Court judges fully consider in its letter and spirit two of the greatest constitutional statutes ever passed by an English parliament, namely our Bill of Rights of 1689, and the Coronation Oath Act.

    Neither have been repealed, and like all constitutional law remains the supreme embodiment and expression of the “rule of law” for our country, and remaining on the statute books.
    I am amazed that so little attention is given to the clarity and mandatory authority of these statutes where there is dispute as to the constitutional role of government, as now the case in the whole Brexit debate.
    Thus for example, so important is the B of R that the Speaker of the Commons (July 1993) declared that : “The Bill of Rights will be required to be fully respected by all those appearing before our courts” – applicable to all litigants and not least the judges themselves.
    In their observance and application both of these statutes remain mandatory in all matters of governance decided by our courts or in parliament for the administration of law and justice.
    The preamble to the Declaration of Rights (later incorporated into the B of R) is unambiguous and the following is its content (antique language edited accordingly):

    “We do declare that no foreign rulers, persons, prelates, State, can or should have any jurisdiction, or power, or superiority/pre-eminence within this realm”

    This remains current law unless and until expressly repealed, and therefore excludes entirely the existence and supposed authority of EU rule or law in any shape or form.
    I suggest that this principle was broadly understood by the electorate in the recent referendum and are determined that government carries it out without delay.
    It is now up to the Judges in the SC to take note accordingly and to endorse the government’s intention to ‘Brexit’ via the Royal Prerogative in its undoubted authority and traditional role of making or undoing treaties under international law.

  49. fkc
    November 16, 2016

    I agree with all that you say . Please get us OUT of the eu without delay before more people put more obstacles in the way. Surely it is not that difficult.

  50. The Japans
    November 16, 2016

    Looks like the PM of Japan is going to be, shortly, the first foreign leader of a government to speak one-to-one in person with President -Elect Trump. Also looks like nothing but short of a hydrogen bomb dropped on the Tory Cabinet will get them to shake a leg and use our “special relationship bar the insults” in talking to Mr Trump

  51. Ed Mahony
    November 16, 2016

    Can I also say that hardliners (Leavers focusing on ‘sovereignty of Parliament’ and Remainers ignoring the concern of people about immigration) will NOT get their way in the long-term. No. No. No
    Yes, they might in the short to medium term but not in the long-term (and in the long-term things will move along to what MOST people – Leavers and Remainers – are concerned about: IMMIGRATION and THE ECONOMY).
    The sooner hardliners realise this, the better, because all they’re going to be doing is not getting what they want in the long-term and putting the country through far more turmoil than it needs to go through.

    1. Roy Grainger
      November 16, 2016

      You speak as if the EU has no input into it at all. We can probably all agree we want to return control of immigration to U.K. parliament and retain single market access on the same terms as now. So, now what ? We tell the EU that’s what they have to give us ?

    2. ian wragg
      November 16, 2016

      Spoken like an arch remainiac.
      What part of leave don’t you understand.
      Do you work for the EU?

      1. Ed Mahony
        November 17, 2016

        ‘Spoken like an arch remainiac’

        – Instead of stereotyping me why not look at what I really said (and what been saying elsewhere in comments):

        – That most Leavers voted leave because of immigration NOT ‘sovereignty of Parliament’.
        (And I support Brexit now in sense we need to respect will of majority and get on with it. But that we must challenge our politicians for best deal plus we must have plan in place in case things don’t work out).

        On the point of ‘sovereignty of parliament’ the amount of people who would put that as a priority (and, crucially, ahead of the economy in the short to medium term at least) would be something like, i don’t know, 5% – 10% (max) of Leavers. The reality is that the vast majority of Leavers put immigration as their main concern. Anyone who denies this is living in dreamland and won’t get their way (in the long-term) except to put this country through all sorts of unnecessary turmoil.

      2. Ed Mahony
        November 17, 2016

        ‘Do you work for the EU?’

        – No. Do you work for the Kremlim

        (Putin’s loving Brexit, seeing how its destabilising Europe, geopolitically, even destabilising the union of the United Kingdom to a degree – with pressure in Northern Ireland border, Scotland and Gibraltar – and taunts us, whilst this is going on, by prowling the English Channel with one of his aircraft carriers).

        1. rose
          November 17, 2016

          It is the EU which is destabilising. Causing unemployment and unrest all over the continent; sucking in millions of immigrants from other continents; causing insecurity through abolition of borders; aiming for loss of national identity and social cohesion etc.

          Gorbachev said the greatest puzzle of the day was why Western European leaders were recreating the Soviet Union in Western Europe. We all know what he meant. And we all know how it ends.

        2. NA
          November 17, 2016

          Putin taunts us……by prowling the English Channel with one of his aircraft carriers

          His only aircraft carrier

      3. Ed Mahony
        November 17, 2016

        (and i also said whether we have to return to the EU or not – e.g. IF our economy sinks over time – and we have to return to the EU) the EU still has to reform in particular on immigration – but in the meantime, i say press on with Brexit and as soon as possible – that is not an ‘arch remainiac’ so please don’t sterotype even though that’s much easier to do – I want the best for this country but it’s about the LEAST UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES (and the history books are full of examples where people though they were being patriotic and doing the best for their country when it only turned out to be the reverse in the long-term) and there are proving to be many, many unintended Brexit consequences at the moment which is bad not good for the UK in the l0ng-term).

    3. Anonymous
      November 16, 2016

      We are either In or Out of the EU.

      The use of ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ in this subject is misleading. 52% of referendum voters are not ‘hardline’ – they just want Out of the EU.

      To call them extremists is an obvious ploy.

      1. Ed Mahony
        November 17, 2016

        ‘To call them extremists is an obvious ploy’

        – I said most Leavers don’t care about ‘sovereignty of Parliament’ compared to what really bothers them 1) immigration 2) the economy (same for Remainers too but in the other order 1. the economy 2. immigration – although in both cases, immigration and the economy are connected).

        You’re just misrepresenting me on this point. Plus your also misquoting me. I said ‘hardliners’ not ‘extremists.’

        If you can’t argue straight, then suggests a weakness / brittleness in your position.

  52. Atlas
    November 16, 2016

    Agreed, John

  53. a-tracy
    November 16, 2016

    “The Civil Service has been cut down to its lowest levels since the Second World War.” Mr Corbyn. This indicates to me that the Labour Party don’t feel they could handle it with the staff you have. As technology has improved in administration whole rooms of typists have been removed as just one example. Computers have taken over a lot of the grind work and improvements to productivity and skills of staff have reduced the numbers of administrators required in business. Which departments have been cut down in the Civil Service that Mr Corbyn is worried about? It does make me wonder about our Civil Service that we have to import top people for significant jobs. Perhaps we should ask if we have senior level specialist civil servants willing to come out of retirement for a spell and undertake shadow training.

  54. Richard Butler
    November 16, 2016

    In relation to the IMPRESSION given by the Govt and opposition with regards the central claim ‘THIS IS YOUR DECISION’;

    Advertising Standards Agency Rules;

    ‘The ASA will take into account the impression created by marketing communications as well as specific claims. It will rule on the basis of the likely effect on consumers, not the marketer’s intentions’.{61a03caa-6750-498d-8732-68d55c0752fd}#.WCx-KMt745s

    1. NA
      November 16, 2016

      The ASA

      ASA is a paper tiger

  55. NA
    November 16, 2016

    An outstanding post John, thank God there are still come learned MPs like you.

  56. NA
    November 16, 2016

    The Euros collapsing and the Pound is steady.

  57. Chris
    November 16, 2016

    I am very concerned by this interpretation of what voters apparently want:

    “…However NatCen senior research fellow Professor John Curtice claims the findings show voters are not attracted by either the “hard Brexit” or “soft Brexit” scenarios – and instead are opting for the middle ground.

    He said: “Irrespective of how they voted, voters in Britain do not feel that the UK’s exit from the EU should necessarily be a choice between a ‘hard’ or a ‘soft’ withdrawal. Rather, many back options on both menus. “Consequently, the kind of deal that is most likely to prove electorally popular is one that maintains free trade but permits at least some limits on EU migration.

    “That, of course, is the deal that many in the EU insist will not be possible. In those circumstances, the UK Government will be faced with a tough choice.

    “But given that most Leave voters – and, indeed, a majority of Conservative voters – prioritise limits on immigration over keeping free trade, perhaps we should not be surprised if that would be the choice that, if necessary, it will be inclined to make.”

    I would suggest that Mike Hookem, MEP, comments are much more accurate:
    “…He added: ”There is no doubt that the majority of people in this country want to control immigration – not because they are little Englanders but because they believe in a sense of fair play which EU rules stopped, allowing anyone to come here and immediately claim housing, tax credits and use the NHS.

    “There is no reason why we will not be able to have a very favourable trade agreement with the EU, just as countries like Mexico, Iceland and South Africa have.

    “It is single market rules which brought about the destruction of our coal industry, is ruining our steel industry and gutted the fishing industry. I really do not believe people want to be a part of that.

    “Perhaps I am being cynical but it’s almost like MPs want voters to be confused about the different parts of the EU so they can avoid a hard Brexit?”

  58. acorn
    November 16, 2016

    While I think of it. If you want to know how the EU will eventually commit suicide, then the following link tells you everything you need to know. The EU is committing economic suicide by way of the SGP 3% budget deficit limit, imposed by the IMF / EU.

    Spain, for one, has told the IMF/EU to stick it. Hence, Spain is making some progress out of recession; its government is using its fiscal power to make things happen in its economy.

    One day soon, the Eurozone States, are going to wake up and realize that the Euro currency system, is killing every one of them except Germany.

  59. Maggie
    November 16, 2016

    We can do this thing.. bravely and strongly .

    We are used to change … and aren’t we capable of being adaptable… of course we are.

    Global market forces are waiting for us.. and we will succeed.

  60. Terence Hill
    November 16, 2016

    The “single market” is a buzzword, the EU has an “internal market”, just like the USA has or Canada has although the USA may have slightly more inter-state trade restrictions. We hardly need to be part of the USA’s internal market or China’s internal market to trade there and they don’t levy an enormous fee for the privilege of doing so.

  61. Martin
    November 16, 2016

    So if sovereignty is your goal should you not be asking Mrs May at PMQs why the Royal Navy soon will have less hitting power in its ships than it did in the 19th century?

    Are the missiles being dumped to pay for the Ministry of Brexit?

    1. graham1946
      November 17, 2016

      Nothing to do with Brexit. It’s been going on since 2010 under a supposedly ‘Conservative’ government and prior to that under Labour (remenmber the aircraft carriers with no planes just for starters? The army has been emasculated as well by cutting 20,000 soldiers which they thought they could replace on the cheap with TA’s. Hows that going? Heard nothing about it lately so I suppose it’s not a success or we’d never heard the last of it from crowing ministers. Seem like its more important to keep on bunging 10 billion a year into Brussels than our own defences.

      1. rose
        November 18, 2016

        Actually, it began under John Major when C Patten was worried about losing his seat in Bath to the Liberals. He lost it to them anyway, but the idea was to provide substitute Liberal government with lots of public spending except on Defence.

  62. john byrne
    November 16, 2016

    “….Italy…would have to offer tariff-free trade in order to sell its prosecco in the UK.”

    This silly remark, by HM foreign secretary of state B Johnson, reminds me of John Redwood’s repeated claim (in earlier days) that Germany would never block tariff-free access to the single market on account of its wish to sell their expensive motor cars in the UK.

    Reply A claim which may well turn out to be correct

  63. A different Simon
    November 16, 2016

    Mr Cameron spent his time in office disbanding the UK’s armed forces .

    British embassy’ around the world were closed down as diplomacy and foreign policy was to be decided at EU level .

    Mrs May seems to have done nothing to halt these scorched earth policies .

    The agenda is obvious , diminish the UK’s capability so it has to become more reliant on joint military ventures with EU countries .

    The integration with the EU seems to be carrying on unabated in the military , police , councils , quango’s since the referendum – but just happening behind the scenes .

  64. Dung
    November 16, 2016

    A pox on article 50
    Repeal the communities act and lets get this show on the road!

  65. ian
    November 17, 2016

    Gov to give BBC 289 million.

    1. graham1946
      November 17, 2016

      It’s for government propaganda, not Strictly Come Dancing.

    2. xyz 54
      November 17, 2016

      Oh Ian
      Nooooooooooooooo. Where did you read that ?

      1. graham1946
        November 18, 2016


        Its for the World Service to relay propaganda to North Korea and other friends.

  66. Iain Gill
    November 17, 2016

    Of the half a million jobs created in the economy only 36000 went to UK born workers. Large numbers of UK born IT workers are living off their savings, not showing up in the statistics yet, and yet we are still importing vast numbers of cheap foreign staff. If this continues there will be an uprising. Brexit isn’t the half of it.

    Does nobody in the political bubble get it?

    1. Anonymous
      November 17, 2016

      We’ve had the Brexit result and yet the EU project goes on full steam ahead.

  67. Pamela Chorlton
    November 17, 2016

    Amen to that. I am starting to doubt the will and resolve of our parliament to deliver Brexit. I read yesterday that a Supreme Court Judge has already effectively prejudged the outcome of the appeal and showing intent to also challenge the 3 line bill proposed if the appeal is lost. Read her comments and it effectively renders the UK fully and permanently imprisoned in Europe. When did we as a nation surrender? We didn’t therefore if she wants to take that line we must prove that the entry into the EU was a breach of our rites and as such unlawful. I am losing the will to live over this. I cannot believe we can be offered so much hope with this referendum to then have people like this judge and others set about destroying it.

  68. Phil
    November 17, 2016

    JR vision of our parliamentary democracy returning is admirable, but we have to acknowledge that it is not a perfect system free of establishment influence and questionable MP behaviour .

    1. rose
      November 17, 2016

      But it is surely better than rule by Brenda Hale.

  69. Edward2
    November 17, 2016

    Great article, thank you.
    Agree with every word

Comments are closed.