Yesterday Opposition MPs shed crocodile tears about the need for a sovereign Parliament. They were under the misapprehension that Parliament has no proper role in the Brexit process. They seemed to think only unelected Judges could uphold the sovereignty of Parliament against a government determined to implement the wishes of the electors as expressed in the referendum.
Let me explain a few home truths to them. The first is we do not currently have a sovereign Parliament. That was the main point at issue in the referendum. All too many MPs in recent decades have voted away the powers of Westminster, passing authority on issue after issue to the EU. The public voted to reverse that. I have spoken out against the puppet Parliament we currently suffer from. All too many laws, budgets and policies are determined in Brussels in ways the UK Parliament cannot gainsay.
Any opposition there is to implementing the wishes of the people should properly concentrate on the Parliamentary process. It should not need to go to the courts. The courts themselves need to be careful not to think it is their job to set the Parliamentary agenda. If there was a big body of MPs who wanted to reverse the decision of the referendum and thwart the will of the people, there are ways they can seek to do so. The opposition parties have days allocated to their choice of business. They could use any one of those to hold a debate and a vote to prevent Brexit. They can use government debates on the EU which are available in abundance to make their case. They can make it during the various Statements the government issues. They can seek Urgent Questions on matters they rank as important. They can use their seats on the Brexit and European Affairs Committees to put their case. They can oppose the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act when we get to it, when there will be government led votes which they can vote against.
The fact that they have chosen to do none of these things tells you that they rightly judge they must not been seen to deliberately seek to countermand the decision of the voters in the referendum. The Commons voted 6 to 1 in favour of a referendum, described as transferring the decision to the people by the government introducing the Bill. How can MPs who voted for the referendum go back on its central promise to let the people choose? Both the Remain and Leave campaigns in the referendum agreed the people would decide.
If only more of these Opposition MPs would grasp that we do not currently have a sovereign Parliament. What a cruel irony that some Members of Parliament pray in aid the idea of a sovereign Parliament, whilst doing all they can to stop one being recreated. At least the Supreme Court was right to tell the Scottish Parliament that our membership of the EU is a matter for the whole UK and for the UK Parliament. Scotland does not have a veto on this national decision.