“Our Sovereign Parliament”

The legacy media coverage of the High Court decision to refer the judgement of the British people to the politicians elected to serve the British people emphasises one phrase in particular: “parliamentary sovereignty”.

This is interesting for several reasons. The campaign to leave the EU was not about “restoring” parliamentary sovereignty. Restoring—perhaps one should say, “taking back control”—of parliamentary sovereignty doesn’t make sense because parliamentary sovereignty was never lost. Parliamentary sovereignty was the means by which “British democracy” was made to serve the European Union (and its predecessors) these past 43 years.

The Brexit vote was an exercise in direct democracy—an unmediated expression of the will of the British people.

The political, academic and legacy media establishment, which dismissed as marginal obsessives those people who noted the extent of the economic, political and judicial integration to which the country was subject, are only now beginning to discuss the fact that, according to one report doing the rounds, “the Brexit process will test the UK’s constitutional and legal frameworks and bureaucratic capacities to their limits – and possibly beyond.”

That is about as clear an admission as we are ever likely to get that we were right and they were wrong. Establishment academics, politicians and journalists have been misleading people about the most important issue in British politics for the last four decades—and, in all seriousness, I think that a sincere apology is in order. Those people on the other side of the debate who argued that the EU is only a “trade bloc” (still a persistent refrain) or that the British state is not that integrated into the EU, and that therefore there is little to worry about, should take a long hard look in the mirror.

If the extent of the entanglement that is beginning to be described had been understood and communicated to people at the outset, there is no way that the British people would have given positive assent to UK participation in the EU political and judicial integration process. Parliament, on the other hand, assented to treaty after treaty which handed more and more policy-making power to the EU.

In closing, I think it is also worth noting that, in her statement outside the court room, Gina Miller called for a “proper debate in our sovereign parliament”. Note the use of the word “our”. Where else do we see that?

We had the debate, we made the decision, we don’t need our elected officials to assent to our democratic will.

4 thoughts on ““Our Sovereign Parliament”

  1. Don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of those atmospheric maps where the orbits of thousands of known pieces of satellites and other orbital debris are tracked – seemingly countless circular and eccentric lines around the single planet below. Orbiting at varying speed, altitude and distance?

    To take what I’ve seen of the Europhile debate post-June 23, their posture seems similar. Whatever you might wish to call it – sovereignty, representation, democracy, the specific act of voting, the definition of ‘electorate’ – they are all infinitely pliable terms which are twisted to match the single constant at the centre of the orbits – continued EU membership.

    To paraphrase a few common threads; ‘52% vs 48% is not an overwhelming mandate’, ‘Leave voters were lied to’, ‘it was only an advisory Referendum’, ‘all leave voters voted ‘x’ because (insert claims of varying sanity here’. ‘All leave voters are (thick*, racist, little-Englanders, xenophobes, Europhobes, anti-Europeans, puppets of America, extreme hard-line, right-wing – pick as many as you like). ‘Go on – tell me exactly what advantages there are to withdrawal?’, ‘I’ve never seen one single example of a good reason to withdraw’.

    (*Will come back to that one).

    I could go on – we’ve all seen countless examples. Nor do I have any intentions of engaging with any of the above points any longer. I was slogging away with countless advance foils to practically any and all of the above points for around two decades. Not that I have any illusions that I’ve any particular footprint of importance within the debate, but the comments are usually a blizzard within themselves into which no heat or light may penetrate. It’s simply distant voices talking to themselves. A genuine engagement with the academic argument that serious Leave Campaigners (as in, not those who enthusiastically enjoined the official ‘Leave’ line) was never going to happen. Remain Campaigners avoided that practice to the nth degree. It was too late to learn the talent by the beginning of this year.

    But to take the debate as it is today, with the challenge via the Courts quite intentionally a tactic by which to veto the vote taken on June 23, there is continued rage that the Government has not advanced a clear path to illustrate the state of the Nation outside the EU upon final withdrawal. To set aside, for now, that Labour and the LibDems both committed to EU In\Out Referendums given specific circumstances at the 2015 General Election, that would notionally oblige them to disclose their own plans had the electorate chosen to vote to leave. But still no section of the Remain camp will attempt to advance their own argument as to how the EU would look with the UK still in it – how that EU would look in ten, or fifteen, or twenty years’ time. However, with 20-20 foresight, we can be quite certain that no matter how it looks, it’s exactly what we agreed to in June 2016. (‘Should have asked then, old boy!’ – We did – an answer was never forthcoming. How many blank cheques do you send out yourselves, perchance?)

    Links, justifications, proof, references, research, examples, facts. Why bother? None of that has penetrated the collective Europhile skull for decades.

    Europhiles. Pro-EU Campaigners, lovers of Europe (using their own specific definitions).

    They’re all (‘All’ – every single one of them, all in equal measure and without exception) thick. Dumb. Ignorant. Fanatical extremist utopians who don’t care about democracy. Too stupid, vain and self-serving to see beyond their own organic, low-fat Latte. (Not a caricature or a stereotype – that describes every single one of them who between them, possess no nuance of opinion nor difference of outlook). (If you’re looking in, and you’re offended by that – I don’t see why, I’ve described you quite precisely?)

    That might seem out of character for me. But I’ve learned in the past six months it’s the means by which someone like myself wins the debate by default. No need to go thru’ all that tedious and needless footwork to prove the withdrawalist case – the opposition have never given a good reason for EU membership, never jumped through sufficient hoops for my own self-gratification while I thump my wife and scrawl anti-Muslim graffiti on the local Synagogue (because I’m simply too bereft of intelligence to see the irony). So, they must simply be inferior. Sub-human. A tribe which subtracts from the sum of human knowledge.

    But still I find it odd that the self-declared cleverestest people on the planet managed to come up with ‘BSE’ as an acronym for their clever campaign. Remind us that Cameron promised that EU withdrawal ‘must’ exclude Single Market membership but forget that he also promised famine, plague, war and comprehensive social breakdown – upon which they’re curiously less insistent. That similarly the cleverestest people on the planet proved that ‘even’ Greece was qualified for single currency status – or that near 50% unemployment among the young in some European countries was a price worth paying for the project?

    With very-cleveryness like that, I’m happy to be regarded as something of a numbskull. I’m short of time now. I have to go away and pine for the British Empire whilst I breed Whippets and hate foreigners. But I’m glad I’ve learned how to debate proper at larst.

    PS – I had a grown-up type all that out for me. Dictated in a special pre-stone-age series of grunts and facial inflections.

    Liked by 1 person

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