Carl Sacklen

The High Court Ruling on Parliamentary Sovereignty is a Victory for Brexiteers

Following the vote to leave the European Union in June, the government has been busy making arrangements for Brexit. The High Court recently ruled that Parliament should be able to vote on the triggering of Article 50, which would begin the formal process of leaving the European Union.

Yes, it’s ironic that those who called for Brexit in the name of Parliamentary sovereignty now oppose it in the name of achieving Brexit. In fact, it’s more than ironic; it’s downright hypocritical. The High Court ruling on Parliament being able to vote on the triggering of Article 50 upholds the core principle of the British constitution, which is that Parliament is the Supreme law-making body in the land. For those who want to go back to the “good old days” of British sovereignty from the shackles of EU law, this should be a triumph.

What’s more frightening however, is that prominent “Brexiteers” are calling for judges of the High Court to be sacked. Yes, judges should be sacked because they didn’t rule the way they were supposed to. To call for members of an independent judiciary to be sacked is not only irrational, but verging on dangerous. The separation of powers between Parliament and the Judiciary, and hence the Executive and the Judiciary, is a founding and vital principle of British liberal democracy and one that should be respected, whatever one voted on the 23rd of June.

The ruling by the High Court is not a thwarting of the will of 17,410,742 voters. Rather, the ruling is the upholding of the British constitution, and judges should not be smeared for doing so. Once we start smearing judges and calling for their resignation we lose the independent judiciary and the separation of powers, both of which play a vital role in protecting rights of citizens and upholding the law. When we start calling for the removal of judges we lose the respect for the judges’ independent judgement.

This ruling by the High Court should be hailed as a victory for Brexiteers. The political institutions of Britain – Parliament, Government, the courts – are the reason British democracy has endured. Brexiteers complained that the EU stole much of the decision-making power and conflicted with the British constitution. Well, they should be happy that the High Court ruling has enforced Parliamentary sovereignty. That’s what they voted for, right?

The Daily Mail, notorious right-wing tabloid, called the judges “enemies of the people”. Those judges were doing their job and Brexiteers should be grateful because they finally have back their beloved Parliamentary sovereignty that was apparently lost to the European Parliament.