The job of the Courts and the Judges is to assess whether the law of the land is or is not being upheld. No more, no less. On this occasion they concluded that since our membership of the Common Market came about as a result of an Act of Parliament, our departure from it must be by the same route. It would otherwise be possible for a Prime Minister to scrap any piece of legislation he or she might not like whether or not there was a Parliamentary majority to do so. That way lies dictatorship.
So despite my passionate Eurosceptical nature, I for one am clear that we must accept what the judges say, and most certainly stop the disgraceful attacks on their personal standing. They did their job, even if we do not agree with the outcome.
Second, it is not, however, possible for the House of Commons (far less the Lords) to vote on something which has not yet happened. Article 50 triggers negotiations which then last for two years. Will it be a ’hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit? What will be our relationship with the Single Market; how will we handle immigration - allowing in those we want but keeping out those we do not? These and a thousand other matters need to be decided in detailed and complex negotiations with the EU countries. This is not about ’stopping Brexit’, nor about laying down terms and conditions for it. It is simply about starting the process. Those who voted for Remain, and who apparently see this is as some kind of mechanism to frustrate the will of the people so clearly demonstrated in the Referendum, must remember that.
Third, since we now go to war by a simple vote in Parliament on a motion of the House (unlike legislation which is subject to amendment, delay and general Parliamentary shenanigans), surely that is all we need here. A simple motion “That this House instructs the PM to trigger Article 50 without undue delay” or some such would have the desired effect. Parliament would have had its say, and would by that means have carried out the will of the people, which must be the most basic of all democratic principles. I hope that the Supreme Court, if they do not simply overturn the High Court’s judgement, might at least clarify it along those lines.
The People have indeed spoken; and done so decisively. No MP, nor even less any unelected Lord could vote against such a motion, at peril of a major Constitutional Crisis, and very probably a General Election as well.
At a time like this: the ghastly Clinton or the equally ghastly Trump will be POTUS by the time you read this; Aleppo destroyed by Russian barrel bombing, the assault on Mosul in full swing; at a time like this we simply do not need constitutional wrangling of the kind that the Remain moaners are seeking. The will of the people will must now be carried out by the Executive, but in accordance with the Law as impartially interpreted by the judges of Her Majesty’s Supreme Court.