Yesterday’s court ruling in London, that Article 50 cannot be triggered without a House of Commons vote, challenges that timetable and reasserts the authority of that parliament over the executive’s belief that it could begin divorce proceedings or agree a settlement without reference to parliament. It is a significant defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May and mutterings of an early election have begun.
Using words he may regret in a calmer moment, Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader declared that: “It’s not the position of the courts to tell parliament or the government... how the process works... We’re asking for parliament to have the opportunity to overturn that decision by the British people. That is a constitutional crisis.” This seems another disingenuous “Leave” gambit as it is, after all, the duty of the courts is to uphold the law.
Yesterday morning the Brexit roadmap was at best confused, yesterday afternoon it was confused but even more dangerous. One commentator has suggested that if a British government appeal to their supreme court fails, May’s government have to seek comfort at the European Court of Justice. Irony heaped on a darkening farce.