Today, the High Court decided it would force the Tory government to have a parliamentary debate about the departure of the UK from the EU.
This invasion has been welcomed by many who are not supporters of the Tories including those who consider themselves to be left of centre; they are willfully oblivious to the fact that such a court could just as easily scupper changes made by a socialist government. Some with knowledge of the law have chosen to espouse the spurious explanation that the interference by the judges is to be applauded as upholding democracy.
The supporters of Brexit have complained about interference in the democratic result of the recent referendum and those opposed to Brexit have welcomed an opportunity to have such a debate. It may be sensible to have extended debate on all facets of the departure from the EU but it is wrong for a court, any court, to instruct the government how to govern.
The Tory government, as reprehensible and disgusting as it is, was elected via the current democratic process. This government’s incompetence, encapsulated by the shambolic Brexit decisions so far, should not be a valid reason for a court to arbitrarily steal the decision-making power of government.
The (il)liberals have welcomed the court’s interference. Their joy is informed in part by their desire to scupper Brexit; but, they have also expressed genuine satisfaction with the court’s role in the democratic structure in this country. Analogous to false arguments about the usefulness of the House of Lords or the monarchy, to welcome the power of a court (unelected and unaffected by change of government) as one part of British democracy is to deny the power of the people of the country to have the government they want to have, without interference from overseers.
If a socialist government was elected its first act should be to remove a court’s power to interfere in government decisions.