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Parliament versus the people

In rejecting the government’s article 50 appeal, the Supreme Court will not be defying the will of the people. It might, however, rebel against parliament raising court fees, says Kerry Underwood

6 December 2016

The Supreme Court will soon hear two matters of considerable constitutional significance. One is the government’s appeal against the Administrative Court’s decision that the triggering of article 50, to commence the process of the UK leaving the EU, must be considered by parliament.

The High Court’s decision, so obviously correct, was greeted with newspaper headlines such as ‘The judges versus the people’ (The Telegraph) and ‘Enemies of the People’ (Daily Mail). The judges were subject to personal abuse and comments about their private lives from the newspapers.

What on earth is going on in this country? The people of the UK vote in a referendum, set up by parliament, to exit the EU, with a major issue for many people being the wish to return powers to Westminster. Yet the government seeks to make that an administrative decision exer...

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