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Statement on High Court Article 50 decision

November 4, 2016

Yesterday (3rd November) I released the below statement following the news from the High Court decision on Article 50:

 

"The great paradox of our age is that the very same people who wanted to Take Back Control from the EU in order to uphold our sovereign parliament now argue against our sovereign parliament taking the decision to trigger Article 50.

 

Today’s ruling that the government cannot go it alone on Brexit and that parliament must vote on Article 50 is a huge victory for our parliamentary democracy. This is what real sovereignty looks like, and this is what taking back control really means.

 

This decision is about parliamentary sovereignty and our constitution. It is not about Leave or Remain – it is actually about whether we have a sovereign parliament in this country and as such the decision is the right one.

 

We got a Bill of Rights in 1689 which gave parliament powers and took power away from the executive and the monarch. Those who wanted to leave the EU campaigned on the basis of parliamentary sovereignty, so it would have been completely inconceivable for the executive to overreach its prerogative powers and trigger Article 50 without any form of parliamentary scrutiny or approval.

 

Parliament specifically legislated to hold an advisory, non-binding referendum, so it is now important that the government puts its plans before parliament so that MPs can scrutinise these plans before the decision on triggering Article 50 and beginning the Brexit process".

 

 

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David Lammy

From Tottenham. For Tottenham.