Government of Secrets

The People’s Challenge has won the right to expose the Government’s secrets that it withholds from public scrutiny.

The government had refused to allow its legal opponents to reveal before the case its explanation of why it ought to be able to use royal prerogative powers to trigger article 50.

But in an order handed down by Cranston on Tuesday, he told both parties: “Against the background of the principle of open justice, it is difficult to see a justification for restricting publication of documents which are generally available under [court] rules.”

See – The Guardian

The Government’s lawyers make an argument that the Parliament had signed up to the referendum and seem to have slipped in a concept that somewhere along the line, the devolved Governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales knew fully that the vote would be binding, when in fact it was “advisory”. A lawyer can frame a good argument certainly, but to misrepresent reality to a large number of angry MPs seems an action in bad faith.

Our membership of the EU was due to an act of parliament, not a treaty negotiated with an external party, for example to settle a war. Winston Churchill was certainly involved in the ground work after WWII to rebuild and join up the disparate interests of European countries but it was not until the 1970 that Britain joined. It is an act of parliament, ratified by our constitutional system of making laws, not a treaty.

The Royal Prerogative is a safety valve to enable a war to be conducted and settled without years of attention to detail. It is not there to enable the PM to rule absolutely or to overrule the devolved governments who represent larger majority of remain vote.

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