Thursday, November 03, 2016

Judges trigger major constitutional crisis as they deliver 'slap in the face' to Theresa May by ruling MPs MUST be given a vote on Brexit but ministers vow to overturn controversial decision

  • Lord Chief Justice delivers damning verdict on Government in High Court
  • Judges side with Remain campaigners who argued MPs must be given a vote before Article 50 is invoked 
  • Theresa May says she will appeal and still plans to trigger Brexit by March
  • Stage now set for explosive showdown in the Supreme Court next month  
  • Brexiteers warn of 'betrayal' of voters and vent fury at judge 'power grab'

Theresa May suffered a massive legal 'slap in the face' today when judges ruled she cannot trigger Brexit without permission from parliament.
Amid fury over a 'power grab' by the judiciary, the PM vowed to appeal against the dramatic High Court defeat - insisting she would not let the decision 'derail' the process of cutting ties with Brussels.
The stage is now set for an extraordinary showdown in the Supreme Court next month - with the fate of the country potentially at stake. 
Judges delivered a 'slap in the face' to Theresa May (pictured at last night's Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards in central London) today as they ruled that MPs must be given a vote before the Government fires the starting gun on Brexit
Judges delivered a 'slap in the face' to Theresa May (pictured at last night's Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards in central London) today as they ruled that MPs must be given a vote before the Government fires the starting gun on Brexit
In a decision that could spark a major constitutional crisis, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas (pictured) sided with Remain campaigners who argued Parliament must have a vote before Article 50 is triggered, which starts a two-year process for leaving the EU
In a decision that could spark a major constitutional crisis, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas (pictured) sided with Remain campaigners who argued Parliament must have a vote before Article 50 is triggered, which starts a two-year process for leaving the EU

In another day of high octane political drama, the court sided with Remain campaigners led by businesswoman and former model Gina Miller - who argued MPs must have a vote before Article 50 is invoked to begin the formal two-year process for leaving the EU.
The Prime Minister's spokeswoman said she was determined to 'deliver on the will of the people' as expressed in the historic EU referendum, and still intended to trigger Article 50 in March.
But another defeat could force Mrs May to put legislation through Parliament, opening the door for Europhile MPs and peers to delay or even wreck Brexit. 
Two-thirds of the Commons backed staying in the EU, and the Lords is also believed to have a Remain majority.
The pound soared against the dollar in reaction to today's decision, with bookmakers halving the odds on a second EU referendum before 2019. There is also mounting speculation that Mrs May could choose to hold a snap election to reinforce her mandate for taking us out of the bloc.

THE AGE-OLD POWERS OF ROYAL PREROGATIVE 

Once exercised by the monarch alone, the royal prerogative has for centuries been at the heart of UK foreign affairs and the making of treaties with foreign states.
It is also the source of other executive powers dating from medieval times which have now passed from kings and queens into the hands of ministers.
The principle means that ministers do not need the approval of Parliament to take some decisions - sparking tensions about who scrutinises their actions.
Historically, the list of prerogative powers includes the ability to declare war, pardon people convicted of crimes, and regulate the Civil Service.
However, since Iraq the convention has been established that a parliamentary vote is needed before going to war - unless action has to be taken too fast to allow one.  
In an humiliation for the Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC, who personally made the case in court, the judges flatly dismissed the government's arguments.
They concluded that the PM does not have the power to withdraw rights from the public by executive decision - something the High Court said would happen by invoking Article 50 and starting the 'irreversible' process of Brexit.
'In the judgement of the Court, the argument is contrary both to the language used by Parliament in the 1972 Act and to the fundamental constitutional principles of the sovereignty of Parliament and the absence of any entitlement on the part of the Crown to change domestic law by the exercise of its prerogative powers,' the ruling said.
'The court expressly accepts the principal argument of the claimants.' 
D-Day for the Supreme Court appeal is December 7 and Theresa May will be desperately hoping her arguments are better received so the issue is ended before Christmas. 
If the appeal fails - something which could even cost Attorney General Jeremy Wright his job - Mrs May will be forced into the parliamentary trenches to make the necessary changes to the law to invoke article 50.
A government spokesman said: 'The Government is disappointed by the Court's judgment.'

POUND SOARS AFTER HIGH COURT RULING 

The pound soared after news of the High Court decision today 
The pound soared after news of the High Court decision today 
The pound rose soared almost one per cent on a High Court ruling MPs should be allowed to vote on Brexit. 
The ruling saw sterling shoot past 1.24 US dollars, up nearly 1 per cent on the day.
Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital, said: 'Most MPs are natural Remainers, although they would face intense pressure from constituents to deliver the referendum mandate.'
'The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the Government is determined to respect the result of the referendum.
'We will appeal this judgment.' 
Ukip leader Nigel Farage warned there would be public outrage if parliament used their power to block the referendum result.
'I worry that a betrayal may be near at hand,' he said.
'I now fear that every attempt will be made to block or delay the triggering of Article 50. If this is so, they have no idea of the level of public anger they will provoke.'
Ukip leadership frontrunner Suzanne Evans was among the said: 'How dare these activist judges attempt to overturn our will? 
'It's a power grab & undermines democracy. 
'Time we had the right to sack them.' 
Mrs May had argued the public has delivered its verdict on the June 23 referendum and there should be no second vote by MPs which could frustrate the process.
She will hold talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker tomorrow. 
Tory MP and prominent Brexit campaigner Jacob Rees-Mogg said the judgement 'turns on its head' convention over the Prime Minister's powers - insisting Parliament had already been involved in allowing the referendum. 
He told Sky News: 'I'm very surprised. What's surprised me is every court case brought against the European treaties, when powers were flowing to the EU, and the Government's powers were upheld.
Gina Miller arrives at High Court for the decision on Brexit legal battle
In a personal humiliation for Attorney General Jeremy Wright, who made a rare appearance in Court in to make the Government case the High Court said: ‘There is nothing in the text of the 1972 Act to support it.'
Remain campaigners, led by businesswoman Gina Miller (pictured outside court today, left) have won their battle over Theresa May's decision not to give MPs a vote before triggering Article 50. It is a personal humiliation for Attorney General Jeremy Wright (pictured right)
The case was brought by British citizens Gina Miller, a business woman, pictured outside the High Court after the landmark ruling today 
The case was brought by British citizens Gina Miller, a business woman, pictured outside the High Court after the landmark ruling today 
'Now, when it is powers being taken away from the EU, they rule against the Royal Perogagtive.' 
But Nicky Morgan, a former Cabinet minister and Remain campaigner, said the High Court had 'asserted democracy' with its ruling and said the chances of the Government hitting Mrs May's Article 50 deadline of the end of March were 'quite strong'. 
The case was brought by British citizens Gina Miller, a business woman, and Deir dos Santos, a hairdresser.
They claimed the Prime Minister has wrongly side-stepping Parliament in refusing MPs a vote on triggering Article 50. 
Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins, who supported the legal case against the government, outside the High Court in London today
Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins, who supported the legal case against the government, outside the High Court in London today
Welcoming the decision outside the High Court today, Ms Miller said: 'This result today is about all of us: our United Kingdom and our futures.
'It is not about how any of us voted – each of us voted to do what we believed was the right thing for our country.'
She added: 'This case is about process, not politics. My dedicated legal team – Mishcon de Reya and counsel – are, alongside myself and my supporters, pleased to have played our part in helping form a debate on whether the rights conferred on UK citizens through Parliament legislation 44 years ago could be casually snuffed out by the Executive without Parliament or our elected representatives and without proper prior consultation about the Government's intentions for Brexit.'
'However you voted on 23rd June, we all owe it to our country to uphold the highest standards of transparency and democratic accountability that we are admired and respected for around the world.' 
Former Lib Dem leader Lord Campbell said today's ruling was a 'clear illustration of the well-known legal principle that no matter how high you are, the law is above you'. 
'It is a slap in the face for the Government. It shows the dangers of playing ducks and drakes with the constitution and particularly the sovereignty of Parliament.' 
Ukip leadership hopeful Suzanne Evans was among those voicing fury at the ruling
Ukip leadership hopeful Suzanne Evans was among those voicing fury at the ruling
Welcoming the High Court's decision today, Gina Miller, the businesswoman who brought the case, said: 'This result today is about all of us: our United Kingdom and our futures'
Welcoming the High Court's decision today, Gina Miller, the businesswoman who brought the case, said: 'This result today is about all of us: our United Kingdom and our futures'
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said the judges were 'politicians without accountability'
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said the judges were 'politicians without accountability'
Asked about the ruling this morning, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said: 'On the UK High Court decision on Article 50, we will not comment on any issues that pertain to the internal legal and constitutional order of our member states.' 
The historic court case came as the author of Article 50 has said the UK could choose to remain in the EU even after exit negotiations begin.
John Kerr said the UK could still legally choose to reject a Brexit after the legislation that begins formal negotiations is invoked.
The Scottish cross-bench peer, who wrote Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, also renewed calls for parliament or the public have another say on the referendum.
Lord Kerr told the BBC: 'It is not irrevocable - you can change your mind while the process is going on.
'During that period, if a country were to decide actually we don't want to leave after all, everybody would be very cross about it being a waste of time, they might try to extract a political price, but legally they couldn't insist that you leave.'
Gina Miller, the businesswoman who brought the case, said today's High Court ruling was 'about all our futures' as she hailed the historic judgement 
Gina Miller, the businesswoman who brought the case, said today's High Court ruling was 'about all our futures' as she hailed the historic judgement 
Lord Kerr's remarks came as peers said the UK would have to seek new allies at the United Nations after Brexit.
Former Foreign Office minister Lord Howell of Guildford said the UK would need to 'reinvigorate' old ties and 'build strong new alliances' once it left the EU.
The Lords International Relations Committee said Brexit would require the UK to 'reconsider its methods of operation' at the United Nations, but should seek to continue to work closely with its former EU partners.
The cross-party committee said: 'The UK should negotiate its exit from the EU bearing in mind that one of our strongest allies in international organisations will be the EU. Therefore, as part of its Brexit negotiations, the UK should aim to set up effective ways of continuing to work closely with the EU at the UN.
'Simultaneously, the UK should seek to diversify its alliances, creatively considering new opportunities and methods of leveraging its alliances and influencing other regional blocs at the UN.'
That could include working more closely with Commonwealth allies even though they may not act as a single effective bloc at the UN.
Prime Minister Theresa May has argued the public has delivered its verdict on the June 23 referendum and there should be no second vote by MPs which could frustrate the process
Prime Minister Theresa May has argued the public has delivered its verdict on the June 23 referendum and there should be no second vote by MPs which could frustrate the process
The committee's chairman, Lord Howell, said: 'Given the new status that the UK will have outside of the EU, our committee feels strongly that the UN will be an increasingly important arena in which to promote our foreign policy objectives. We will need to reinvigorate both old ties and build new strong alliances where possible.'
The committee's report examined the UK's priorities for the incoming UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres.
Lord Howell said he should focus on forming a 'new global consensus' to deal with the refugee and migrant crisis, as well as pursuing reforms of the UN's institutions to overcome the 'fragmentation and incoherence' of the past.
The peers also recommended upgrading UN peacekeeping operations, with better training and resourcing, and called on Mr Guterres to drive forward commitments on the sustainable development goals and Paris climate change deal.
Lord Howell said: 'We recognise that a new secretary-general alone cannot possibly achieve change on the scale required, and some aspects of reform remain clearly outside his powers, such as the continuing anomaly of the Security Council permanent membership.
'But he can both identify the priorities, invigorate the agents of change and set the overall tone and vision.' 
Yesterday the Irish Taoiseach warned yesterday that the EU risks 'losing the plot' if it obsesses over trying to punish the UK for Brexit.
He predicted negotiations between the EU and Britain could quickly become 'quite vicious' once Britain triggers Article 50 and opens the two-year process for cutting ties with Brussels. 
But he said that, if the EU focusses its efforts on trying to harm the UK, it could play a heavy price itself.

What happens next for Brexit? The Government is appealing but it might have to go into Parliamentary trenches and fight for the right to quit the EU 

If the Government fails to overturn the High Court ruling or concedes it must press on to keep to its Brexit timetable, it will have to pass Article 50 through Parliament.
D-Day for the Supreme Court appeal is December 7 and Theresa May will be desperately hoping her arguments are better received so the issue is ended before Christmas.
Today's ruling said the Prime Minister does not have the power to withdraw rights from the public by executive decision - something the High Court said would happen by invoking Article 50 and starting the 'irreversible' process of Brexit. 
If the appeal fails - something which could even cost Attorney General Jeremy Wright his job - Mrs May will be forced into the parliamentary trenches to make the necessary changes to the law to invoke article 50.
The nuclear option for Mrs May could be forcing an early general election to answer the question over her powers - but to stay on schedule to invoke Article 50 by the end of March would mean going to the polls as soon as February.
Theresa May, pictured at last night's Spectator Awards, may have little choice but to concede a Parliamentary process rather than pursue months of appeals 
Theresa May, pictured at last night's Spectator Awards, may have little choice but to concede a Parliamentary process rather than pursue months of appeals 
The change to the law could be done a very simple one clause Bill to expedite the process and limit the chance of trouble making amendments.
Normal procedure for legislation would take months as a Bill goes through both the Commons and the Lords.
But the Government has in the past declared court judgements as a reason to invoke 'emergency' procedures, rushing through legislation in a matter of hours.
Alternatively, as the court has not specified the form of Parliamentary vote required, the Government may argue a simple motion is sufficient and not full legislation.
This would strongly limit the chance of amendment and speed up the process - but could conceivably be open to further challenge as it would not have the force of a change in the law. 
A third possibility is to use a statutory instrument, a piece of secondary law, which is impossible to amend and can be put through Parliament quickly - but it can be rejected by MPs or peers on a single vote. 

The judges who blocked Brexit: One founded a EUROPEAN law group, another charged the taxpayer millions for advice and the third is an ex-Olympic fencer

The three judges whose decision has sparked a constitutional crisis over Brexit include the founder of a European law group and a former Olympic fencer.
The country's most senior judge Lord Chief Justice, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd, aided by Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales, ruled that the Prime Minister does not have power to trigger Article 50 to start the two-year Brexit process.
The trio, three of the most experienced members of the British judiciary, were today accused of 'striking down the will of the people to set in train leaving the EU'. 
Lord Thomas is the founding member of a European Law Institute, which works towards 'European legal integration'
Sir Terence Etherton is the first openly gay Lord Justice of Appeal
Lord Thomas is the founding member of a European Law Institute, which works towards 'European legal integration'. Sir Terence Etherton is an ex-Olympic fencer
Lord Thomas was a founding member of the European Law Institute, which says it works towards the 'enhancement of European legal integration'. 
But he has previously been critical of European judges.
In 2014, in a judgement on whole-life tariffs, he said Strasbourg had been wrong in law to rule that such sentences were in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Lord Thomas said it was for Parliament to decide which crimes were so serious that the offender should never go free.
The short-tempered judge, who has been known to shout at ill-prepared lawyers, was handed the job of leading the judiciary in 2013, beating off a strong field including Sir Brian Leveson, who ran the inquiry into press standards.
Lord Thomas's career as a judge was built in the commercial wing of the High Court before he became a Lord Justice of Appeal, overseeing criminals' claims of miscarriages of justice.
He was aided by 'Master of the Rolls' Sir Terence Etherton
He was aided by Lord Justice Sales
He was aided by 'Master of the Rolls' Sir Terence Etherton (left) and Lord Justice Sales (right)
Sir John was also one of the judges who presided over the final hearings last year that sent terror suspect Abu Hamza for trial in the US.
Cambridge-educated Lord Thomas, 69, was part of a team of judges who negotiated Tony Blair's constitution reforms of the mid-2000s.
Mr Blair's decision to scrap the ancient role of Lord Chancellor inside government left the Lord Chief Justice as leader of and spokesman for judges, as well as the senior judge in deciding the interpretation of criminal law.
When he was later appointed to the role, Lord Thomas said the judiciary would 'continue to become more reflective of our diverse society.
Gina Miller, who brought the case against the government, walks from the High Court today
Gina Miller, who brought the case against the government, walks from the High Court today
'It will also continue to play a constructive role in its relationships with Government, Parliament and the media.' Sir John said.
Lord Thomas was assisted in making today's historic decision by two other senior judges; Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales.
Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton is the second most senior judge in England and Wales, after Lord Thomas.
He is a former Olympic fencer.
Lord Justice Sales meanwhile usually sits in the Court of Appeal and is a former First Treasury Counsel, representing the UK government in the civil courts.
He was criticised for charging the taxpayer £3.3million in his first six years in the job from 1997.

The South American born former model who took on Theresa May and won

Winner: Gina Miller laughs outside the High Court today after beating the Government over their right to invoke Article 50
Winner: Gina Miller laughs outside the High Court today after beating the Government over their right to invoke Article 50
Glamourous, feisty and impeccably well-connected, South American-born former model Gina Miller humiliated Theresa May and derailed British democracy because Brexit made her feel 'physically sick'.
Mrs Miller, 51, lives in London with her financier husband Alan, nicknamed 'Mr Hedge Fund' because he made £30 million after starting one of the City's first in 1997.
The couple run an investment firm with a reported £100million in its portfolios.
Nicknamed 'Mrs Wham Glam' by friends, she  has now been branded 'woman of the century' by Remainers who cheered her on the steps of the High Court today.
The mother-of-three, who was born in Guyana but grew up in Britain, became a successful City investment manager and also set up the No.1 Ladies' Investment Club for women in business. 
And friends say she is sharp-witted and acid-tongued, with a reputation for winning every argument. 
Describing herself as a 'natural fighter, she has rattled cages in the City and accused the charity sector of widespread inefficiencies.
But this year Mrs Miller, a Labour supporter, put the Government's Brexit plans in her sights because she was 'absolutely stunned' by the referendum result.
Mrs Miller, who voted Remain, brought the case with the help of a Portuguese hairdresser called Deir Santos because the Brexit vote on June 23 made her feel 'physically sick'. 
Friends say businesswoman Gina Miller is known as sharp-witted and acid-tongued, with a reputation for winning every argument
Friends say businesswoman Gina Miller is known as sharp-witted and acid-tongued, with a reputation for winning every argument
Friends say businesswoman Gina Miller is known as sharp-witted and acid-tongued, with a reputation for winning every argument
Their high-powered team of lawyers to London's High Court, led by top lawyer Lord Pannick QC and a team up to 11 more barristers, has now embarrassed Theresa May.
Outside the Royal Courts of Justice today Mrs Miller laughed uproariously as she was cheered and clapped by supporters waving EU flags after her win.
Online her fans called her a 'national hero' and 'the woman of the century'. 
She said: 'You can't have a Government casually throwing away people's rights, that why we turned to the courts.  It is about process not politics'.
David Greene, senior partner of law firm Edwin Coe, who acted for Mr Santos, said: 'This is a victory not just for the brave individuals that brought this claim but, more importantly, for Parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.'

NWN: These Judges should be sacked forthwith ! This woman is not even British anyway, so why have 'her rights' trumped many millions of British voters ?  The good thing in all this is, the British public are now warming up to the fact that the politicians do NOT serve us . They serve another 'power' ! A clue to that 'power' is that the lawyers,  Mishcon de Reya, are heavily involved in all this. Oi veh !

8 comments:

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. . . Britain's High Court has ruled that Article 50 (for Brexit) can only be triggered after approval from Parliament. Lord (John) Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice, was the most senior figure on the panel. However, also on that three-man panel was the second most senior judge in England and Wales, Sir Terence Etherton, a faggot Jew who entered a "civil partnership" in 2006 with Andrew Stone, which was then converted to a marriage in 2014 in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony at West London Synagogue.

The BBC reported the names of the three judges:

"The announcement [about the High Court ruling on Brexit] will be made by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales."

Sir Terence Etherton, the Master of the Rolls, is a Jew, as admitted in the Jewish Chronicle:

"Fencing international and shul warden who’s Master of the Rolls

By Joshua Rozenberg, June 2, 2016

Sir Terence Etherton is not just the third Jew in succession to become the head of civil justice for England and Wales. He is the fifth Jewish Master of the Rolls out of the past six if you include Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, who is Jewish by descent though not by affiliation."

The third panel member, Lord Justice Sales, or Sir Philip James Sales, is a long-time friend of Tony Blair. Sales was a practising barrister at the law chambers 11KBW, of which Blair was a founder member and employee. Blair's wife Cherie Booth also worked there. In 1999, in a Guardian report about a row over jobs for "Tony's cronies", the 1997 appointment of Philip Sales by the new Blair government as Treasury "Devil", one of the government's chief barristers, was described as having "caused astonishment among senior lawyers because [at 35 years old] he was 'exceptionally young' for a high-profile job regarded as a near-certain route to becoming a High Court judge".

So, out of three top judges, one is a homosexual Jew, and one is a crony of Tony Blair. Most likely, the decision can only delay Brexit, but having these creeps in the judiciary means that the government has an excuse not to respect the democratic wishes of the people.

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