High court says parliament must vote on triggering article 50

The High Court has put a spanner in the Brexit works by saying MP’s need to vote on triggering article 50. You can view more on this developing story here…

A report by the BBC in June showed that the majority of MP’s support remain. Does this mean the end of Brexit?


I help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff. My day job is creating websites and software. My personal site is: Freshideas.ie

  • eamoncorbett

    The English Remain Tories will have to abstain when this comes to a vote eventually , they have no choice , it’s either that or split the party and these particular turkeys won’t be voting for Christmass.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Because something is now a foregone conclusion doesn’t change the fact that the plan is jingoistic and hopeful, rather than factual and actual.

    Your admission that it’s subjective as to whether or not Brexit will be a success is what worries me.

    Nothing about what has happened since the referendum has given me any confidence that the people in charge of making it happen have a clue as to what they’re doing.

    These are some of the things that worry me.

    Exports are going to be the biggest contributor to our success or failure.

    How we can believe that not being an EU member will improve our performance is beyond me.

    When you consider that Germany,France,Italy and the Netherlands all currently export more than we do and all four are EU members it makes little sense.

    We export 44% of our total exports to the EU, the EU exports 10% of its total exports to the UK.

    That 10% is divided between 27 countries and no country in the EU has us as their main export partner.

    Only three Ireland,Poland and Cyprus have us as their second partner.

    We are going to have to renegotiate every trade agreement we have with countries who know our situation and will be looking for a better deal than the one we had when members of a 500,000,000 population market.

    We have no one with any experience of negotiating trade deals on behalf of a single country.

    We import more than we export and because of the fall in the pound are now having to pay more for it.

    Other than that, things couldn’t be peachier.

  • hgreen

    Bulwinkle that’s just bull

  • hgreen

    Grrrrrr. More brexit nonsense.

  • Angry Mob

    I think the criticism of the plan being jingoistic is quite a lazy dismissal of it and of course it’s hopeful, should we plan to fail thus making the purpose of a plan pointless?

    “Your admission that it’s subjective as to whether or not Brexit will be a success is what worries me.”

    At this stage was the operative phrase.

    I think, like most you seem to conflate the EU with the EEA which aren’t the same thing. The talk given by Judge Baudenbacher may highlight some of the differences to you and the part the EFTA plays. When you realise that the EU isn’t the economic part of the equation the answer is easy to comprehend.


    The Brexit won the vote old chap….. We need to rid ourselves from useless politicians whatever party they crawled into. Local councillors deal with more community problems. I have it on good standing that politicians send more mail too and throw between themselves because of devolved responsibilites.
    English constituent Mps have responsibility for all services unlike the devolved assemblies/parliaments.

  • hgreen

    Brexiters talking about why they want to leave the EU remind me of a slurry spreader.


    You should articlute your point of view without slurry. Just make your argument for remaining if that is your preference. If you want to keep unnesesary politicians in jobs then make your point why!

  • Brendan Heading

    Let’s have a general election then, and appoint a Parliament which has the full mandate and authority to negotiate brexit if that is what people want.

  • Hugh Davison

    Guy Fawkes day on Saturday. Be very afraid!

  • Brendan Heading

    I’m not sure if this is an oversight on your part, but Mrs May is not and cannot be “in a position to call a new general election”. The Prime Minister’s power to call elections was abolished by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011.

    There are really two ways to progress things from here that have a chance of leading to a sustainable solution in keeping with UK constitutional practice.

    The first is to try to get a bill through Parliament authorizing the Government to invoke Article 50. This will involve a full Parliamentary debate on the relationship of the UK and the EU, and over what kind of Parliamentary scrutiny there should be over the negotiation, and may take at least a year to do. A guillotine is very unlikely as the opposition are united on the issue and there are almost certainly enough Tory MPs, even in the Leave camp, who are keen for Parliament to have a major role in the process.

    The second way, if getting a bill passed is too hard, is to pass a vote of no confidence in the government, with the Tories crossing their fingers as they do it. May could seek a mandate during that election to invoke Article 50. It would, in essence, be a re-run of the referendum, with all of the risks that this entails, not least the possibility that the Commons would end up with a pro-remain majority if the Tories split. On the other hand, the election could re-affirm the vote, correct the misalignment between Parliament and the popular opinion within the country, and resolve the constitutional problems we’re currently faced with.

  • nilehenri

    link one is utter tosh, i stopped skimming it when i got to the part where they explain how to take over the bbc. and no, unfortunately i sh1t you not.

  • Kevin Breslin

    You do not think there is a principle in respecting the decisions of your constituents and accepting that your argument was lost when you put it to them?

    There’s no principles in pride.

  • Kevin Breslin

    If a politican has to win such an argument by stupid arguments so be it.

    There were plenty of stupid arguments and lies on the Leave side, while the Remain arguements were sometimes overcomplicated.

  • Anglo-Irish

    The principle is in following your conscience and doing what you believe is the correct thing for the benefit of your constituents and the country no matter what the personal cost.

    It has nothing to do with pride and everything to do with integrity.

    Brexiteers need not worry, there’s precious little of that going around in Westminster.

  • Angry Mob

    By that I meant that Mrs May could state that the vote going against her could be seen as a vote of no confidence and initiate that against herself and whip her party to ensure that no act of confidence is passed, thus a general election must be held and there she could stand again with a renewed mandate.

    The problem with parliament that I see is Mrs May has already promised Mr Juncker to invoke Article 50 by the end of March. If parliament dilly dally they risk further agitating the likes of Mr Juncker, the European wide instability and the general annoyance of the electorate.

  • Reader

    Anglo-Irish: If an MP genuinely believes that leaving the EU will seriously damage the countries future wellbeing then he or she is honour bound to vote against the triggering of Article 50.
    In such a world there is no purpose in having party policy, or whips, as every MP must vote for his personal conviction on every issue. We aren’t in such a world…

  • Angry Mob

    I’d be very interested if you can provide a page number for where they explain how to “take over the bbc”.

    Slightly different from the reasonable proposal for the BBC to appoint specialist staff who are specially trained on a working knowledge of the EU and exit negotiations.

  • Anglo-Irish

    The fact is that I have no faith in our politicians to get a successful outcome.

    Look what they’ve done to date. Nissan rocks up at Number 10 and expresses concern and threatens to put expansion plans on hold and possibly relocate.

    The government promise them that Nissan will not suffer any negative consequences from Brexit and Nissan thank them very much and leave.

    The government felt forced into offering the assurance because if Nissan bailed out at this early stage it would damage the pound even more, cause mass un employment and maybe start an exodus of other foreign owned companies.

    What happens next?

    The blindingly obvious is what happens next, the rest of the car manufacturing industry followed by the pharmaceutical and aerospace industries roll up seeking the same assurances.

    And what exactly have the government committed themselves to?

    At this stage how can anyone know what the outcome of trade negotiations will be?

    The other parties have to agree, many of them have their own companies operating in the same industries.
    They will not allow an unfair government subsidy to disadvantage their businesses.

    So what exactly has the government committed the country to long term?

    The answer is that they don’t know, they can’t possibly know, and yet they’ve issued assurances to compensate for losses that they have no knowledge of what the extent will be.

    You think these people know what they’re doing and are capable of coming out smelling of roses?

  • nilehenri

    A very special problem will be the conduct of the BBC as the UK’s monopoly public broadcaster. Already it has played an important part in covering the referendum, and its coverage of the negotiations will be crucial in shaping public opinion. Whether reporting will be impartial, objective and effective – much less accurate – remains to be seen. As it stands, the signs are not good.

    Without in any way seeking to interfere with or undermine the freedom of the press, the government might invite media organisations, including news agencies and especially the BBC, to appoint specialist staff to report the negotiations. Special “deep background” workshops might be offered to these personnel, in an attempt to improve their knowledge and understanding.

    this document is nothing more than blue sky thinking and a waste of a perfectly good pdf.

  • Anglo-Irish

    No we’re not, wouldn’t it be a terrible thing if politicians were prepared to put the country’s interest ahead of their party and their own?

    On the other hand if there is a free vote allowed on Brexit they can vote with their conscience.

    Maybe they will be encouraged by Jeremy Corbyn who voted against his own party 585 times and was rewarded with the leadership?

  • On the fence!

    Plainly he just can’t help himself. When you see the malice and sheer hatred spewing out of that vile creature on QT last night, actually wishing illness and misery on “leave” voters and their families, it just perfectly illustrates the myth that “remain” were the good guys.

    But the majority of us know that anyway!

  • On the fence!

    I voted “leave” for the good of the UK, and I think what is now best for the UK is a general election. However that ultimately turns out then I’d be happy enough to accept as the new Parliament will be elected on the basis of EU membership being the main issue. There could also be no justifiable complaints from anyone afterwards and a lot of the “remain” griping here and in Scotland especially would be shown up for what it is, namely anti-UK rather than pro-EU.

    *edit*-……….and of-course it comprehensively deals with the issue of yesterdays judgement as the new Parliament would ultimately make the EU membership decision, so no further grounds for complaint there either.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable” John F Kennedy

  • Kevin Breslin
  • Kevin Breslin

    The plan to use Royal Prerogative was jingoistic.

    Perhaps fascist a better word than jingoistic?

    About the Royal Prerogative, foes it not strike you of having a bit of the Enabling Act about it?

    Or to give it its proper title …
    Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Reich/Empire

    I think history proves that such laws actually intensify or neglect the Distress of the People and the … well, whatever.


  • Kevin Breslin

    Shoe on the other foot, Jeremy Corbyn of Islington … says he will vote with national result despite the fact his constituency had a large Remain vote.

    Now his constituency could chuck him out over this.

    Yet if Thresea Villiers backed Barnet’s result for Remain against her conscience on the basis it was the message sent to her by the people, some people who supported Remain would call her principled on that matter.

  • On the fence!

    If you hadn’t noticed, multinational companies holding governments to ransom in return for employing their subjects is hardly new or unique to the UK either pre or post referendum.

    Or has the “Celtic Tiger” been forgotten already?

    About the only world wide issue that hasn’t been attributed to Brexit yet is global warming, and even that is probably only a matter of time!

  • Angry Mob

    Fascist is a lazy smear.

  • Angry Mob

    Speaking of blue sky thinking how do you infer that the document promotes the “take over the bbc”?

  • Angry Mob

    The same political class are the same dimwits who manipulated us into the EU in the first place, some are still even in place such as the odious Ken Clarke.

    I don’t trust politicians either but you have two options really, come up with and support safe methods for leaving the EU and campaign for them or complain to no avail, which is more constructive?

    Regarding Nissan my take on it is that the government has reassured them that they are staying within the single market, which is what everyone actually wants, even the large companies who supported staying within the EU before the 23rd June vote. In reality they didn’t really care much for the EU part of it rather than the EEA part which is the important bit. Had large companies been clear on this earlier it would be hard to accuse them of double standards.

    Then it goes back to my earlier point, almost everyone conflates the EU and EEA.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well I have not seen much of a debate other than fascist diatribes as to why there should not be an Act of Parliament for triggering Article 50, so bless me with the counterargument if you can?

  • Angry Mob

    I’ll bless you with a counter argument when you can come up with a coherent argument as to why something you personally disagree with should be regarded as fascist and what links it has to Mussolini.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Unless you are in a position of some authority within one of the main political parties and you’ve been keeping it a secret from us then your input into Brexit policy will be the same as mine, zilch.

    So coming up with and supporting safe methods- whatever that may mean – is a somewhat otiose pastime.

    If the government have assured Nissan or anyone else that they are intending to stay within the single market then they are being somewhat disingenuous.

    Firstly, that is no longer within the governments control as the remaining EU members can veto it if they see fit.

    Secondly, in order to retain that position ( if agreed upon by the EU members ) we will have to accept the free movement of people.

    As that was the main reason that many of the more xenophobic Leavers voted that way it will cause all hell to break loose.

    I really must try to overcome my dislike of popcorn. : )

  • Anglo-Irish

    No it hadn’t escaped my attention, in what way does it make the situation better?

    Governments need to placate Big Business in order to ensure that they don’t have to pay benefits to the entire population and in order to ensure some tax income, even if it’s mainly from the workers PAYE.

    Big Business didn’t want the UK to leave the EU, had the decision been left to the government we wouldn’t have left, the people decided otherwise and now the government is having to jump through hoops and bend over backwards to satisfy Business demands.

    Slightly pedantic I know but grown up countries don’t have subjects, they have citizens.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Politicians do what they feel is best for their careers.

    Corbyn is an unelectable third rate 1970s anachronism who has been in politics his entire working life and achieved nothing, apart from the dubious record of having voted against his own party more times than anyone else.

    And then they elected him leader. If they ever make a film about it they need to call it ‘Death Wish’.

    My point is very simple, politicians should have integrity and vote for what they genuinely believe to be the best for their constituents and the country.

    I have no illusions that that is in fact what happens.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Very simple, if a Brexit proposal can win the support of the majority of the elected representatives in the Houses of Parliament, then it has enough support to be implemented as far as feasibly possible as a proposal for the nation as a whole.

  • On the fence!

    So in what way does Brexit make it worse???? It’s still a matter of, “Governments need to placate Big Business in order to ensure that they don’t have to pay benefits to the entire population and in order to ensure some tax income, even if it’s mainly from the workers PAYE.” All of which is quite correct.

    Nothing different with the Nissan “deal” then, so why use it as an anti-Brexit dig when by your own admission it’s just how things need to be done anyhow?????

    Oh, and whether you like it or not, we are all “subjects”.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Seriously, you can’t see the problem?

    As members of the EU Trade Bloc the trade agreements are in place and known and accepted by all, including Big Business.

    We are now in the position whereby we will have to renegotiate all trade agreements, that means that we have to persuade the remaining 27 countries to accept the terms under which our trade with the EU will take place.

    They will not allow us to obtain a deal better than the one we currently have, because that would mean that we would be in a better position than them, and they are still members with the advantages that confers.
    The chances are that we will either get less advantageous terms or have to concede to various demands to retain what we have now.

    As we export 44% of our total exports to the EU and they export 10% of the EU total ( divided between 27 countries ) to us, we don’t have the upper hand in any negotiation.

    Whilst the negotiations are taking place, Big Business will be watching and demanding that any agreement doesn’t effect their business in any negative way.

    In the event of that happening they will be demanding to know what the government is going to do about it with the threat of relocation hanging over any Business to government talks.

    Do you appreciate that that makes things a bit worse?

    Oh, and whether you consider yourself to be a subject is of course entirely up to you, but I can assure you that I’m not, and have the passport to prove it.

  • On the fence!

    So do you just want to spout a lot of tedious, pointless old rhetoric speculating about UK trade post Brexit, or discuss what impact Brexit may or may not have had on Nissan remaining in the UK? Because you started on one and then rapidly shot off on the other.

  • Anglo-Irish

    What are you on about?

    Nissan was mentioned purely to illustrate the difficulties the government is facing in trying to keep foreign owned companies happy to continue in the UK.

    So, can you see the problem, or is everything going to proceed without a solitary problem in the very best of all possible worlds?

    You asked a question ” So in what way does Brexit make it worse???? ”

    Four question marks, you were obviously anxious to have an answer.

    I answered you and explained why it made it worse, you are now apparently struggling for a retort and so are going for the ill mannered insult in a poor attempt at deflection.

  • Korhomme

    No. It reaffirms the supremacy of Parliament, and of democracy over an (unelected, mandateless) Prime Minister.

  • Brendan Heading

    By that I meant that Mrs May could state that the vote going against her could be seen as a vote of no confidence and initiate that against herself and whip her party to ensure that no act of confidence is passed, thus a general election must be held and there she could stand again with a renewed mandate.

    I think that’s the likely way to get to an election at this stage, as the opposition has no choice other than to support that kind of motion. Some people won’t be happy at having to face UKIP at an election, though. And there’s no guarantee how the election will go; there are Tories who may be happy with Article 50 but will absolutely not support an exit from the single market, for example; they’ll be seeking a mandate for that position.

    If parliament dilly dally they risk further agitating the likes of Mr Juncker, the European wide instability and the general annoyance of the electorate.

    It’s curious to hear a brexit supporter urging that Parliament’s dilly-dallying be curtailed in the interests of meeting our promises to Europe and avoiding European instability.

    Parliament is the properly constituted body to hold the government to account and authorise the extent of the Government’s authority. By right, it should be reassembled following a general election to obtain a proper mandate for this.

  • On the fence!

    OK, I better summarise for you here as you seem to be struggling.

    You were having a moan about the Nissan situation relative to Brexit, but then you (quite correctly) pointed out yourself than ALL governments generally have to pander to a degree to multi-national companies in order to keep them onboard and provide employment. So given that you’d made that point YOURSELF!, I then asked you in what way you were able to contend that the situation with Nissan was in any way worse due to Brexit. This was then replied to in the form of the same old tired diatribe that we’ve been getting since months before the referendum that the UK won’t be able to get trade deals, will suffer outside the EU trade zone, will be held to ransom by other countries, etc, etc. None of which has yet materialised at all if only because the necessary negotiations haven’t even started yet, has therefore no relevance to the current situation with Nissan, and is in effect nothing more substantive than the same old anti-brexit ranting that we’ve been subject to now for many, many months.

    Finally, you didn’t like being told you were wrong so try to finish off by huffing and acting offended.

    Pretty pathetic really.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Did you ,or did you not, ask the question ” So in what way does Brexit make it worse? “.

    Yes, we all understand that Big Business has influence on government policy during the normal course of events but you apparently wanted to know why it would be worse because of Brexit.

    I explained to you why it would, because the government will have to renegotiate every trade deal we currently have, while Big Business is breathing down its neck in order to ensure that its interests aren’t compromised.

    They will be in between a rock and a hard place, having to not only satisfy our trading partners but also having to meet the demands of foreign owned industry.

    You appear too obtuse to be able to understand straightforward logic.

    You asked a question, I answered it, get it?

    If you find it all so tedious there’s a simple answer to that isn’t there?

    Or is your servile id unable to work it out?

  • Angry Mob

    In a way you are right, our direct output will amount to zilch however what I am talking about is the collective input. You see some of the groupings already, the hard leavers who wish to change to WTO rules and get us out of the single market and then on the other side of the spectrum those still in denial and wish us to remain in the EU whom will be ultimately ignored.

    The way I see it if I can one person regarding the EFTA/EEA route then that person in turns can convine another person etc then I have made a positive contribution other wise you let the knuckle draggers who wish us to leave the single market yesterday become the dominant voice and thats what just may end up happening.

    Regarding the point made about staying in the single market maybe I should have said they are going to pursue that strategy which may have been enough to convince Nissan. However, access to the EEA is not entirely within the remit of the EU. The EFTA is the other pillar of the EEA (other being the EU), all we have to get is the four EFTA member states permission and we can rejoin the EFTA.

    There is precedent that the EEA access would continue as happened when Austria, Finland and Sweden left the EFTA to join the EU in 1995 which occurred without a vote its very plausible that it can work in reverse and we could have uninterrupted access.

    Should it come down to a vote though on EEA membership, the fact that the EU will have continued market access (both ways) which minimises disruption, as previously mentioned the obligation to negotiate in good faith and that the EFTA is seen in the EU’s eyes as a lesser status should help seize the day.

    As for EFTA access Judge Baudenbacher made a few noteworthy comments, especially Norways initial reluctance at becoming second fiddle however they are coming around to see the possible advantages that having the UK would bring, the other nations seem very warm to the idea. A thing that you like to bring up is trade deficits, Norways biggest customer is the UK for all that it counts.

    Free movement is “negotiable” despite what some may say, just not from inside the EU. Article 112 of the EEA agreement which has been successfully used by the EU and EFTA member states allows unilateral restrictions on the four freedoms which Lichenstein uses to this day for movement and which Iceland used to stop the flow of capital drain out during the banking crisis.

    I love popcorn, its my one of my favourite snacks.

  • Angry Mob

    I’m not necessarily saying that parliament shouldn’t have a say however Mrs May has already given reassurance to Mr Juncker that article 50 will be invoked by the end of March, those wishing to delay brexit and causing further irk is maybe something that they should be aware of. I am a brexit but I’m not of the “hard” variety.

  • Brendan Heading

    So May gave a reassurance to Junker that she was in no position to give. It’s not Parliament’s business to try to cover up the government’s ineptitude. Parliament is there to act as a check on such silly mistakes.

  • Anglo-Irish

    I fully accept that we are leaving and whilst I voted remain it wasn’t because I was a fan of the EU which is a seriously flawed organization.

    My decision to vote Remain was based on the possibility that as unsatisfactory as things are there is no rule that states they can’t get worse.

    It seems to me too many people voted for change for the sake of change not allowing for that probability.

    I have no faith in our ‘Leaders’ from any party to broker us an advantageous deal.

    They strike me as second rate chancers with self interest as their driving force, and I suspect that we will end up with an inferior deal to one we have now and with all sides whining like a bunch of prepubescent girls when a Boy Band concert has been cancelled at late notice.

    Hopefully I’m wrong and have been worrying needlessly.

  • Angry Mob

    Well, she may of thought she was at the time. On the flip side I personally thought Autumn of 2017 would of been the much better time to trigger article 50 after the German and French elections and possibly giving us more time on this side to discuss it. Maybe its a convenient cover for Mrs May to slightly delay the invocation.

  • nilehenri

    it’s not clear from my comment, but the first two paragraphs are copy and paste from your hallowed document. i thought you exiters knew all the answers?

  • Reader

    So the government could as easily ignore the Brexit vote as it could ignore a Scottish independence vote or a United Ireland vote?

  • Kevin Breslin

    They can ignore it, but I doubt that would make it’s life easier.

    Let’s recall Parliamentary soverignty itself was ignored under Irish Home Rule Bills.

    At this point I find Farage’s warnings of violence on the streets very interesting.

  • Angry Mob

    Yes, but where does it say “take over the bbc”?

  • nilehenri

    bite me