What a demockracy!

Brexit is and always will be a highly controversial topic within the United Kingdom. However, the recent High Court ruling that states the government does not have the prerogative powers alone to trigger Article 50, without consulting parliament, may be one for the history books. As a citizen in this democratic nation, I am thoroughly pleased at this decision as it means the government cannot cut any corners and try to take away my legal rights without consulting the sovereign institution that is parliament, first. Although, a difficult factor this ruling promotes is that the notorious Brexiteers may take this decision as a final desperate attempt by the metropolitan liberal elites to thwart the referendum decision, which may cloud the judgements of many MPs.

On a more positive note, the suspicious sneakiness of the Prime Minister – with regards to the negotiations surrounding Brexit as she ‘refuses to give the British people a clear plan’ on what she hopes to achieve, as Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn points out– is also being finally forced into the light. The decision to go through parliament also means the details of the negotiations will be open to debate. Theresa May has faced repeated criticism in recent weeks as a tape emerged of her voicing her worries on the economic and social dangers of Brexit to the elitist bankers of Goldman Sachs – furthering the class divide on such a sensitive topic crucial to the stability of the country. However, there is a point to be made that there are substantial criticisms of this decision with regards to how our country is run. The three high court judges have declared that the government’s belief that they have the legitimate powers and authority to enact ‘the will of the people’ is ‘divorced from reality’.

Now, I personally have to question this statement as a citizen in a free country; what right have three judges, that are not elected by the people, to decide that our ultimate representative and leader in government – the Prime Minister – cannot act on our behalf? I know that MPs are elected to be our constituent representatives but, when they were largely and openly against Brexit we have to wonder whether they will attempt to draw out the process and complicate matters. We also have to recognise that these three upper-class and completely out-of-touch-with-the-majority-of-society judges have defied 17.4 million people, who voted for Brexit, with their extremely questionable decision. They have been rightly dubbed ‘enemies of the people’ by the Daily Mail: their ruling could trigger a constitutional crisis within the United Kingdom that could destabilise the nation by questioning the legitimacy of government, and the government’s ability to create legislation. In fact, their decision even calls into question the democracy in which we live. Do we live in a democracy? Or, would it be better to describe our political status as a democratic dictatorship?

Lauren Walker

(Image courtesy of The Independent)

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