Petaltop wrote:They are the sevants of the people.
In the traditional British understanding of the role of MP, MPs were never delegates who voted according to how decisions were taken elsewhere, but independent representatives who voted according to their understanding of a specific issue.
MPs are meant to be representative of the communities electing them, something more obvious in the French title of the Canadian House of Commons (Chambre des Communes) than in the English title (in the English title, commons as in village common or common good, not as in commoners). The traditional Burkean view of a Member of Parliament has always been an MP is not bound by the public will, but that it is his duty to use his intellect, industry and judgement to deliver for the common good. It was a wonderful coincidence that the Miller judgment was delivered on the anniversary of Burke's famous speech to the electors of Bristol.
So, no, MPs are not bound by the results of the referendum. The UK has never had a democracy in the Swiss sense anyway. The democracy is moderated through Parliament.
Petaltop wrote:As aked on another forum, has the UK ever been in the EU? That freedom of trade vote that took the UK into the EU, was on a public vote. In this judges view, it appears the UK being in the EU was never legal?
How about all the treaties that took the UK deeper into wha tht EU is now, many of these were only signed by the PM at the time. The Lisborn Treaty that many British didn't want, was mentioned in Labour's manifesto, that if you vote for us we will give the country a vote on this treaty. Once in, they then didn't and wasn't that treaty that was signed by then PM Brown, not represented correctly to parliment? On the judges thinking, how are these treaties legal in the UK either?
The judges did not rule on the referendum, they ruled on the effects of the European Communities Act (ECA) and whether that restricted the right of the government to treat with foreign governments and organisations.
Legally, the situation for any treaty bar ones with the EU is clear. The government signs and ratifies treaties on its own. Parliament is made aware of treaties and can go into its detail if it so wishes, but it has no powers to stop ratification, which is done by the government.
Further reading - Treaties
The Miller judgment was about the ECA and the interaction of EU rights and UK law. It did not rule on the referendum.
I disagree with the Miller judgment on the same grounds as most legal commentators, in that the High Court has read more into the ECA 1972 than originally intended. Ironically, the High Court has behaved more like a European court in creating a chimera of intent rather than relying on good old-fashioned English principles of plain meaning. The fairly universal criticism of the High Court judgment will certainly suggest to the Supreme Court to be more measured and more specific in its judgment, which will after all become part of the fabric of our constitutional structure.
But the High Court was correct in making a ruling on it. Mob rule, even in the guise of a referendum, does not overthrow the rule of law. The rule of law provides certainty and continuity, while mob rule only provides confusion and chaos.
There was a case during World War I, when a German industrialist resident in the UK and interned during the War brought a case against an MP and won!!! I have faith in the British judicial system and I am sure that the Supreme Court will render a better ruling than the High Court.