Starmer: "With Labour having consented to the plebiscite it would be intellectually dishonest to say “Now it’s gone the way I don’t want, I’m not going to accept the result.”

What is dishonest is to legislate for advisory ref w/out safeguards & assessment a mandate would require
Then to deceive the electorate, telling them it is their decision - a mandate - when the law says it is not their decision, but advisory.

Then, though you're a barrister, to contradict what the law says & confirms in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
that the plebiscite was an opinion. It followed a campaign in which feeling was manipulated, facts ridiculed, making a mockery of democracy

It was Govt's duty to assess the result together with relevant factors & Parliament's duty to debate Govt's policy, not to rubber stamp it.
This is what the democratic process should have been. It did not happen. Instead of educating the electorate, MPs went along with the false narative they had given the public:

Leave got more votes. So it won. So we're out. This without even having determined what *out* meant. .
And whatever it meant, without understanding the effect on the UK economy & geopolitics.

Nothing about the referendum is what it seems. The vote wasn't the democratic *will of the people* despite MPs still claiming it is. The ref wasn't really about leaving the EU -
It was about quelling Europhobes once & for all. Kier says he must accept the result. But MPs duty is to act in the interests of UK not to harm it. Once it emerged that any version of Brexit is more harmful than remaining, Parliament should decide to withdraw A50 & mend fences.
I don't think anyone has yet decided to leave the EU in accordance with our democratic process. The referendum wasn't the decision. And May didn't make a decision after the ref, because she said the ref WAS the decision. Nor did Parliament, for the same reason. So: #A50Challenge
Far from being democracy in action, the referendum was a travesty of democracy. That should have been apparent from the conduct of the Leave campaign anyway. Maybe the darker forces of CA also a factor. But most shocking, MPs still call it democracy rather than admit the fiasco.
It is for this reason, even though it's miles better than May & Corbyn's *done deal* pronouncement, I don't favour #FinalSay. It puts the onus back on the electorate, perpetuating the lie that it was their decision in the first place, Parliament in denial of its own responsibilty
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More from @RosChappell

May 13, 2018
THREAD: I don't agree @Femi_Sorry. Pandora's Box may have been opened anyway, infecting GB with populism, but it's past time we tell the truth. It was PM's & Parliament's job to stop Brexit. After advisory ref, PM weighs result together w all relevant factors to decide policy.
Then policy is put to Parliament to scrutinize & legislate if nec. May cheated, claimed ref was the decision. Normally it would be natural for a ref result to be accepted, because normally a ref asks about a change for the good. If the ppl reject the change, it's status quo ante.
This is the process in Parliament, time & time again. Reaching a decision as monumental as Brexit would involve impact assessments, consultation with industry, NHS, all sectors affected. These factors would be weighed alongside ref result. It shouldn't be hard to understand.
Read 5 tweets
May 12, 2018
It is flawed thinking. *Legally advisory but politically binding* is meaningless. The legal status of the Act trumps the political promise. Ref was perverse because one of the options was against the interests of UK. It's not normal to ask the public *Do you want to self-harm?*
Process following the advisory ref is alluded to in briefing paper 07212. Mercer QC understood it directly I raised the issue at the conference. The Exec decision is based on considering the result together with all other relevant factors. They have latitude on weight accorded.
But not infinite latitude to weight ref 100% unless there are no other relevant factors. But there is: the interests of UK. Normally a proposed constitutional change would be in the interests of the nation. Otherwise why put it to a referendum? Why ask the ppl for their approval?
Read 10 tweets
Apr 27, 2018
Either @abcpoppins is right about #A50Challenge or we have a profound constitutional crisis, b/c it will be determined that Parliament can be tricked by a sleight of hand into giving the PM power to bypass a legally required process, in effect giving the PM power to break the law
The decision process required by #A50 is simply that which separates democracy from dictatorship. Executive decides on policy within its party political perception of national interest, based on evidence, impact analysis, etc. parliament scrutinizes, then legislates if required.
As the EU ref was advisory (confirmed in Miller), this process is not bypassed. The ref result is simply one of the factors in the decision process, but not the only factor. There is scope on how much weight it is given, but not indefinite scope. It must be Wednesbury reasonable
Read 5 tweets
Mar 28, 2018
THREAD: May & Corbyn have perpetuated a lie, so successfully that even Remain politicians fall in line: The people decided to leave the EU in the 23 June referendum,

*Referendum was a decision* was exposed as untrue in the Miller case, but the lie persists. #A50Challenge
So why do they persist with a lie? B/c the ref was advisory. Brexit was supposed to be May's policy decision, then for Parliament's scrutiny. But Brexit is a stupid policy. May didn't want to own it or have Parliament scrutinize it. Easier to bypass this procedure w *ppl decided*
*Cameron promised to implement* is irrelevant to the legal position. Legislation was only for advisory ref. May overrode the legal status of an Act of Parliament, illegal in itself IMO & bypassed the req't to give notice to EU *in accordance with [UK] constitutional requirements*
Read 10 tweets
Mar 5, 2018
Ooops, @DLidington, that's not what you told the House on 16 June 2015, during debate on the EU Referendum Bill. THREAD
You replied to Alex Salmond that the referendum was advisory, so nothing followed from it, and therefore a safeguard, such as Amendment 16 which he wanted, made no sense.
If you wanted the referendum to be mandatory, you had to legislate accordingly, with appropriate precautions like a supermajority; Don't you require a 2/3 majority for constitutional change in your own party? Your promise to enact the result changes nothing except your reputation
Read 9 tweets
Feb 28, 2018
THREAD: Thank you Vernon Bogdanor for stating what many of us on twitter have said but virtually no politician dare admit

There is no such thing as *Soft* Brexit. The Hard vs Soft debate is a ruse, a disingenuous attempt to *respect the result* without destroying the country
As if just leaving the seats in the European Parliament is what *leave the EU* meant in the referendum, The debate (if it can be dignified as a debate) was not about a building. It was about the rights & obligations, the costs & benefits, of EU membership.
Not only is there no such thing as Soft Brexit: There is no such thing as *respecting the result* of an advisory referendum. A *political mandate* can't override the legal status of an Act of Parliament. The fact that MPs misled the public changes nothing except their reputation
Read 8 tweets

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