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Why The EU Brexit Supreme Court Ruling Is Saving Democracy

Does Brexit spell the end for the UK?

25th Jan 2017

A ruling from the Supreme Court yesterday declared that Article 50 must be triggered by a vote in Parliament - scuppering Theresa May's plans of bypassing the democratic process - in what must be seen as a win for Remainers and Leave voters alike.

We think it is interesting to look at this from a number of different perspectives - here we go!

From a Remain perspective, the United Kingdom still has a chance to remain in the European Union, should enough MPs vote against the Bill. The MPs themselves have a few things to consider - which way their constituents voted, their party line, and of course, their own judgement. It also opens up the chance for a 'soft' Brexit which Remain voters will surely take at this stage.

From a Leave perspective, the ruling gives the UK sovereignty - power is back in Westminster. There's a high chance that the Bill will eventually be passed, and Article 50 will be triggered - but the UK Parliament can have an input in the process. There was also a spectrum of views from Leave voters - some wanted a Norway/Switzerland type deal, for example, but others wanted a complete dissociation from the Union.

Moving onto parties now, it seems the Tories were the most split on the referendum. MPs voting either way caused a degree of turmoil and infighting in the party, ending up with a 'silent Remainer' in charge of the nation. The process will give the Conservatives a chance to legitimise their decision - whatever vote is taken - to the British people, and perhaps unify the party.

Labour could end up being the heroes in all this. Corbyn himself, who reluctantly campaigned for the Remain side, has a chance to hold the Government to account with this. The party has come out today saying that they will propose a number of amendments to the Bill, such a maintaining Single Market membership. This will endear Labour to a lot of the 'reluctant' voters either way, who will respect a softer Brexit than the Conservatives are proposing.

The Liberal Democrats, who seem to have nothing to lose, have gone out all guns blazing for the Remain side, demanding a second referendum and promising to vote against Article 50. Looking to nab the votes of the 48%, their effective 'alternative' opposition here, along with the SNP, will be healthy for parliamentary democracy in the sense that they are providing, and campaigning for, a different view to the Traditional Two.

UKIP, on the other hand, have now served their purpose and should dissipate soon enough.

The Government have said they aim to pass the Bill within a couple of weeks, but you get the sense that the Battle of Brexit will last a lot longer than that. In any sense, the Supreme Court's ruling has injected a dose of much-needed democracy into our system, and will go some way to unifying the divided British people.

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