A central component of the Brexit campaign was parliamentary sovereignty: more specifically, the need to “take back control”, as Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC explained in a recent letter to The Times. As such, it is time that we allowed it to take its course.
There must be a parliamentary debate (which could go either way) based on the noble and ancient principle that once Parliament confer rights on us, the British people, which they did via the European Communities Act, only they and not the PM and government alone (previously, the Monarch) can revoke said Act.
We live in a parliamentary democracy. A representative democracy. The reasons are plain: direct democracy does not work on such a large scale and nobody wants a fully fledged monarchy. That is why we plunge our hands deep into our pockets and fork out large sums of money to pay our MPs to make decisions for us.
If it were otherwise, our democratic and sovereign parliament would be the puppet of the government and in this case the puppet of an unelected new PM, who could be taking action based on a squalid campaign and a marginal referendum result.
By way of conclusion, Geoffrey Robertson QC has remarked that to invoke Article 50 without parliamentary consent would make a mockery of our representative democratic system which countless “Parliamentarians fought and died for in the civil wars of the 1640s.”
Excerpts from Ryan Dowding’s blog piece: Occam Blushed and the Brexiteers Rushed: The Question of Article 50