Crowdfunded campaign group ‘the People’s Challenge’ welcomed today’s Supreme Court decision that ‘regal’ prerogative powers could not be used by the Government to exit the EU and that only an Act of Parliament would be sufficient. The judgment means that the process can be subject to full parliamentary control and oversight. The People’s Challenge interested parties are ex pats Grahame and Rob Pigney, Paul Cartwright, a Gibraltarian national who runs Brex-IN, Christopher Formaggia who lives in Wales, Tahmid Chowdhury, a London student and Fergal McFerran, president of the NUS-USI based in Belfast. 5000 people supported their involvement in the Miller and others litigation via the CrowdJustice platform.
Grahame Pigney said today:
“Thousands of UK Citizens have fought this challenge through the UK courts to establish not only the Sovereignty of our UK Parliament but also the fact that the Government cannot strip away fundamental citizenship rights.
The 1688 Bill of Rights has been defended against an autocratic and secretive Government, Parliament now has the opportunity to use the parliamentary processes to examine the Government’s plans and exercise Parliament’s rightful control over the direction that the UK takes”
The People’s Challenge group solicitor, John Halford, said:
“In form, this judgment is a careful analysis of argument and precedent, but in substance it is no less than a restoration of Parliament to its rightful place as the ultimate decision-maker in our democracy.
MPs must now be as courageous as our judges have been and take all necessary steps to ensure they remain in control of the Article 50 process including, critically, the final decision on whether the terms of withdrawal are acceptable and in the interest of all UK nationals whether here, in British territories like Gibraltar , or resident abroad. The People’s Challenge has asked its legal team to urgently advise on how to make that happen.”
Rob Pigney said:
“This is a great day for UK democracy, we have put our elected representatives back in control of our future, now it falls to our MPs to take that duty and honour seriously.”
Paul Cartwright said:
“All the UK nations who voted in the referendum have been diversely represented in The People’s Challenge thanks to the overwhelming economic and moral support from thousands of individual sponsors to our cause. Justice has prevailed over political ego on two separate judgements. We have protected our constitutional law that Parliament is sovereign. Together with Bindmans we will continue to press for MPs to have the necessary time and tools in order to properly represent, and account to, all UK national in this process.”
Tahmid Chowdhury said:
“In rejecting the Government’s appeal, the Supreme Court has reiterated the fact that Parliamentary Sovereignty remains sacrosanct. This historic decision was only possible due to the efforts of thousands of individuals willing to act in the best interests of their country, and illustrates that it is with our elected representatives that the power to amend our rights as citizens rests.
It is now essential that Parliamentarians do their duty – to act in the best interests of the whole United Kingdom. Simply waving through a bill to pass the powers thousands have fought to guarantee on to the Government would be not only a shirking of responsibility, but frankly undemocratic.”
Chris Formaggia said:
“There is now a vital opportunity for MPs who supported Remain up to the referendum to consider the very good reasons why they did so and question whether the opinion poll does anything to change that reasoning.”
Fergal McFerran said:
“Today’s judgment is testament to the hard work of many thousands of people across the country who have been genuinely concerned by Theresa May’s approach to dealing with the outcome of the EU referendum. I am proud to have played just a small part in holding her and her Government to account in ensuring we respect the role of Parliamentary democracy and in securing the proper process we were being denied.”