This is a momentous decision and one that if I’m being honest comes down to common sense. For me, if it took a vote in parliament to take us into Europe in 1972, when we passed the European Communities Act, then it follows that repealing that membership and the rights that people get from it must also be a job for parliament.
I thought this was a complete ‘no-brainer’, but I’m not a lawyer, just a plumber. So I’m struggling to express how I felt as I sat in court with my fellow claimants when Lord Chief Justice John Thomas so completely agreed with this simple and logical argument. I was shocked, I think I’m still in shock!
It’s so simple that I would urge Theresa May and the Government to think long and hard about going through with its promised appeal to the Supreme Court, and perhaps they will once their own legal counsel explain to them just what a trouncing they received today.
I’ve always said that this case was not only about abiding by the law and acting in a way that is consistent with the UK’s constitution, although that is of massive importance. But also it’s about creating an environment of certainty for everyone, especially business, and I think the pound rocketing upwards by two cents against the dollar this morning was evidence of what a force for good constitutional clarity is.
As a business, Pimlico Plumbers has already experienced a 5-10% increase in the cost of many parts, especially boilers and spares from Germany and other European countries.
Today we have done the Government a huge favour and, once it’s wiped the egg off its face, hopefully it will realise that establishing what exactly UK law actually is will be good for the stability of the economy. I for one wouldn’t like to think what a mess we’d be in if the Government had triggered Article 50 and a court found it had acted illegally in 18 months’ time.
My message to Theresa May, and the Hard-Brexit henchmen, Davis and Fox, is to stop trying to impose a secret settlement on the people of the United Kingdom, and let our elected parliament publicly decide the direction we take.
Brexit will happen, the referendum is over and the vote was to Leave; but membership cards are not as important as whether you can get into the club and do your business; and that’s what I believe is vital for the future of our businesses and our economy.
Hopefully after today we can get on with the important business of building a decent future for the UK that every sane person can agree with.