Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 10 November 2016


The High Court ruling last week that the government cannot start the process of leaving the EU without Parliamentary approval has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons. I have been swamped by e-mails from many of you. Let me set out my position on all this:

1)    Although I voted to remain (as did at least 50% of this constituency) I accept that the British people voted to leave. Leave the EU therefore we jolly well must. Accordingly if article 50, the mechanism by which we must leave does come to the Commons, I will vote for it.

2)    The High Court was perfectly within its rights to reach the conclusion that it did. It is part of our system of checks and balances that underpin our essential freedoms that the judiciary decides whether the executive (government) has acted lawfully. When I studied law in the 1970's we grappled with dozens of major cases where the courts had found against the government. There is nothing new in this. The media outburst by some of my colleagues about unelected judges were quite outrageous. Do we want elected judges in this country? Surely not. We want an independent high-quality judiciary that supports our constitutional freedoms. We live under the rule of law, not the rule of the Daily Mail or Nigel Farage, thank goodness.

3)    The High Court upheld the sovereignty of Parliament. Many people who voted to leave the EU did so because they wished to support the sovereignty of the UK parliament. They should have been pleased by this judgement. It hands the power to parliament.

4)    This judgement does not scupper Brexit. The UK will leave the EU. But the British People did not decide, nor could they, because there are so many variations, how we leave the EU. That will be a matter for our sovereign parliament to decide. I have no doubt that Parliament will vote to trigger Article 50 and then we can spend the next two years grappling with the detail. If Parliament were to vote down Article 50, this would certainly lead to a general election, which might bring more confusion than clarity.

5)    I support Brexit because the British people have voted for it. But I will be looking for a soft Brexit with the UK remaining part of the single market either indefinitely for at least a set period of time, while we build up our markets elsewhere

posted by Gary @ 13:58