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Supreme Court hears government's appeal on Brexit powers - expert comment

Dr Mike Finn, Principal Teaching Fellow in Liberal Arts at the University of Warwick, comments on the process of the Supreme Court hearing the government’s appeal on Brexit.

“The Supreme Court hearing the government’s appeal over its Brexit powers is not a case of the courts versus the people; the storm is really the result of public incomprehension about the kind of democracy we live in.

“It is unlikely that the Supreme Court will overturn the High Court's decision and the challenge to the rule of law offered by a number of media outlets is highly dangerous for the future of liberal democracy in the UK. Numerous outlets have a called into question the possibility of judicial independence, which is a fundamental principle of our democracy.

“This highlights the danger of introducing elements of direct democracy into a representative system, particularly when done for tactical, political ends. Contrary to myth, Britain does have a constitution, and it is the duty of judiciary to ensure that the government of the day does not exceed its powers under the law.

“Invoking the Royal Prerogative to enact the wishes of the majority promoted through an 'advisory' referendum essentially creates unbridled executive authority to remove rights from people without reference to Parliament. This would be a highly dangerous precedent to set.”


Dr Mike Finn