Is Two majorly shocking political choices happened in 2016,

Is Westminster sovereign?Post-truth has been voted the word of 2016. Which according to the Oxford dictionary definition means; Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion that appeals to emotion and personal belief. Two majorly shocking political choices happened in 2016, Donald Trump, following, the all-knowing; The Simpson prediction became the President of the US and not long before that United Kingdom has decided to leave the European Union after one of the most unpredictable outcomes of the Brexit referendum. The post-truth concept relates to both of those events, one of the most popular expression during the Leave campaign has been  – Parliamentary Sovereignty. In the next few thousand words, this essay will attempt to bring the concept of Parliamentary Sovereignty closer, explain the expression’s relation to the post-truth concept and assess whether the Westminster still remains sovereign in 2018 Britain, additionally, it will attempt to decide whether leaving European Union will in a significantly noticeable way increase Parliamentary Sovereignty.    Although Parliamentary sovereignty is at the very centre at the British constitution, this essay argues that it is a concept which seems to be nearly impossible to fulfil in the current situation, regardless of Britain leaving the European Union or not. That the sovereignty is being obstructed not only by the Supreme European court but also by the Human Right Act and even by the 2016 referendum. Parliamentary sovereignty seems to be increasingly more difficult to define, regardless of how simple it may sound on the Parliament’s website, which says; Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change. The use of the word ‘generally’ seems to be the key. Because indeed, in theory, sovereign parliament is a supreme legislature power, which can implement laws and legislation as it wishes, adding the curious word ‘generally’ seem to take away from its supremacy. 2016 Brexit referendum, regardless how shocking and unexpected, it has been one of the most important calls in the Westminster sovereignty debate. Throughout the referendum campaign, Parliamentary sovereignty has been brought up by the Leavers multiple times, one of their slogans has been ‘get back control’. The slogan combined a sense of optimistic future and an idea that the said ‘control’ has somehow been significantly obstructed. It appears that the slogan has never been fully explained, attempts to clear out how exactly the ‘control’ has been taken away and what damages it caused seemed very vague and usually referred to the Parliament losing its legislative powers to the European Union.    When in 1958 EEC, later European Union, has been created its main aim was to avoid another devastating war on the continent. The main laws surrounding European Union legislation are rules allowing member countries to transport freely most goods, services, money and people within EU states. According to European Union regulations, Member states are required to comply with the court’s rulings and may be fined if they do not obey. The laws are drafted by The European Commission, later if the draft is accepted by European Parliament and the Council of Ministers (both bodies represent citizens of the EU and members states), the draft becomes a law. It is a pretty straightforward – at least on the paper process. It also shows that the United Kingdom, as all other member states have some kind of say or influence of what laws and legislation are being approved by the European Union. At the same time, it makes it obvious that United Kingdom Parliament is not sovereign under the European Union agreement. The issue with absolute sovereignty is that any rule, law or legislation that doesn’t come directly from the UK and does not only apply to the UK or in some way obliges the country to cooperate and fulfil other states regulations may obstruct its sovereignty. As long as there is any ‘foreign’ Court, body or rule, which prevents parliament from passing all and any law, the parliament cannot be considered sovereign. Although it is not only European Union that affects the Parliamentary Sovereignty, in Further Studies of International Law, F. A. Mann has argued that Parliament could not realistically pass any laws which racially discriminate any of its citizens. Additionally, if the Parliament has renounced legislative competence in regards to any land or territory, it is politically impossible – regardless if the legal theory or the idea of the supreme sovereignty of the parliament may suggest differently – to regain the power over the given territory. Those two examples alone shake up the theory of ultimate sovereignty of Westminster. Since the theory of sovereignty considers purely legal not all limitations. Such us political. The government would never approve of a law that discriminates people based on their religion or racial background (the example relates to 2018 Britain), not because it is bounded by The Human Rights Act; which in a pure theory could possibly be overwritten, but because it would be impossible for the citizens to accept such law. The attempt to pass such legislation, would not only cause riots among the people but would have an absolutely devastating outcome in relation to global politics. In today’s world dependency of one first world country to another is huge, anything from import to export, trading and foreign exchange would be shaken up by even speculation of any legislation which may attempt to break Human Rights. Not only that, regardless of economic and global implications, for the person responsible for such a law suggestion it would be a career suicide. At the same time, you could argue, that those examples relate to bizarre and extremely unlikely scenarios. Therefore, if we look at the parliament’s sovereignty it would appear to work perfectly well, regardless of small obstructions like European Union Supreme court and Human Rights Act, for all likely to happen, every day, examples. Even though it is easy and reasonable to agree with Mann and Elliott Mark on that point, and it is very likely that we would never happen to see any of above examples to appear in real, non-speculative, life it remains obvious that this assumption keeps Parliamentary Sovereignty in a box of morality and rational choices, which takes away from it’s supreme and absolute freedom to create legislations as it wishes. In the words of AV Dicey, the word sovereignty is used to describe the idea of ‘the power of lawmaking unrestricted by any legal limit’. It is seemingly a very simple concept. To become or stay sovereign the Parliament’s would have to be unobstructed in any way, regardless whether the said obstruction comes from a separate body, rules of a Union or even the country’s citizens. That brings us back to the 2016 referendum, their event that is still in our minds, papers and is certainly overtaking the current political scene in the United Kingdom. As well known, in the shocking choice of the British citizens, leave campaigners won the Brexit referendum. Regardless of the campaign being relatively unimpressive and based on empty slogans and unexplained expressions about gaining control. Despite all that, despite how insane and plainly incorrect were some claims of the Leavers and how unknown is now the future of British economy, the government has made the decision to trigger the Article 50. The decision has been made, and even though it has gone through the House of Commons and the Court of the House of Lords, it has been approved as legitimate. Obviously, since the referendum is not in any way legally binding, and since the only person, David Cameron, who promised that regardless of the outcome the decision will be implemented, is no longer in power. There was no legal obligation to follow the decision of the referendum. Yes, indeed people made the decision, and with Britain being a democratic country there is a moral obligation to follow the decision of the crowd. But, isn’t that the moment when the Parliamentary Sovereignty is being severely obstructed. A time, where a decision, which no doubt, will be devastating to this country, a decision made, by at the end of the day, an angry and misled crowd, should it be followed if there is nearly a 100% certainty that it will do no good to this country future. Especially in today’s times where unity seems to be more important than ever and with the financial future of the millennial generation being very uncertain even under the safeguards of the European Union single market.In a brilliant article, Alber Weale, argues that if we agree with the Parliament’s decision in regards to Brexit we have a duty to express it. Many believe, and it is difficult to disagree, that Brexit may cause some serious damage, especially to the British economy, lack of access to single European market, no place at the decision making “Council of Ministers” table – with a possibility that for another 2 years the United Kingdom will have to follow the rules and regulation of the European Union, during Brexit transition stage. According to A Weale, the pro Brexiteers, have throughout the campaign blamed the ‘lack of powers’ for failures of the UK, in his words: It is not Brussels that has prevented successive UK governments from developing technical education and training to address the low levels of productivity in the economy. It is not Brussels that has dictated the pace and scale of public expenditure savings in the UK since 2010.  Blatantly saying, the question we should be asking is: Blatantly saying, the question we should be asking Is leaving European Union, for a small increase in Parliamentary Freedom, worth the gamble? A Waele and many others disagree. Ex-Prime Minister, David Cameron has said: “You might feel more sovereign, but if you can’t get your businesses access to European markets if you can’t keep your people safe… you’re less in charge of your destiny.” Which essentially boils down to a decision whether it is more important to protect country’s economy, citizens wellbeing and most importantly financial future, or is it more important to focus on chasing some vague and nearly Utopian idea of unlimited legal power for the Parliment. After weighing in, it is a relatively easy decision. To summarise, Parliamentary or Westminster sovereignty has been discussed an uncountable number of times, by people with vastly different political opinions and views, regardless of that, the above points show how difficult is to make a certain and quick decision by just answering Yes or No. This summary will be this essays last attempt to answer the question as simply as possible. Is Westminster Sovereign? No. In a world where sovereignty demands absolute and unrestricted legal power, it is not. Most likely it won’t be, at least not for my generation to see.    If the Sovereignty means supreme legal power within the country, without any outsiders, like Unions or citizens, or any higher legal Acts undermining and obstructing it, then it is difficult to see how that could be achieved with the United Kingdom being part of the European Union. At the same time, if after the Brexit deal is signed off, and hopefully, United Kingdom will remain within the single market, it is unlikely that some rules and regulations won’t be implemented for that privilege. Moving away from the EU deal, Human Rights Act still obstructs fully free legislative power for the parliament, but it would not only be, legally incredibly difficult to get rid off, it would be nearly impossible politically.    European Union has been just a small obstruction in this majorly impossible concept of supreme legal power. Regardless of the efforts and legal possibilities, it is unlikely that Westminster will ever become fully sovereign. It seems like the idea of sovereignty has just recently become an absolutely necessary tool in the political success of the United Kingdom. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t seem to be that way. Britain within or outside of European Union is not going to be sovereign. Parliamentary sovereignty seems to be just another slogan and another empty expression to convince confused voters to support a poorly made decision, to which outcome there was no real plan, mainly because even Leavers camp was convinced that the Brexit won’t go through. But it has, and it seems like it was mainly because of racism, but it is easier to focus on Parliamentary Sovereignty than consider that majority of the voters voted with their prejudice instead of the rational instinct. 2018, seem to be a year of covering up terrible decisions of 2016 and poor planning of 2017. Hopefully, chasing for the utopian Supreme Legal Power will not be the case in 2018. Because it starts to become increasingly more clear, that Parliamentary Sovereignty is no guarantee to a safe future, and even though European Union had no warranty attached either, it seems to have a better shot at providing the very needed safety. ReferencesA., W. (2018). Is the Human Rights Act destructive of Parliamentary Sovereignty? | MyTutor. online Mytutor.co.uk. Available at: https://www.mytutor.co.uk/answers/1708/A-Level/Law/Is-the-Human-Rights-Act-destructive-of-Parliamentary-Sovereignty Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.BBC News. (2018). Does the EU impact on UK sovereignty?. online Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35630757 Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.Birmingham.ac.uk. (2018). It’s the slogan, stupid: The Brexit Referendum – University of Birmingham. online Available at: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/perspective/eu-ref-haughton.aspx Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.Bogdanor, V. (2016). Europe and the Sovereignty of the People. The Political Quarterly, 87(3), pp.348-351.Dicey, A. and Allison, J. (2013). Lectures introductory to the study of the Law of the constitution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Eleftheriadis, P. (2017). Constitutional Illegitimacy over Brexit. The Political Quarterly, 88(2), pp.182-188.Elliott, M. (2004). United Kingdom: Parliamentary sovereignty under pressure. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2(3), pp.545-627.Ewing, K. (2017). Brexit and Parliamentary Sovereignty. The Modern Law Review, 80(4), pp.711-726.Ft.com. (2018). After the referendum, the people, not parliament, are sovereign. online Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/9b00bca0-bd61-11e6-8b45-b8b81dd5d080 Accessed 28 Jan. 2018.Gordon, M. (2016). The UK’s Sovereignty Situation: Brexit, Bewilderment and Beyond?…. King’s Law Journal, 27(3), pp.333-343.Lawteacher.net. (2018). Parliamentary Sovereignty Refined By Human Rights Act. online Available at: https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/administrative-law/parliamentary-sovereignty-refined-by-human-rights-act-administrative-law-essay.php Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.Mabbett, D. (2017). Parliamentary Sovereignty and Brexit. The Political Quarterly, 88(2), pp.167-169.Mann, F. (1990). Further studies in international law. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Matthews, F. (2017). Whose Mandate is it Anyway? Brexit, the Constitution and the Contestation of Authority. The Political Quarterly, 88(4), pp.603-611.Oxford Dictionaries. (2018). Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is… | Oxford Dictionaries. online Available at: https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/press/news/2016/12/11/WOTY-16 Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.Peter Foster (2018). What would Brexit mean for British sovereignty?. online The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/19/how-does-the-eu-impinge-on-british-sovereignty-and-if-the-uk-vot/ Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.Publications.parliament.uk. (2018). House of Commons – The EU Bill and Parliamentary Sovereignty – European Scrutiny Committee. online Available at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmeuleg/633/63305.htm Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.UK Parliament. (2018). Parliamentary Sovereignty – Glossary page. online Available at: http://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/parliamentary-sovereignty/ Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.Vote Leave. (2018). Briefing: Taking back control from Brussels. online Available at: http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/briefing_control.html Accessed 1 Feb. 2018.Weale, A. (2017). The Democratic Duty to Oppose Brexit. The Political Quarterly, 88(2), pp.170-181.