From our special correspondent, Lincoln Swann:
Our Parliament ought not be competent to give away UK Sovereignty to external control.
This is how democracy should work –
Parliament acts only in its own area of competence. Decisions which are revocable – laws, trade deals, etc. are decided by our elected representatives, hopefully they are up to that. If they make a howler it can be reversed by the pop at the next General Election.
Parliament does not act in an area where it is incompetent. Decisions which are broadly irrevocable must be put to a wider vote – a referendum. They go beyond party politics and the amalgam of policies that form a manifesto. Their permanence demands the specific approval of the pop. This category includes: Joining the EU, Revoking A50, May’s WA, and most forms of Customs Union. You could reasonably argue that the permanence of such decisions requires a super majority.
The big decision was made – bring back all the Sovereignty from external control by a referendum. A clear decision was made. Maybe that could have been decided by Parliament but no party was brave enough to do so. A referendum probably exceeded the competence required.
Where does that leave us on Brexit?
1) We should, as exceedingly competently decided by referendum, leave the permanent control of the EU.
2) Parliament can competently agree with the EU the best trade deal or temporary cooperation arrangements within that remit, or not and go WTO for a while.
3) Anything that is permanent or irrevocable or nearly so must be put to a referendum. Let’s not have another referendum – we are still sweeping up the rubbish after the last one.
Therefore, no permanent agreements upon anything other than the one we’ve already agreed – to leave.