Gina Miller has done a valuable service to the cause of Westminster democracy by bringing the Brexit issue before the British High Court.
By doing so she allowed the Court to place a restraining hand on the alarming encroachment by the executive on the historic rights and privileges of Parliament.
In handing down the Court’s ruling, Lord Chief Justice John Thomas said it was a fundamental rule of the United Kingdom’s constitution that Parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses.
That is in direct contrast to the actions of Prime Minister Theresa May and her cohort of Brixeteers who now constitute the Government of the United Kingdom.
Ms May was ready to bypass Parliament entirely in some of the most important and fundamental negotiations upon which the country has ever embarked. If she had had her way MPs at Westminster would have been reduced to spectators, an irrelevance as her Eurosceptic team locked horns with Brussels over the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Now on the back foot for the first time since she rushed to take advantage of the post-referendum confusion in the Conservative Party to snap up the top job, she is trying to justify her untenable position.
“The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament and the Government is determined to respect the result of the referendum,” she said in a statement.
So having authorised the referendum, Parliament’s role is done? The 650 MPs chosen by the people are to play no part in the process that follows that will affect every man, woman and child in the nation?
The fate of the negotiations should rest entirely with Boris Johnson, David Davis and their acolytes? I don’t think so. Already the cracks are beginning to widen within the Conservative Party as MP Stephen Phillips announced he would quit Parliament over “irreconcilable policy differences with the current Government”.
For her pains Ms Miller is now being subjected to a torrent of vile abuse, with internet comments that she should be “raped” or “killed” interspersed with the usual wearying collection of expletives not deleted.
Her background (she was born in Peru, is half Guyanese and has lived in the United Kingdom since she was 10) has led to the inevitable demands that she should “go back to where she came from”, while the fact she has been financially successful in her career seems to provoke particular outrage.
Sadly, this is the kind of treatment she must expect from the flag-waving, drink-sodden larger louts of the far right, but she is a tough person — a woman who accepts this is the price she must pay in order to ensure that ideological fanatics will not use the slim majority of the June referendum to take the country on a course that could easily wreck its social, economic and political fabric.