It is flawed thinking. *Legally advisory but politically binding* is meaningless. The legal status of the Act trumps the political promise. Ref was perverse because one of the options was against the interests of UK. It's not normal to ask the public *Do you want to self-harm?*
Process following the advisory ref is alluded to in briefing paper 07212. Mercer QC understood it directly I raised the issue at the conference. The Exec decision is based on considering the result together with all other relevant factors. They have latitude on weight accorded.
But not infinite latitude to weight ref 100% unless there are no other relevant factors. But there is: the interests of UK. Normally a proposed constitutional change would be in the interests of the nation. Otherwise why put it to a referendum? Why ask the ppl for their approval?
So it would seem as if the Gov just accepted the result. And the status quo would not be a disaster, it would be what was. So the Gov would either accept status quo or try to change public opinion then call another ref. As with Ireland.
But in our case Gov was in effect asking if we wanted to self-harm, expecting the answer to be *no*. The ref result does not absolve them from the decision process I described. But in this instance a rational decision process would conclude interests of UK outweighs opinion.
And the more the conduct of the Leave campaign is found to be corrupt, the less the weight accorded to the result. This is why the Gov wanted to avoid owning the decision process at all costs & incoherently declared the ref was the decision even after Miller determined it wasn't.
Exec is accountable in law. Public law firms like Fieldfisher give advice on decision making by public bodies & how to avoid legal challenge. This applies to the Exec deciding on the future of the nation as much to a relatively trivial decision. What's going on is jiggery pokery.
The public find *Leave won* compelling. No-one educates them to the contrary. MPs can't or refuse to see this reasoning. It has to go to court and get argued very carefully before a judge who I hope is capable of a more sophisticated thought process than the solicitor you quote.
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My thread on why *Legally advisory but politically binding* is meaningless, and why it matters. Public, politicians, and media - and even some lawyers - have been bamboozled into concluding Brexit is democratic. I don't think it is. Quite the contrary.…
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