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Should parliament have a binding vote on the terms of Brexit?

The Duel

The High Court has ruled that Theresa May cannot commence Britain’s exit from the EU without the assent of MPs. The government wants a free hand over the timing and the negotiating terms, arguing that the referendum provides all the authority it needs. The Supreme Court will hear its appeal in December.

YES Dear Michael, your conviction that we should leave the European Union was rooted in a belief in the sovereignty of our parliament as the rightful expression of the sovereignty of the people. I respect this as a sincere and long-held conviction. There is a clear mandate for Brexit from the referendum. I know you are too intelligent to want to play the man not the ball but to avoid doubt, I am not seeking to reverse the result. We are leaving the EU.

But there was only one question on the ballot paper: Should we remain in or leave the EU? There was no opportunity to opt for a particular form of Brexit. Nor was there a mandate from the Conservative 2015 manifesto either.

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In Prospect’s December issue: Sam Tanenhaus argues that Donald Trump was born to be a campaigning demagogue, but will he be too bored to rule? Ed Miliband and Michael Gove debate whether parliament should have a binding vote on the terms of Brexit and Christian Wolmar examines the driverless car delusion. Also in this issue: James Harkin examines the situation in Syria, focussing on Raqqa Ruth Dudley Edwards explores the battle in Ireland since the UK’s decision to leave the EU—will the border become a division? And Michael White looks at the life of Alan Johnson, the Labour MP and former postie.