British PM says values judiciary independence, press freedom

London, Nov 7 (IANS) British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday that she valued the independence of the judiciary and freedom of press, after a High Court ruling ordering the government to seek parliament’s approval to trigger Article 50 was attacked by the media.

“I believe in and value the independence of our judiciary, I also value the freedom of our press. I think these both underpin our democracy and they are important,” the Independent quoted May as saying to reporters on the plane to India for her first visit outside the EU after taking office this July.

“Of course the judges will look at the legal arguments. We think we have strong legal arguments and we will be taking those arguments to the Supreme Court,” she added.

The High Court in London on Thursday ruled that parliament, and not May’s government, should trigger the Article 50 mechanism to start the Brexit process, Xinhua news agency reported.

The decision by three of the leading judges in Britain sent shock waves through Westminster. Within an hour of the decision, the government confirmed it would appeal by taking the case to the highest court in England, the Supreme Court.

The decision and its response caused controversy after the judges were branded “enemies of the people” by Daily Mail and the cabinet minister Sajid Javid said the ruling flew in the face of democracy and was an unacceptable attempt to frustrate the will of the people.

From the moment she became the Prime Minister in July of this year, May’s mantra became Brexit means Brexit and she would lead the people out of the EU. Political commentators are already speculating whether May will call an early general election to put her authority to the test.