So we had a referendum on Brexit but for years Governments of every persuasion have refused to permit a public vote on the death penalty - for the simple reason that the vote would probably be in favour.

But if Government is prepared to ignore the will of the people over the death penalty will they do the same over Brexit, assuming the Supreme Court decides to uphold today's decision on the need for consultation with Parliament before the Prime Minister triggers Article 50?

As the BBC pointed out earlier this year there is a very strong correlation between support for the death penalty and support for Brexit and that is a potent cocktail.  Contenders for the UKIP leadership are openly campaigning for a plebiscite on the reintroduction of capital punishment and if Brexit also entails exit from the European Convention on Human Rights they may get it.

Perhaps the strongest argument for Parliament taking its own counsel on a vote on Article 50 comes from the person voted Britain's greatest Parliamentarian.  Winston Churchill took a very cynical view of democracy stating: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter".