I can't remember the link, but someone on Quora typed
Referendums are now a central part of the UK constitution. Voters in the UK have spoken, and they will speak again.
How true is this?
What official document or law proves if an Act of Parliament doesn't require a referendum, then a referendum isn't legally required? Bradley, Ewing. Constitutional and Administrative Law (2018 17 ed), pages 8,9, prove that some referenda are legally required. But what extent?
There are some notable exceptions to the lack of legal obligation for a referendum, neither of which have yet been triggered. The Northern Ireland Act 1998, s 1, has the effect that the status of the province as part of the United Kingdom cannot be altered without a ‘poll’ held for that purpose providing the consent of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland to a change in that status. Various provisions of the European Union Act 2011 would have required a referendum to be held in the event of certain types of further power being given to the EU; that legislation is of course shortly to be defunct. By amendments brought about in the Scotland Act 2016 and the Wales Act 2017, the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales (and the respective devolved governments) are now statutorily declared to be permanent and cannot be abolished save on the basis of a referendum result in the relevant territory in support of such a step: s 63A(3) of the Scotland Act 1998 (as amended) and s A1(3) of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (as amended).
In this context, compare the decision in R (on the application of Wheeler) v Office of the Prime Minister,50 in which the courts rejected Wheeler’s argument that the government’s failure to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was unlawful because it was in breach of a legitimate expectation that a referendum would be held. The challenge failed, not because the claimant lacked standing, but because the decision to hold a referendum was held to lie so deeply in the political field that the court should not enter.51