Archive for September 19, 2019

The Supreme Court is being asked to rule on circumstances that are the exception. If it doesn’t consider that, the implications will be permanent

September 19, 2019 1 comment

On the face of it, the hearing taking place in the Supreme Court is all about Brexit.

Boris appears to be doing anything that everything that he sees as necessary to deliver our departure from the EU by 31st October.

The opposition and individuals behind the case protest that their action is necessary to ensure that Brexit is delivered appropriately and that can only happen if it is managed in the way that they believe it should.

In the heat of the moment and at the pinnacle of this debate, few will be aware or see that both Leavers and Remainers have much to lose, depending upon the ruling made in this case.

What we share in common in terms of our democracy and how our very system of government works is now fundamentally at risk – all because of the politicians who have camped their tanks on the lawn of Brexit, and in so doing have driven a massive wedge down the middle of the relationship between the electorate and the elected, and everything in between.

It is easy to try and see the whole matter as nothing more than the question of whether the Prorogation instigated by Boris Johnson is legal. In isolation, the Court might well question whether it actually is.

But the Prorogation isn’t something that has taken place in isolation.

There is a need to consider all of the key events that have taken place since the Brexit Vote that have influenced the unique circumstances in which a Prime Minister is attempting to deliver upon a democratic mandate.

They have all contributed to if not led to this exquisitely serious situation and careful consideration must be given to what may next be to come:

1. In 2010, David Cameron cooks up the Fixed Term Parliaments Act with Nick Clegg

2. Expecting another hung Parliament in 2015, David Cameron promises the European Referendum he never expects to have

3. The Conservatives win a Parliamentary majority in the 2015 General Election

4. David Cameron honours the Election pledge and commits to a Referendum on the UKs Membership of the EU

5. David Cameron embarks on a ‘show’ negotiation to change the relationship with the EU

6. In the 23rd June 2016 European Referendum a Brexit majority electorate instructs a Remain majority Parliament

7.  David Cameron steps down on the morning of 24th June 2016

8. In July 2016 the Conservative Party appoints Theresa May as a Prime Minister who doesn’t believe in Brexit. She commits to delivering what she believes to be ‘Leave’ and calls it Brexit instead

9. In March 2017 Theresa May tables Article 50 to the EU with the pretence of a countdown to ‘Leaving the EU’ by running down the clock to a deadline of 29th March 2019

10. In April 2017, Theresa May calls untimely General Election to increase the Conservative Majority and increase her executive power.

11. General Election on 8th June 2017 sees the Government reduced from a majorityto one of minority

12. Theresa Mays 2018 Withdrawal Agreement emerges and satisfies no one

13. All sides in Parliament continue to see Brexit as a political opportunity rather than the democratic instruction that it is

14. Theresa May will not step aside and seeks to secure their ‘legacy’ at any cost

15. The Conservative Party fails to remove Theresa Mayin December 2018, instead choosing to confirm confidence instead

16. The Government experiences considerable defeat over the Withdrawal Agreement

17. An embattled Theresa May chooses to sit it out, thinking that time will prove them right

18. Article 50 is delayed until 31st October 2019

19. Theresa May finally steps down, but delays departure and The Conservative Party indulges itself in a full Leadership Contest

20. Boris Johnson appointed Conservative Leader and becomes de facto Prime Minister

21. Boris Johnson declares UK Leaving EU on Halloween in all circumstances

22. Boris Johnson rules out General Election as way forward

23. Parliament goes into summer recess

24. Upon return, the Remain majority opposition imposes law against No Deal

25. Parliament refuses twice to support a General Election

26. Boris Johnson prorogues Parliament until 14th October 2019

27. Gina Miller, John Major et all tests the ‘legality’ of the prorogation in the English and Scottish Courts. English Courts say not a judicial matter. Scottish Courts say its wrong

28. Decisions Appealed to the Supreme Court on 17th September 2019

and there was a whole lot more besides…

All of these events, no matter who or what ‘side’ is driving them, are in danger of adding up to a sum much greater than the parts. Something that will be very different. A situation that will be very destructive as a whole.

Boris may not have been right to prorogue Parliament. But the circumstances led to his decision.

Parliament deliberately seeking to control the Executive whilst refusing to support a General Election was certainly not right either.

If the Supreme Court rules that the move to prorogue was wrong, it will establish a precedent that breaks the deference of parliamentary will to the expediency of executive decision making.

Our already so-called democracy will never be the same. And this, the interference of the judiciary in matters political, could prove to be the step too far that breaks the system of government in this Country as we know it.


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