Government should obey the law. Parliament should follow the rules and conventions when passing laws,

Government should obey the law.

Parliament should obey the rules when legislating.

The law Parliament is seeking to pass is an unusual law seeking to control the conduct of the Prime Minister in an international negotiation.

It is not a criminal law creating a new crime. There are no proposed penalties, fines or prison sentences in it should the PM not obey it. It is not  a general law applying equally to all of us, nor even a law always applying to government.  It is a Parliamentary instruction  or political opinion on one issue at one time  passed as  a law.

This Bill has passed this  far without a  Money Resolution to approve the large extra spending entailed in delaying our exit, and without Queens Consent to Parliament taking over the power vested in government to negotiate treaties.

The law courts wisely decided not to back the government’s  Parliamentary critics over prorogation. Recent events have shown, as the government argued,  the prorogation did not prevent Parliament returning to the issue of Brexit and making its views clear anyway. Parliament will have yet more time to debate Brexit in October after the conference break.

The attempt to control the PM’s conduct of an international negotiation through the courts is also unwise. It is Parliament’s job to control the PM in his international negotiations.  It does this, as with Mrs May, by ratifying  or refusing to ratify the results of the talks. It does it  if it wishes by endless debate and pressure during the course of the negotiations,  often with unhelpful effects on them.  If enough MPs in  Parliament strongly disapprove of the PM’s negotiating stance  then they need to remove him from office by voting  him down in a motion of no confidence and triggering an election.

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145 Comments

  1. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s not as unusual as you would suggest, John,

    There are many laws and rules passed by Parliament as to what certain people, such as the Land Registrar, must do under certain circumstances.

    They are neither criminal nor general law either, and this latest move falls into the same, regular category of Act or of Statutory Instrument.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      They all, almost certainly, will be controlled by procedures and processes that take longer than the few hours the opposition cabal with the approval of the Speaker decided on this far reaching and incredible letter the PM is supposed to sign. This is the real coup.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        You stand the facts on their heads.

        Some Acts pass on the nod anyway, some take months. There is no convention on a “proper” parliamentary period of consideration or debate.

        Parliament was elected by millions of voters from the whole country. Johnson by just ninety thousand party members, and many of those covert ukip-bp entryists.

        There is no coup either way, just constitutional weaknesses, which a small minority of Leave fanatics have been trying to exploit all along.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 7, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          But PMs are usually selected by just 350- 450 other MPs. Johnson was elected by Party membership vote of 140,000 people, and he got 2/3 rds of votes.
          Next?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 8, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

            That was a side issue, Fred, but since you mention it, every senior European Union official must be approved by a majority of our MEPs, who themselves are elected by Proportional Representation. They must also meet the approval of the Council of Ministers (the member countries’ own, that is) and of the European Council of the leaders from the twenty-eight democracies, the European Union’s supreme authority.

            On the other hand, the PM of this country was not decided by the electorate. He was not chosen by Parliament either. The shortlist – of two – was not even selected by the ordinary Tory Party members but by the parliamentary group. The PM was then chosen by just ninety thousand members, a third of whom had joined, as bb-ukip entryists probably, since the referendum.

            The irony of the European Union-hating whingers, with their endless squeaking about a lack of democracy there sadly escapes them it appears.

          • Otto
            Posted September 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            It doesn’t matter how democratic the EU is. If they pass a law which does not find favour here we have to abide by it and can’t change it.
            If democratically your ‘neighbours’ decide that all must be in bed by 9pm would you go along with it?

            That’s the difference.

        • Woody
          Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          So why are corbyn and swinson so determined not to ask the millions of people out here which government they now want to take the UK forward. At least Johnson is seeking to do just that … its obvious that the anti leave cabal know the country will reject their arrogant and hypocritical stance at the ballot. The coup is by the anti democrats not by Johnson and the “small minority” of 17.4 million and rising daily who just want us to leave now.

        • BR
          Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Mart – it;s you standing it on its head.

          You ignore key elements of process such as accountability – a leader who has to stand and be questioned weekly for example.

          Anything that goes through on the nod is not necessarily invented on the nod – often weeks of work and negotiation are behind laws that are passed quickly.

          You remoaners will clutch at any straw, won’t you? The way you pluck assertions out of thin air, supported with nothing, or at best the sort of pseudo-logic you are providing here, really shows up the weakness of your position to those undecided folks with an open mind.

          Most people here know that this stuff has never happened before in our democracy – we all read extensively, this isn’t the Mirror forum now mate, so we won’t be told nonsense by you, we find out for ourselves and we know better.

        • Borders Dave
          Posted September 9, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff Bet I would be avoiding you if I was out for a drink. Would be completely bored to tears listening to a Barrack Room Know all Lawyer all night.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        It is an outrage. The speaker and as many of the MPs behind this outrage as possible need to be expunged from Parliament by the voters as soon as possible.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 7, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          for expunged replace with frog-marched out.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I don’t know. Quite a few of us voters quite like to see our Parliament standing up for itself and thus for us.

          • Woody
            Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Now that is a joke .. parliament is playing games with democracy for self serving reasons .. usually to get power but also to get rewards .. peerages or even better, jobs in the eurocracy. If parliament was standing up for us it should be on the side of the 17.4 million and rising who voted to leave rather than the 16.1 and falling who voted to stay. Clearly democracy in remoaners la la land is that the minority must rule … provided the minority want what the remoaners want.

          • What Tiler
            Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            Well how about we have a general election and find out how many agree with you, and how many agree with those of us of a different opinion?

          • BR
            Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

            As many as 17.4 million?

            I didn’t think so.

            I think you’ll find that the upshot of this is to shift a number of sensible people who may have voted remain in 2016 into the Leave camp.

          • Dave
            Posted September 8, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

            They aren’t standing up for us. 406 out of 650 constituencies voted for us to leave the EU

        • Gill Scott
          Posted September 8, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          In what sense is it an outrage? It is Parliamentary process, resulting in an Act of Parliament. It is the law, it is the way we British rule ourselves. By “outrage” do you mean “something You dislike”?

          • rose
            Posted September 9, 2019 at 12:35 am | Permalink

            It is not Parliamentary process at all. Parliament is not supposed to usurp the role of the Executive. Parliament cannot be the Government. Parliament can hold ministers to account, scrutinise, amend, debate, and legislate, but it cannot govern. Anyone who takes a few minutes to think about that will understand why.

            Seizing control of the government’s business with the help of a bent Speaker and ramming through a rogue measure in half of an afternoon and a bit of an evening to tell the PM how to exercise the Royal Prerogative without gaining the Royal consent, is most definitely not the way we British rule ourselves.

            The rogue measure was, moreover, kept secret until the night before so no-one could reflect or consult on it. Nor was there time for them to scrutinise and debate it.

          • Remi Lessore
            Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

            Do you think that this is an example of how we rule ourselves?
            It feels more like being ruled over by people we do not know or recognise.
            Our MPs were not elected by us to do this.
            They will have to face us sooner or later… but later means that the EU will have helped itself to another tranche of our money.
            If the Remain camp get away with this, there will have been a destruction of trust in democracy that they care little about now but which will seriously damage national cohesion.
            “Good”, they whisper. “Nations cause wars. They are like religion and political allegiance. We need technocrats to rule unhindered by the plebs.” – and hence the ruthless pursuit of their undeclared agenda.

          • dixie
            Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            @Rose – thanks for putting things so succinctly

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      What would settle the country is a general election with each MP’s thoughts on the EU prominent.

      I have never seen a candidate display an EU flag on his literature during any election campaign until after 2016, perhaps. Plenty of Union Jacks though.

      If you want to be in the EU be proud to wear a lapel badge or something during your election campaigns.

    • BR
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      But such laws don’t say what the Land Registrar should do with your property next Tuesday. And if such a law were to be passed without saying what the penalty is for not doing so, then perhaps it could be ignored, especially if the funds to do it were not available.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Some do, quite precisely.

        • BR
          Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          Name one.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 8, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

            I just googled for “the Minister must”, and this was one of the references which were thrown up:

            https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldcomp/ldctso38.htm

            “A minister wishing to make an order under the Act must first consult on his proposals. Then the minister must lay a draft order before both Houses, with an explanatory document. This must specify certain matters set out in section 14 of the Act. Also, under section 15, it must recommend which of the following parliamentary procedures should apply … “

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      There are now 2 sets of laws. Draconian for the leave side which is evident by the endless enquiries into their conduct and superior law as dictated by the Remain brigade.
      Boris would be correct to ignore the recent instructions as it was passed by a rogue Parliament acting against the people. This has flushed out the fifth columnists and I for one cannot wait to reap my revenge.
      There will be a complete cleansing of Parliament after the next election.

      • steve
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        “I for one cannot wait to reap my revenge.”

        Same here. Remain will reap a whirlwind, for sure.

        • Remi Lessore
          Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

          If your camp were so sure of this they would be taking the opportunity to prove it.
          The excuse that this would take us over the Halloween deadline is piffle.
          They are not doing it because they know that Johnson is popular as is his Brexit stance.
          … and they can’t be dealing with popularity when there are far more important matters at hand than giving the ignorant unwashed a say in the nation’s affairs.

  2. agricola
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    A dilemma for those in Parliament who would wish to thwart the will of the electorate. Were they to force an election by removing Boris from office, they take the grave risk, for them, of enabling a majority of true Conservative and Brexit MPs to take control of this grotesquely sordid business, and have us out of the EU in a jiff. I therefore doubt it would happen.

    If Parliament have given themselves the power to control the government, what is the point in having a government. You could not make up a more negative way of running a country.

    • steve
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      agricola

      “Parliament have given themselves the power to control the government,”

      More precisely; Bercow gave it to them.

  3. Ian Bland
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    John, the problem we now have is the classic, “who watches the watchmen?”. If Parliament and the Speaker (in particular) act unconstitutionally, what actual mechanism is there to stop/correct/prevent this? Since every fair minded person agrees that Bercow’s ruling on Queen’s Consent is not only wrong but deliberately wrong, in order to enable this constitutionally unforgivable legislation, what practical steps can be taken? Can the Speaker be removed? Has he broken the law? Is it treason to deny Queen’s Consent when the Royal Perogative has been denied?

    And what does this say for the future? Could the Parliament now order the Prime Minister to stand in a bowl of custard in Whitehall and sing the EU anthem, or release a folk rock singer songwriter album, or cycle across Europe painted green? Can it really be legal to write a letter for someone else. let alone our Prime Minister(!), and order them to present it as their own? Would this not count as duress? How can the signature on that letter be considered valid?

    Is our political system now officially dead?

    • Edward2
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      You pose the right questions Ian.
      The power of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet has been undermined by the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
      It makes the PM a hostage to a plotting opposing Parliament without the PM having any power to stop the nonsense by calling for a deciding vote by us the voters.
      This dreadful ill thought out law must be repealed.

      • MG
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        The FTPA is another beauty attributable to super brain Letwin I believe?

    • steve
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Ian Bland

      Quite clearly there has been a coup, facilitated by none other than John Bercow.

      The speaker is not supposed to be biased, unfortunately he is.

      I’m not sure if MP’s or the government can remove him, but even if it required parliamentary vote that would fail since the traitors hold the majority.

      I can only think that Her Majesty the Queen could sack him.

      Something needs to be done though to purge Parliament of all those defying the referendum. They’re holding the country over a barrel and if they’re not kicked out soon things will turn very nasty indeed.

      But, to look on the bright side, the Labour party is toast. They’ll never win another election after what people have seen of them. They’re finished.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Surely this is a breach of ‘human rights’? After all they can be stretched to mean almost anything is.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      “who watches the watchmen?”

      Ian, a brilliant post and one that shows the utter absurdity parliament has descended into. People are really fed up !

    • Gill Scott
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      No one “watches” Parliament, Parliament is supreme and sovereign. That is the WHOLE point of the British constitution. I thought you leavers wanted Parliament to be in control, not the EU. Now it seems you want something else again. Can you make your mind up and let us know what it is you really want from leaving the EU?

      • Helen Smith
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        We do, that is not what is happening though, as you well know.

        Instead we have a parliament which is refusing to take back control from Brussels and indeed ceding further control to them.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Indeed what the anti-democratic forces of remain, the traitors and in many cases active collaborators are trying to do (in trying to Boris’s hands is a total outrage). Hilary Benn
    complains about the words surrender, traitor and collaborator. Well I am fairly sure that is how his father would quite correctly see it.

    If any of these dire 21 traitors are given the whip back it would be a huge mistake and would surely make the Brexit Party even more attractive to voters. And make that party even more reluctant to do the deal with the Conservative Party they certainly need. What sensible people will vote for a Conservative party (with all these remainer/fake Conservative/traitors and collaborators) allowed back into it?

  5. Mike Cowburn
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Mr Johnson’s 17, 400,000 votes trumps Mr Benn’s 329 votes.

    Mr Johnson will restore the nation’s faith in democracy and our government if he refuses to comply with Parliament’s instruction to ask the EU for an extension.

    Fortune favours the brave – let’s hope Mr Johnson is brave enough to stand up to our Remain Parliament and the EU bullies who have been in collusion about the new extension.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Or the dire John Bercow’s all powerful one vote!

  6. Andy M
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I hope Johnson sticks to his ‘do or die’ policy and stares down the remainers in parliament. The country at large wants an election and wants Brexit NOW. Even people I talk to who voted leave, cowed by Project Fear, now want to get out and get out quick – without a deal. Personally I want out and I don’t care if we take a hit financially in the short term. The moronic behaviour of HM’s opposition and the so called establishment makes leaving the EU imperative…..

  7. 'None of the above'.
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    An interesting assessment of the Bill Sir John.
    I confess, I hadn’t considered the Money Resolution or, more significantly, the issue of Queen’s Consent.
    I daresay that the PM will have an opportunity this weekend to avail himself of some of Her Majesty’s wisdom on these issues. Her Majesty has a great experience of Constitutional matters (amongst other things) and I am greatly relieved that we have the benefit of a Constitutional Monarch especially when you consider how many Prime Ministers that she has worked with.

  8. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    JR, it would have saved a lot of time and trouble if the referendum Act had included a clear instruction that if we had voted to leave the EU then within so many days the Prime Minister must put in the Article 50 notice that the UK intended to leave the EU.

    Then Gina Miller would have had no basis for her case, and there would have been no need for a separate Act to empower the Prime Minister to put in the notice, and the notice could have gone in up to nine months earlier.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed but it was organised by David Cameron who also made a fist of the fixed term parliament act in his desperation to get to power.

      Had he been the “low tax at heart”, “Eurosceptic real Conservative that he claimed he was and not ratted on his Lisbon Treaty referendum cast iron promise (before the election) he would have had a clear majority and not needed this deal with the dire Libdims. But he was another dire Libdim traitor at heart.

      • APL
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “Had he been the “low tax at heart”, “Eurosceptic real Conservative that he claimed he was ”

        Bless you, none of them are. Not one, even Redwood regularly posts asking how to raise more revenue.

        There isn’t one Conservative left in the Tory party who could be described as ‘low tax at heart’, they are all swithering on ‘Eurosceptic’, too.

  9. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Those flu jabs aren’t supposed to be as available this year as last, due to Brexit of course. PM could easily be indisposed with an early bout. It can lay one up for a couple of weeks, and who’d want to pass their flu on to those important people in Brussels, anyway?

  10. Ian!
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Sir John – it would appear you are trying to upset the MSM’s version of events and what to them is a good soundbite/story.

    The noise about this is also seemingly trying to drown out that for the moment our superior lawmakers in Brussels have dictated we leave on the 31st either by ratifying the WA or without a deal. That would seem to suggest the instruction by Parliament to the PM are in themselves illegal.

    That later comment is/has been supposedly over-ridden by the powers that be in Brussels egging their agents on in the UK Parliament to put pressure on the PM.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      As far as EU law is concerned October 31 is only the last date for the extension to end, it is Boris Johnson who has chosen to say that we must leave on that date when there would be no legal impediment to us leaving today. But probably not tomorrow, once the new Bill has received Royal Assent and come into force.

  11. BJC
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m still struggling to understand how the Queen can be asked to provide Royal Assent for a Bill that transfers the precious sovereign powers vested in her own government to a foreign power. This is exactly the same constitutional situation that Parliament rightly refused to support in the thrice rejected Withdrawal Treaty. Why can’t our Parliamentarians see what their groupthink is doing?

    It really is time for the PM, and particularly the Leader of the Opposition, to dig deep and find some statesmanlike maturity that supports a GE in order to regularise the situation. At this rate they’re going to embarrass the Queen as she could be forced to consider exercising her power to dissolve Parliament, and we’d still get a GE.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I cannot believe we are talking this way.

    This is moving towards a referendum with Remain, Leave WA (Remain in reality) and Leave (with No Deal ‘off the table’.)

    Split the Leave vote and put Remain back on the question paper even though it lost last time.

    So…

    Vote Remain get Hard Remain (we’re not going back to the days of opt outs and vetoes.)

    Vote Leave WA get Hard Remain

    Vote Leave with No Deal ‘off the table’ and you get the same impasse as we have now and must keep going until either of the Hard Remains is delivered.

  13. julie williams
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    This being the case, then why is it happening?

    Have the MPs pursuing this path got any idea about the trouble that they are storing for the future in terms of their contempt for british democracy and setting precedent.

    Should we even care?
    Apparently we are too stupid to understand and should be dead by now according to remainers.

    Have they not understood, in their hubris, that they will reap what they are sowing and it will be too late to do anything.

  14. Steve P
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Government should obey the law – it has been the law for a long time that if no deal was agreed then we leave without a deal. The law to force the PM to sign a deal long after that period expired is not valid. There is already UK case law that states that governments cannot modify laws to make previous illegal actions legal. A Judge will roll back to the original law that UK was to leave on March 29th. Parliament is bound by the law and cannot make it up as it goes along.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Er, about your last sentence…

    • tim
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Steve P — I hope you are right.

  15. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    ‘There are no proposed penalties, fines or prison sentences in it should the PM not obey it.’ Thank you! That’s what I thought – but we have discredited MSM, like Sky News, reporting that Boris is all but bound for the slammer! I hope, still, that the bill is refused Royal Assent. I also want to see the Chancellor do an on-camera press conference, at a time when peak audiences are tuning in, to explain the financial consequences of this delaying tactic. The Opposition, in its broadest sense, has been given a free ride. It’s time to make them pay – as they are making us do.
    P.S. And when you have a moment, Sir John, perhaps you could get us away from the situation where regulators are able to levy billion-pound fines without the accused ever having the chance to plead their case in a court of law.

  16. Julian
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The idea of forcing the Prime minister to perform a one-off specific act by law is bizarre and surely unconstitutional. If he rightly refuses then to have any credibility the opposition must seek a vote of no confidence.

    • Gill Scott
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Nonsense, if he refuses to obey the law, he goes before a court, and if he refuses to comply with its ruling, he is in contempt and goes to prison. Simple

      • libertarian
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Gill Scott

        Good luck with that, so far remain has lost every court case theyve bought.

  17. BR
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    If it requires a Money Resolution then why did the government let it get this far without saying something?

    I understood that the Squeaker had said it didn’t (not that he’d know). But presumably this issue has to be settled before the Bill can proceed.

    But assuming you’re right for a moment – then what is the government strategy in allowing this to go ahead? Are they going to say that we’ve left the EU on 31/10 because there’s no Money Order to pay the membership fee? In the past, the assumption was that the govt needed to move a Money Order if that was necessary to comply with the law.

    So – what do you think he’s up to?

  18. Anthony
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    But why have a money resolution and queen’s consent not been required? Does anyone know why these decisions were made?

    • What Tiler
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      I think it would be fair to say that John Bercow has a somewhat idiosyncratic view of his role as speaker of the house. I’d be more forthright but the last time I tried to express my opinion of Mr. Bercow, merely via sarcasm, our good host declined to publish my post; fair enough, his gaff, his rules. I hope this post is sufficiently emollient.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        Our kind host at one time even refused to publish comments that openly called people liars. That change the day after the Farage v Clegg, EU debate and went pretty much on through Theresa May MP’s, Premiership.

  19. Posted September 7, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I think this, frankly, disgraceful. It is coming to the time when words mean the exact opposite of what they really mean. For instance, it is now “democratic” to disregard the result of a referendum. It is right to “appeal to the people” to ask them to stay in the EU, but wrong to consult the electorate in a general election. The referendum was unfair because the “lie” on the side of the bus was what won it for “Leave” while the “Remainers” were whiter than white (despite all the taxpayers’ money being spent on publicity by the Remainers in government). The Speaker is behaving disgracefully, constantly spouting precedent…
    Boris Johnson is not Hitler. He is not a Fascist. He is not mounting a coup.
    But an awful lot of the Remainers are coming very very close to it. Read “the Canary” or listen to the demonstrators shouting and intolerant. And then there is the anti-Semitism…

    Meanwhile Mrs May is sitting next to Mr Clarke and she went to the Rugby with a lot of very convinced Remainers too. I have not seen her with any of the Leave contingent…

    • Mark B
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

      ― George Orwell, 1984

  20. Steve Reay
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure the courts know the law better than parliament. Boris has blown it. Only way to seek an extension and have a general election.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      The only honourable course is immediate resignation.

      • steve
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper

        Agreed.

        Boris must do as England expects. He’ll have to fall on his sword and resign, thus triggering a general election. Then, and only then will the traitors responsible for this mess get the shock of their lives.

        However, a general election cannot be put off for ever, and when there is one by God there will be one hell of a reckoning. Labour and the rest of the traitors will be totally destroyed. Corbyn knows this, which is why the disgraceful little coward ran away.

        • dixie
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          I doubt the remainers will allow a general election even if Boris resigns. They will, assisted by the dwarf who would be king, quickly make a law that ensures one of their faithful can take over or perhaps they will dispense with government entirely and have a go at DIY.

  21. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Is there no limit to our host’s naivity? The subversive, anti-democratic and intimidatory tactics of Remain, the elites and the Left should be met with with the same and greater ruthlessness, not pieces like this we are all told that all will be well if everyone is nice to everyone else and be fair rather than mean.

    Now is when we need to be inspired to resist, and how to do it. Did someone once refer to the effects of being savaged by a dead sheep?

  22. Kenneth
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    My only suggestion is that the PM signs and sends the pre-written letter and then the government vetoes the UK’s extension.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Just put a second class stamp on it and it will arrive a week late!

    • Richard416
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the prime minister could indeed do what the new bill requires, send a letter in those exact terms. Does the bill in any way stop him from sending another letter or telegram, retracting the first one, and affirming that we leave on the date agreed by both houses of parliament, 31st of October?

  23. BJC
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Further to my comment above, I subsequently recalled the wise words of Tony Benn who observed:

    “The Parliamentary democracy we have developed and established in Britain is based, not upon the sovereignty of Parliament, but upon the sovereignty of the People, who, by exercising their vote LEND their sovereign powers to Members of Parliament, to use on their behalf, for the duration of a single Parliament only — Powers that must be RETURNED INTACT to the electorate to whom they belong, to lend again to the Members of Parliament they elect in each subsequent general election.”

    Parliament is clearly not intending to return the full powers we’ve lent them, and I wonder how MPs can justify the transfer of sovereign powers to the EU. Perhaps this would be a worthy cause for Ms Miller!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      But that is not expressed in any constitutional text. It was Benn’s opinion, and it was quite sensible. However, all that the Constitution says is that “Parliament alone is the law”.

      • steve
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        “However, all that the Constitution says is that “Parliament alone is the law”.

        …..how would you know ? have you read it ?

        “But that is not expressed in any constitutional text.”

        Have you checked thoroughly ?

        I dare you to answer these questions.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Did you try to get others to do your schoolwork for you too? Explains plenty.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        There is no written constitution.

        There are a huge number of written things upon which our Constitution is based, but that is NOT the same thing.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        Yet it is the Government that has for centuries taken the responsibility, for the results of their actions.
        If a faction in Parliament, with the acquiescence of a biased Speaker, can take control of law making, then who is it we are meant to hold responsible in the next election?

        • dixie
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          One problem is that people are not held responsible, all an election does is allow people to propose that they have a go at being an MP, there are no meaningful consequences. Heck, an outgoing MP even gets paid a humungous golden parachute.

          There are no consequences for these people in parliament, the Lords or the civil service, ceratinly none that inhibits betrayal and beviour we have seen in last few years.

  24. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    What will the EU do when presented with the request for an extension, purely because Parliament has passed a law to this effect? When told that the extension serves no purpose, will they actually agree to it?
    I know they (the Commission) want the money, but I wonder if the Council will opt to bring the whole thing to a conclusion.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/07/mps-checked-with-eu-chiefs-over-brexit-delay-before-passing-bill

      “MPs ‘checked with EU chiefs over Brexit delay’ before passing bill”

      “Senior MPs opposing a no-deal Brexit sought assurances from the EU that their bid for a three-month delay would be granted, it has emerged.

      European leaders were sounded out before MPs, including the “rebel alliance”, passed a bill, which is expected to receive royal assent on Monday, forcing Boris Johnson to ask for an extension. However, those involved said there were no guarantees in a process that was changing by the day.”

    • tim
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      are you stupid, would you turn down £350,000,000 a week?

  25. grahamW
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    They will vote him down in a motion of no confidence- but not yet!

  26. John Partington
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    The complete mess that May left behind for Boris to sort out is complicated. Corbyn has been screaming for a GE for ages but his support in the Midlands and the North has drained away and he could not win an election. The LDs are seen by many to be traitors to Great Britain, preferring to side with the EU’s unelected officials who wish to cancel Brexit.
    We need a Conservative/Brexit alliance to get Brexit done. If Dominic Cummins is prepared to go along with that,it’s a winning solution which will leed to the”(eclipse ed)” of Corbyns Marxists and the LDs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 3:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

  27. Iain Moore
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    The Remainers are all very sensitive about language, taking umbrage at the use of the word surrender in relation to the Bill, but all day on the BBC they have been entertaining the idea of Boris being sent to prison, for something he hasn’t done yet, for a law that isn’t even on the statute books. This is a disgraceful , but its the Remainers who are doing it, so its just fine and in the public interest, though how its in the public interest to denigrate the Office of PM like this I am not sure.

    I also see that a Former Ambassador ( never ones to be friends of Brexit) has asked this question …”Rebels agreed extension with EU leaders before crunch vote Can this really be true? If so, it’s a shameful treachery committed by politicians without honour or principles”…….. Of course this is something the MSM will not be exploring , for it shows the Remainers ‘shock’ at Boris proroguing Parliament that forced them to initiate the Surrender Bill was a lie and their outrage was fake, for they had already negotiated with Brussels the extent of our vassalage. How this is legal and fits within the Queen’s prerogative power to negotiate treaties , I don’t know, for it seems the Remainers are above the law and can make it up as they go along without any checks or balances to their actions.

    And just to put the icing on the cake we have this…..”FORMER Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption revealed a civil servant could sign off on an extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline without Boris Johnson’s permission, claimed Sky News correspondent Rob Powell.”…..which means not only can the Remainers make up the laws, they can also completely remove the Executive , which by any description is a coup against the Crown.

  28. Mick
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    All rules of Parliament were put on hold when the lying remoaners in Westminster went against there manifesto pledges to uphold the referendum result, so now new rules apply so Mr Johnson do not give the bill to her majesty the Queen for royal Assent it’s within your power, start playing the remoaners at there own game for a change you have 17.4 million people behind you and not the 329 behind Benn

  29. JoolsB
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Your comments have given hope John that Boris can carry on and ignore them. Like you say, if they disapprove, they can put forward a vote of no confidence. I would love to see the smile wiped off the faces of all those anti-democratic EU loving remain MPs especially Dominic Grieve who has been on the airwaves today boasting that if Boris doesn’t do what Parliament tells him, ie. beg the EU for an extension, that he could go to court and even jail. The man is a disgrace and I hope Boris sticks to his guns and doesn’t invite any of the traitors back into the party as some of the wets in your party are advising.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Jools, Grieve is a disgrace.

      But so is the standard of debating in the House of Commons [probably not just this week]. Appallingly bad behaviour on both sides of the House, debasing what should be a world leading demonstration of democracy.

      Constant personal attacks on Boris and a majority that had clearly made up their minds how they were going to vote before even listening to the points put forward.

      Typified by a Labour MP that said she “wouldn’t vote for ANY bill put forward by the Prime Minster” – What kind if blinkered negative attitude is that?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      It would be a terrible indictment of our political system and reduce us to a laughing stock around the world, but nonetheless I would shed no tears if Boris Johnson was consigned to prison to purge his contempt of court.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-boris-johnson-prison-no-deal-eu-break-law-a9095761.html

      We fought a bloody civil war mainly over the fundamental question of whether the monarch, and/or his ministers and servants, were above the law, and I would have thought that would have been on the syllabus at Eton.

      • rose
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        We have also sent people to prison for obeying bad law.

      • ChrisS
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Denis, the bill only demands that Boris requests an extension to A50.

        Is there any reason why he cannot put the request in writing and then veto it at the summit ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 8, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          He won’t be at that particular meeting to veto anything, like last time it will only be the leaders of the 27 other EU member states:

          https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2019/04/10/

          “Special European Council (Art.50), 10/04/2019”

          “EU27 leaders agreed to delay Brexit until 31 October 2019. Their decision was taken in agreement with the UK.”

          “EU27 leaders took note of the letter sent by UK Prime Minister Theresa May asking for a further extension to the Article 50 period.”

          NB:

          “They agreed to an extension to allow for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement.”

          NOT for further negotiations on said withdrawal agreement, ONLY to give the UK a further opportunity to ratify it.

          “Such an extension should last only as long as necessary and, in any event, no longer than 31 October. If the withdrawal agreement is ratified by both parties before this date, the withdrawal will take place on the first day of the following month.”

          NB: “… last as long as necessary and, in event, no longer than 31 October”, NOT “… must last until 31 October”.

          However the opportunity for Boris Johnson to send the EU a letter saying that we have decided not to avail ourselves of the maximum allowable period of extension is also passing.

      • Gill Scott
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Excellent post, Denis. The rule of law must be defended from demagogues. Anyone encouraging lawbreaking should certainly not be an MP

  30. Stephanie
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I am very, very angry to see a democratic vote of the people blocked in Parliament. Remainer MPs attempt to govern by proxy and make the Prime Minister a cat’s paw is an abomination.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Parliament are upholding what all the Leave campaigns said would happen. That is, that there would be a deal, “the easiest in history”, no less.

      They are absolutely not blocking exit from the European Union.

      So you should thank them.

      • steve
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        Perhaps you could provide evidence that the 2016 ballot contained any option to vote for or against a deal.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 8, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          No, there was no option to vote against a deal, so you have no case.

      • Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        I would say that by refusing to agree on any course of action except to leave the EU, and by now conspiring with the EU to ensure we do not leave the EU, the remainer MPs in Parliament are showing the mentality of a tantrum-ridden two-year-old.
        You do not thank a two-year-old for its temper tantrums. You smilingly ignore the infant while it stamps and screams.

      • Shirley
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Not when they deliberately prevented anything but an atrocious deal. It’s dishonest and deceitful to conspire with the EU to prevent the UK getting a fair deal. I could say worse, but I’ll leave that for each person to judge for themselves.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        The WA is not exit from the EU.

      • APL
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff: “the Leave campaigns said would happen. ”

        The leave campaign, like the Remain campaign had nothing to do with the referendum. They were simply a mechanism set up by the Referendum act so the government could control the process.

        Nothing the Leave ( nor Remain ) campaign nor their representatives said, had any legal force. It has been for some time recognised by the British courts that a Politician may vomit any old dribble if it’s with the goal of gulling the voter to vote in his favour.

        The same applied to the Referendum campaign.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 8, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Nor does even the referendum result itself. It was advisory.

          There was nothing against a deal on the paper, so you have not even a moral case.

          • APL
            Posted September 9, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

            David Cameron, prime minister of the country invited us to reach a decision on the question of our membership of the EU. he inserted the following verbal clause in the contract he offered the British People: –

            “.. And the referendum that follows will be a once in a generation choice. An in or out referendum. When the British people speak, their voice will be respected – not ignored. If we vote to leave, then we will leave. There will not be another renegotiation and another referendum.” — David Cameron (Prime Minister of the UK), June 2016.

            Which statement is clearly in the public record.

            Martin in Cardiff: “so you have not even a moral case.”

            A remainer preaching about morals. That is funny.

      • GilesB
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 12:37 am | Permalink

        1. Liam Fox was referring to a trade deal when he said that ‘it should be the easiest in history because we start with the same regulations’. This was totally correct.
        2. He carried on ‘but it won’t be because of the politics’. This was totally correct too.
        3. In both cases he was referring to our future relationship, not the Withdrawal and transition arrangements. We haven’t really started those negotiations yet, just some waffle called a political declaration

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        There is a deal .. WTO and it works for much of the rest of the world very well.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 8, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        There needs to be two sides agreeing for a deal to happen Martin.
        If the EU refuses to alter their current position and with Parliament refusing to pass that Withdrawal Agreement how do you propose to move forward?

  31. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Still, all useful new precedents to seize control of power if Corbyn happens to become PM with a small majority, Parliament will be able to stop his entire Marxist agenda and oblige him to implement policies of their own choosing.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely correct, Roy, but they are not precedents, they are inherent powers of Parliament, and our only real safeguard against extremism of any sort.

      It would be better with some form of proportional representation.

      • Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        A Speaker who invents up precedents that do not exist does not miraculously turn his rules into precedents.

        Impartiality in the Speaker is our only real safeguard against extremism and tyranny.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Which means we can abandon the Tory Party now (as I thought.)

        Why do we need a UK parliament ? Why should we bother voting ?

  32. Yossarion
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    If that’s the case why has it been allowed for foreigners to make laws over the English as stated in the Bill of Rights, it was put there to stop the the likes of Berkowic Letwin and many others making law over us.

  33. Shirley
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I read somewhere that Boris can block the bill by asking the Queen to not sign legislation of which he disapproves. Tony Blair used this procedure on more than one occasion, and Harold Wilson also used this procedure, so it has precedence.

    Apart from that, the letter is humiliating both for the UK, and for Boris. The remainers in Parliament really are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  34. Fred H
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    What is the last day Boris would be required to travel or send a letter? Resign on the last day Boris!

    • Richard416
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      No need for that, just send it second class.

  35. Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    It would mercifully complete the shame of the UK if the EU refused to extend!
    Especially if it was by the vote of some tiny 27th member state!
    The UK deserves such humiliation – but does it deserve the liberation? Not really.
    Truly pitiful.

    • Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      The EU will not allow any state to exercise a veto. You saw the pressure on Macron to pretend to agree. Brussels threatens and bribes (all off-the record) any state that gets out of line. There will be no veto.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      You talk about the UK as if it is one recalcitrant entity:it is not, a majority of the voters (millions) said that they no longer wanted to be in the EU and EU treaties say that not only is this possible but it should be done with goodwill.
      The EU should, apparently, foster goodwill with it’s neighbour’s.

      So why are you talking about shame and liberation in this way.

      The European is good at getting governments to either ignore the voters or get them to vote again:France,Republic of Ireland.
      That’s pitiful, that’s a God reason to leave on it’s own.
      The British people won’t have it.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      It would be wonderful if the EU did refuse the next attempt by our Parliament to delay us leaving.
      You seem to forget the EU has a say in this process.

  36. oldtimer
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    The implicit, but not explicit, implication of BJ not signing the letter demanded by the HoC majority seems to have had the effect of messing with the heads of the Remain faction. This probably is its intention. Making BJ a martyr in his pursuit of the Brexit cause, it seems to me, would not be a smart move ahead of an election. That is where the Remainers are heading.

    There are several potential outcomes possible over the next few weeks. Sooner or later there will be a GE. All sides will then have to answers for their words and their deeds when the Brexit delay is debated. Meantime I am a fascinated observer of the unfolding political drama. When the GE comes I will be voting for the party best placed to deliver Brexit. Preferably that will be a no deal Brexit in which the the UK becomes a “third country”. I say that because that is the only acceptable deal actually on the table; May’s WA is a surrender document rendering the UK a vassal state. The extension that parliament seeks to impose is even worse than that in its effects. To me it is utterly indefensible.

  37. Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    It seems entirely wrong for the government to allow its avowed opponents who have lost the whip to sit in the government benches.
    Send them across the floor to the Opposition, where they belong.

  38. MickN
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why we are not offering a couple of billion quid to Italy to veto the extension. They don’t appear to like the EU any more than we do and could use the money.

  39. MakingWaves
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Only the fully informed should be allowed to vote and there should be an examination process to make sure we all know what we are voting on.

    The whole thing has become much too serious now in this age of fake news and scoundrel politicians willing to say anything to advance themselves- not even for their party or their country but just for themselves- and then in the shadows we have the (influencers ed) like Cummings and Bannon in America? as I say it has all become much too serious now

  40. Steve Reay
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Amber Rudds gone. I said on this web site last week it was a bad move to bring her back.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      With a GE on the cards and a margin of less than a thousand it was odds on she would jump rather than be pushed and let the BP take the seat.

      Tactical move by the Tories.

  41. Duncan
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    By this time it was predicted by some ERG types that the EU would be falling apart but now with A Rudd jumping ship looks to me that instead UK is falling apart.

  42. Duncan
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    There will be no need for Scotland to vote on independence- it’ll be handed to them

    • Mark B
      Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

      Post BREXIT I hope. Then the SNP can apply to join the EU and surrender that hard fought for independence they wanted. Shame that there will be a hard border between them and their biggest market (England) and that they will lose their fishing grounds etc.

  43. ChrisS
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Amber Rudd resignation.

    This is hardly a surprise. The real surprise was that Rudd compromised her Remainer principles when she signed up to Boris’ “Leaving Without A Deal” condition for membership of his cabinet. Ditto his brother.

    Like it or not, there has to be some discipline in a political party. The membership picked Boris because he was the only candidate who they could be sure would go all out to secure Brexit.

    Given the decisive majority Boris received over Jeremy Hunt, and the democratic necessity to deliver on the referendum result, there is no doubt whatsoever that the membership ( and Conservative voters ) want Brexit delivered.

    What did the 21 ( now 23 ) MPs who have refused to support Boris and Brexit expect to happen ?

    Rudd had very little chance of keeping her seat at the next election and had been thought to have been seeking the neighbouring safe seat currently occupied by Nicholas Soames.

    Yes, the Conservatives have lost some capable people, but there are many potential candidates who are Brexit supporters are just as capable of replacing them. There can be little doubt that they would be far superior to the ragtag bunch of individuals Corbyn has assembled into a shadow cabinet !

  44. glen cullen
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    government should obey the result of the referendum and the will of the people

  45. BR
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s now looking as though Johnson intends to ignore the remoaners’ law and carry on regardless.

    I have to wonder why. It cannot be right for our constitution to allow an unelected group to pass laws in this way; it is incumbent upon any PM in that situation to say “No. You are not the government. if you wish to become the government then go about it in the usual way (VoNC / GE)”.

    Johnson is risking everything on this strategy when all he had to do was to say the above and refuse Assent for any Bill passed in this ridiculous fashion. The upshot may be a pre-Brexit GE and if he thinks he can use the old conjurer’s distraction technique to get a majority with a blank cheque… sorry, we noticed.

    That said, it may now too late under the FTPA for a GE prior to the EU Council meeting on 17/10 (FTPA required at least 25 working days between announcement and polling day). There may just be 25 days left if they announce on Monday. But if they do that then I’ll be voting BXP since we won’t know what we’re voting for – the best we can hear is what each party intends and that’s very different to what will actually be put before parliament.

    If he intends to carry on regardless… then why bother with a GE prior to 31/10 at all??? IN that eventuality he doesn’t need a majority. he can refuse Assent for anything they try to enact as law.

    The only possible reasons are not good for Leavers, it tells me that he doesn’t want us to know what we’re voting for.

    • BR
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      In my post above…

      ‘distraction’ should of course have read ‘misdirection’

  46. Mark Cannon
    Posted September 8, 2019 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Parliament has not created a new criminal offence, but if the Prime Minister were to fail to act as required by the new Act it would be possible to get an injunction requiring him to do so. If he failed to comply with the injunction he would be in contempt of court and so potentially subject to imprisonment. It is unthinkable that a Prime Minister would deliberately fail to comply with the law as enacted by Parliament.

  47. Trevor Butler
    Posted September 8, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    So how is it in the world’s newest banana republic this morning? That’s what us on the outside think of the UK parliament…

    • Mark B
      Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      Sadly (sarc) Robert Mugabe has passed away so anyone with any such experience of running a said,Banana Republic is off the books. So I guess we will still have to make do with the amateurs we have.

  48. Posted September 8, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I do wish people would stop talking about the 17,400,000.

    The true number is 17,410,742.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 8, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Frank, the true number *was* 17, 410,742.

      There. Sorted.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      It was the majority. Not that seems to have mattered.

  49. Tony Sharp
    Posted September 8, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    The collusion between a delegation of Remainers of various parties is grounds to walk away with No Deal because the EU has not negotiated with the Government in ‘good faith’ and has in fact negotiated with a ‘third party’

    • Mark B
      Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      Good point and agreed.

  50. gyges01
    Posted September 9, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    John

    This may have been mentioned by one of your previous commentators and you certainly allude to it in your post. What is the legal remedy if the UK Prime Minister refuses to abide by the law? What would the law courts do if he is taken to court over his refusal? I suggest that in order to maintain separation of powers they would say that the remedy is a general election with the result that we would have left with a WTO deal.

    Any thoughts ?

  51. Hugh Cameron
    Posted September 9, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Can somebody explain is Democracy just a numbers Game, when faced with two choices is it not correct that the choice with the highest number is the rightful and Democratic Choice.

  52. Original Richard
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    If the PM, Mr. Johnson, reinstates the 21 Conservative rebels who voted for the opposition, meaning that they can then stand again as Conservative candidates at a forthcoming GE, then I will not be voting for his party.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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