OK, it’s 7th Nov 2019 and a lot has happened since my last podcast on 05 Sep.
We must remember that most of the MPs in parliament voted ‘Remain’ in the referendum of 2016. The figures were 480 for Remain, 159 for Leave with 11 undeclared. (results of a survey by the Press Association on 23rd June 2016).
The then Prime Minister Theresa May voted Remain.
The Speaker, John Bercow voted Remain.
The referendum was proposed by David Cameron (Remain) based on opinion polls that predicted that Remain would win.
However, as soon as the result was declared, Cameron resigned and the Mother of Parliaments was charged with the task of honouring the Leave result of the referendum when about 75% of them voted Remain.
So, for three and a half years the saga has continued.
Almost all of them saying that they would honour the referendum result, and stating that they would not support a second referendum, whilst they used every trick in the book to achieve the exact opposite.
Theresa May tendered her resignation to the Queen on 24 July 2019.
Enter Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister. He stated that after more than 3 years and 2 PMs, we would leave the EU on 31 Oct – his famous ‘do or die’ commitment.
In his first six weeks as premier, he lost all ten votes including his first. This was unheard of at least since 1894. Also on the first day he lost his parliamentary majority.
Since then, the opposition parties have tried everything in their power to tie his hands in negotiating with the EU, to ensure that a No-Deal Brexit could not happen, but really to ensure that we remain in the EU whilst professing to honour the result of the referendum.
In all this, they have had the assistance of the Speaker, John Bercow, who has brought the office of Speaker into disrepute, by failing to remain impartial and by twisting the rules of parliamentary procedure in favour of the Remain MPs. If you are in any doubt about this, read the presentations to Parliament by the candidates for the Office of Speaker.
After the longest parliamentary session since the English Civil War (1642-1651), Boris Johnson prorogued Parliament from 09 Sep to 14 Oct. Many felt that the PM was using this procedure to stop Parliament from blocking his plans in respect of Brexit.
This was challenged in the English, Scottish and Northern Ireland ‘High Courts’, and finally before the UK Supreme Court, where, very unusually, the vote of the 11 judges was unanimous. Interestingly, of the 11 judges, 10 were ‘remainers’ and of the 11, two are and two were ‘ad hoc’ (as and when needed) judges at the European Court of Human Rights. (note that this a European court, not an EU court) where they are paid about £450 per day, not the £175,000 salary that some reports have stated.
As I explained in my first podcast on this topic, Boris Johnson was entitled to recommend to the Queen to prorogue Parliament. The UK Supreme Court has no legal authority over the monarch. The various courts mentioned above decided on whether or not the PM had acted unlawfully in his advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament.
It is seldom mentioned that the English High Court found unanimously that the PM had NOT acted unlawfully. Also the Northern Ireland High Court chose not to pursue the matter as it was due to be heard by the UK Supreme Court.
So we were left with the Scottish ‘High Court’. And keep in mind that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to Remain.
Also please realise that the Court’s decision was that the PM had acted unlawfully, not illegally, that is, no crime had been committed.
So, to continue the sequence:
- Boris Johnson’s series of House of Commons defeats
- The battle over prorogation
- The Supreme Court judgement
- The Queen’s Speech
- Proroguing declared null and void
- Recall of Parliament
- The 21 Tory rebels having the Whip removed
- Amber Rudd and Rory Stewart defecting
- The new deal
- The New Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration
- The Withdrawal Agreement Implementation Bill passing Second Reading
- The October 31 ‘do or die’ exit disappearing into the distance
All this raises several questions:
- Does Boris really want a deal or does he want a No-Deal?
- Does Jeremy Corbyn want a deal or does he want to remain in the EU?
- What about the Brexit party?
- Should Boris Johnson form a pact with the Brexit Party to avoid splitting the leave vote?
- How can we trust any of the parties to honour the referendum result when at least 75% of them voted remain?
- In the 2017 election all the parties honoured the result of the referendum in their manifestos. How can they now go back on their promises?
- How can our MPs go back on their continued promises that the referendum result will be honoured and that there is no possibility of a second referendum. There are dozens of videos of our politicians giving us their promises.
- How can the Lib Dems justify their new position of revoking Article 50 and thus stopping Brexit, when they were elected on a manifesto commitment to honour the referendum result?
- How can the Lib Dems justify their demand for a second referendum when their leader has stated that she would ignore the result if it were ‘Leave’.
- What about the Remain position that the result should have been declared void since the Leave camp lied and committed electoral offences? While there may be some truth in these allegations, the remain camp failed to state that they were fined for electoral offences and that the Metropolitan Police investigated their claims against the Leave camp and found insufficient evidence to justify further criminal investigation, and the National Crime Agency said it had found no evidence of criminality in respect of the issues raised by the Electoral Commission and that no further action would be taken
The problem is that nobody really know the motives of the players in this saga and until events unfold further, we have no idea where the road ahead leads.
My suspicions are aroused whenever the EU negotiators start to smile. That makes me think that whatever has been agreed has ‘stitched up’ the UK and that the wording of any agreement hides a wealth of traps and quicksand.
We know from the experiences of Denmark and Ireland that the unelected and unaccountable European Commission uses the idea of re-running referendums until the ‘right’ result is obtained.
Anyway, I think that that’s enough for now. There will be updates as events unfold.