Monday, April 15, 2024
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Beware, the Leavers are running out of patience


THE Supreme Court has ruled that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful. 

As it is the Supreme Court, there is no appeal and there is no point in arguing against or railing about its decision; unless the law is changed (unlikely and not quick) that’s it.

John Longworth, Brexit Party MEP and Chairman of Leave Means Leave, has already set out why this abandoning of our constitution is so alarming and wrong.

He writes in today’s Telegraph: ‘The continent is now coalescing into a new supranational state, long Britain’s nightmare, and with the help of those colluding directly or indirectly with that continental, foreign power: Blair, Benn, Major, Heseltine, Grieve etc, the “has-beens”, we are facing the prospect of a fundamental shift in our constitutional arrangements, possibly for ever and without the consent of the people . . .

‘It is arguable that courts have waded into politics simply by hearing the case on prorogation. It could certainly be said that the Supreme Court have completely ignored the origin of Parliament’s powers, that is the people. Whereas they in previous times kept well away from constitutional matters, they appear just as eager to get stuck in as they appear to have been to give away their rights to the ECJ. The fact that an unelected businesswoman can use wealth to bring to bear on the politics of the day by means of the unelected courts also raises questions.’

Yesterday Andrew Cadman in these pages described it as the ‘remorseless rise of Remainia’.

Pragmatically, though, what happens next? The Remainers will continue to seek to frustrate the one unarguable fact, which is that the electorate voted to leave the European Union despite the reality that they were all elected on manifesto commitments to honour this outcome.

I guess that there will be more attempts to produce legislation compelling the Prime Minister either to get a deal acceptable to the House of Commons (fat chance) or to seek an extension to our withdrawal process. For sure the EU are getting a little sick of the whole affair, but it is unlikely that they will refuse one – although they may well extract a high price.

No doubt Boris Johnson will seek to force a general election, which is unlikely to pass as no Labour MP wants to go anywhere near a ballot box any time soon. Perhaps he’ll prorogue Parliament again, as rumoured. I fear that Mr Speaker Bercow may seek some mechanism to install a government of ‘national unity’ (spelled Remoaners plus Jezza the Red). Is he not aware that the nation is united in its contempt of this Parliament and its members, including him?

It is perhaps time to reflect upon why we had to have a referendum; as subsequent events have demonstrated, there is no party that has a clear line on the EU and all the parties (bar UKIP and the Brexit Party) are in conflict with the view of the majority of the electorate. The referendum result was supposed to be binding upon Parliament. Instead, following Gina Miller’s first legal action, Parliament has spent the past three years seeking new definitions for the word ‘out’.

Perhaps Mr Speaker Bercow should reflect upon Oliver Cromwell’s words to the Rump Parliament (as reported in the Book of Days)

You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately . . . Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!’

The options are rapidly reducing to leave on 31 October, general election now or riot on 1 November.

I was at the rally in Parliament Square on 29 March 2019 (the day we were supposed to have left). The mood then was exasperated and defiant but good-humoured. If we are not out by 31 October I fear that the mood will be far, far less tolerant.

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Patrick Benham-Crosswell
Patrick Benham-Crosswell
Patrick Benham-Crosswell is a former Army officer who has spent the last 30 years in commerce. He is the author of Net Zero: The Challenges, Costs and Consequences of the UK's Zero Emission Ambition. He has a substack here.

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