CHANNEL 4 managed to generate a banality circus on Sunday night with the five also-rans in the Conservative Party leadership contest. The absolutely decisive issue, of who governs Britain, was not raised by presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. That is to say, the issue of Parliament being sovereign over a nation state called Great Britain as against an economic bloc with all-encompassing regulatory powers, continuing to accrue to itself more and more governance and so, in effect, displacing Parliament’s sovereignty. That is the core issue of Brexit, and it was not placed on the table at all.
We did have a faux righteous bluster by Hunt, Gove, Stewart and Javid expressing outrage at the prospect held out by Raab as a last resort, of proroguing Parliament if it were paralysed from leaving as it had legislated to do. Oh no, that would be deeply undemocratic, said the four thinly veiled Remainers, it would offend Parliamentary sovereignty.
Again, the blindingly obvious point was not made by the presenter nor any of the MPs on show, that Mrs May’s BRINO, her Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, is a long proroguing of Parliamentary sovereignty, two years and probably far longer, under the jurisdiction of the ECJ, under the economic control of the Joint Committee as specified in the WA, under EU laws with no veto and not repealable, entailing the loss of the fisheries rather than their return as Gove promised – at one time. But proroguing Parliament in order to regain Parliamentary sovereignty, oh dear no.
Is this sheer ignorance of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration? Is this obfuscation and cover-up? Or is it intellectual incompetence or laziness? The fab four were being utterly disingenuous in speaking up for Parliamentary sovereignty when they are planning to hand it over under the WA/PD for years. Raab surely should have made this point, but did not. He needs to bring his copy of both to the next instalment of ‘Channel 4 baits Brexit’ and quote it extensively. And if he does not know its full horror, then he must urgently read Caroline Bell’s ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of the WA’ and Martin Howe QC’s recent list of the features contained in the WA which are detrimental to the UK and which would make ‘Brexit’ illusory.
Nor was the possibility raised of President Macron following through with his desire to kick the UK out of the EU on October 31. Gove, Stewart, Hunt and Javid could no more avoid Brexit with no deal than could Canute roll back the tide. Raab was trying to make this point, but his opponents adopted the Canutist mindset.
Not only was the very existence of British democracy ignored, its effect on any eye-catching, virtue signalling plans ‘after Brexit’ under Mrs May’s WA was ignored. Gove’s plan to scrap VAT, for example, would not be allowed under an agreed WA deal. Would any of the tax and spending plans being thrown around the Channel 4 studio be allowable under the Joint Committee’s stringent supervision? Krishnan didn’t ask. And what about Mrs May’s massive eco-spending and now educational spending plan – might that not breach fiscal alignment and harmonisation, as the Italians are now finding when they try to spend more? In fact, does the WA/PD not in effect place the UK under the same kind of regulation as Euroland?
Stewart says he’s keen to help Scotland: so how does he defend the WA/PD’s inevitable subjection of Scottish fisheries to increasing EU regulation under ECJ jurisdiction? Gove’s initial promises of getting our fisheries back with Brexit have all turned to dust and ashes as he turned to support Theresa and her WA surrender appeasement policy. John Redwood challenged him in the Commons about this surrender, and was told that it could not be changed. The very bad non-deal on the WA/PD control of our agricultural subsidies and fisheries was not even mentioned in the Ch 4 banality circus.
How wise of Johnson to avoid its descent to the level of sixth-form derision and emotivism. I am not sure he has been wise to accept the invitation to the BBC lions’ den tonight. If he can insistently speak of democracy, national sovereignty, Parliament being the supreme law maker, our judiciary not the ECJ being our legal bedrock, he will do well, but the BBC is an artful foe and will do all it can to stop the real agenda surfacing as did Channel 4.
I would like the topic of ‘how will the Joint Committee govern Britain under the WA/PD regime?’ force its way on to the BBC agenda. I would like to hear the MPs discuss the UK’s right to appeal to The Hague International Court against any WA/PD affronts to justice in the UK and in respect of the legitimacy and size of the £39bn exit fee.
But no: I fear none of the truly major issues will be discussed, just as with the Channel 4 debate – only the banalities of vanity signalling and personal advancement.
This leadership election is about Brexit versus Brino and that is what any contender should be challenged on if they are claiming they can ‘deliver’ Brexit. If we get from them May’s Brino then we get serfdom and the issue is how that will impact on British lives until we yield sufficiently to EU terms to be granted ‘a deal’ in two years or longer away. How will the nation cope with the outrage and acrimony when the public discovers the humiliating rule by an unelected group of EU apparachiks who desire only to extract what they can from us, with our Parliament there for show only?