Tuesday 25 September 2019
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favour of the Remain appeal against the High Court’s original judgment that Boris Johnson lawfully prorogued Parliament. Prorogation was therefore deemed to be “void”. John Bercow was summoned to make a decision on when to re-open Parliament. Unsurprisingly, he called for it to happen immediately. Next week’s Tory Party conference will now take place outside of parliamentary recess, if indeed it does go ahead.
Remainer MPs have not only succeeded in reversing prorogation, they’ve bought themselves more time to complain about Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The Commons opens at 11.00 today, you can read our write-up of yesterdays events, including the now forgotten story of Leave.EU’s exoneration from the Electoral Commission, here.
Other members of the Cabinet joined JRM in declaring yesterday's Supreme Court ruling a sham. "No prorogation over the past 50-100 years would have survived today’s judgment," said the Attorney General at last night's emergency meeting.
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— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) September 25, 2019
Unsurprisingly, the government is defiant, instantly responding that it disagreed with the Supreme Court. The Daily Mail reveals several Cabinet ministers were enraged with the court’s decision. A “constitutional coup” is how the leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg described it.
Michael Gove was dispatched to do this morning’s broadcasting round. “We absolutely respect the court’s judgement. We are the party that supports the rule of law,” the government’s chief No Deal planner told Sky News.
The subtext of Gove’s otherwise pretty meaningless appearances was written in neon. The Remainers have caught the Tories in a fiendish trap. Since the Party’s identity is intertwined with the Union and its cherished institutions – even the Supreme Court, created by Tony Blair no less – it cannot challenge the supreme court’s ruling, only express regret and compliance.
Fortunately, the press are willing call it for what it is, a complete stitch up. “Unlawful? What’s lawful about denying the 17.4m Brexit!” reads the front page of today’s Express. The Mail don’t disappoint either. “What the political class still don’t get is that Leave wasn’t just about freeing us from the shackles of an anti-democratic, bureaucratic foreign superstate,” writes their star columnist Richard Littlejohn. “We were rejecting the whole rotten Establishment edifice — up to and including the self-regarding, self-important judicial class.” However top marks go to the Sun, see below.
So what now? Parliament will resume today, but a no-confidence motion is not expected. The government is likely to make a third attempt to call a general election. In the certain event it fails, Downing Street will rightly call out the crowing opposition’s hypocrisy – they want Johnson out, they want a new government, but they don’t want an election.
That said, according to Left Wing columnist Stephen Bush, the Labour hierarchy are itching for a general election and won’t be able to resist for much longer. Speaking on the Today programme this morning, Jeremy Corbyn himself said he’d be keen for an election once it was clear Article 50 would be extended until January. It’s clear as day that Britain will not leave the EU before then.
Speaking earlier on Today, former Supreme Court Justice, Lord Sumption asserted that it would serve no purpose for Boris to ignore Hillary Benn’s Surrender Act, the courts would nominate an official to take the prime minister’s place and request and extension from the EU27. The last thing the prime minister needs is more trouble in the courts.
At the European Council summit taking place midway through next month, EU leaders will seek to pull the rug from underneath Johnson by saying a renegotiation is out of the question. The Surrender Act has provisions for a deal, which Boris maintains is still a possibility. Once it is ceremoniously ruled out. Another extension will be cast iron.
“Jeremy can’t stop us having an election forever,” said Nigel Farage, also on the Today programme”.
And yet he waits. The Labour leader truly is the “preposterous” coward Boris accuses him of being. Cowardly and stupid. Corbyn suggested he would not vote with the government on a motion for an election, instead Labour would table a no confidence motion, which they would of course lose. Just because the government doesn’t have a majority, doesn’t mean the Opposition have one. Deselected Conservative MPs like David Gauke have said they would not vote against the government on a confidence motion.
But all of that is some weeks away. In the meantime, with more debating time at hand and corrupted parliamentary conventions like Standing Order 24, which enabled the Benn Act, for Remainer MPs to play with, there’s going to be a whole world of pain as the they demand publication of the attorney general’s legal advice on prorogation along with all previous versions of Gove’s Operation Yellowhammer document. Their intention is to create a PR whirlwind so that finally the 17.4m see sense, Britain is better off as a slave of Brussels.
They try at their peril. Yesterday’s ruling confirmed the machinery of our state is dysfunctional, working for the few, not the many. Voters are angered. Bring on that election. Let’s beat the self-righteous elites once and for all.