Sep 272019
 

There are those (amongst the lunatic fringe of the Bexiteers – see this) who believe that the Supreme Court decision this week on Boris the Bodger proroguing parliament was an anti-Brexit move and undemocratic.

Nothing could be further than the truth; indeed it is possibly more important than Brexit. To quite from the Supreme Court summary of the judgement :-

It is important, once again, to emphasise that these cases are not about when and on what terms the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union …

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2019-0192-summary.pdf

It was about the so-called “unwritten” constitution (which is actually far too many bit of paper all over the place), and ensuring that Britain’s governance (not government) was in accordance with constitutional law.

Britain’s governance consists of three parts :-

  1. The executive (the Prime Minister and the government they appoint) who is appointed by Parliament.
  2. Parliament (the only part of governance that is democratically elected) which creates legislation and supervises the executive.
  3. Finally the Judiciary (and the Supreme Court) that judges whether actions are legal, illegal, or unlawful.

The Supreme Court by declaring that the proroguing of parliament was unlawful, decided that the purpose of proroguing parliament was for the government to make Brexit arrangements without the supervision of parliament. Brexit can and must be delivered with Parliament’s blessing – anything else is undemocratic.

But more importantly, this was about a prime minister ignoring the will of parliament and using an instrument of state in a way that was never intended. This was effectively an attempt at dictatorship.

So in the end the Supreme Court decision was not about stopping Brexit but stopping a dictatorship now (which admittedly would have been a particularly limited dictatorship) and in the future.

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