Crowd sourcing on Brexit

So, I’ve a request to do a column for the Americans on Brexit. Where we stand, what can be done, what will be done.

Anyone any ideas?

My last piece over there included the cunning plan of making the Queen’s Speech include “We’re leaving, Goodbye” so that either the House passed it or that’s a lost vote of confidence so therefore an election. Or, the House has 14 days to create a new government, then election.

But what else to say today?

114 thoughts on “Crowd sourcing on Brexit”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Boris refuses to resign or present letter to EU. Parliament can’t make its mind up and then Boris resigns on, say 30 Oct and Parliament can’t act in time to form a caretaker government and request delay.

    A bit far fetched because I think Parliament will move a NC around 14 Oct and put a caretaker in place, even if its Corbyn, to request extension.

  2. There’s a possibility that Boris Johnson may resign as Prime Minister on October 18th, gambling on the idea that nobody has the numbers in Parliament to coalesce around someone who can command a majority and meaning he can avoid the anti-no deal law’s instructions for October 19th. That would leave the two-week period to expire on November 1st, meaning we would have left the EU without a deal and a general election would be triggered.

    The question of whether Parliament will go into recess for the Conservative Party Conference is an interesting one. Maybe he still has the numbers to win one vote in Parliament?

    He will likely still prorogue either this Friday or next, for a week, so he can get his Queen’s Speech voted on, probably so he can escape the madness of leading a zombie Parliament.

    Number 10 sources have already confirmed that they plan to put the revised Withdrawal Agreement into the Queen’s Speech, making it a de facto choice between Brexit-with-a-deal or a general election.

  3. On the Conservative Party Conference;

    Do they need one?

    The point being that Johnson has already ditched the rebels.
    The LibDems have gone to a Revoke A.50 position after their conference.
    Labour have achieved something, presumably, in Brighton.

    What would conference achieve?

    Parliament is now sitting again, so why would it want to go into recess?

    If the apparently unusual length of the previous prorogation was an issue, how short can it be? 20 minutes?

  4. Ducky McD: What would conference achieve?

    It might demonstrate to the wider world that Boris Johnson has considerable support within his party and also fill the media with criticism of his detractors – “the anti-democrats versus the democrats” – and what they represent for the future of the UK.

    Not essential but nice to have.

  5. That was the oddest bit of the Supreme Court judgement for me. The prorogation was unusually long, apparently, a topic on which they had the benefit of the “wisdom” sarc of John “underpants” Major, however it really only removed about a week of effective sitting time, which they also acknowledged. Then again they say “Parliament might have decided to go into recess for the party conferences during some of that period but, given the extraordinary situation in which the United Kingdom finds itself, its members might have thought that parliamentary scrutiny of government activity in the run-up to exit day was more important and declined to do so, or at least they might have curtailed the normal conference season recess because of that”… But both we and the court know that they did not. So what is the issue? The risk of Boris suddenly appearing with a new agreement and getting it signed before 31 October is less than zero and, in any case, would require Parliamentary approval. It is the level of argument that you might find in a nursery playground and yet we are supposed to be in awe of these mighty intellects.

    I reckon Boris should just resign and see if anyone is actually prepared to form a government. Either that or he just continues what he is doing, achieving nothing, but sending a letter on 31/10 with additional clauses that would make it unacceptable to the EU, eg extracting a promise not to bring up the Gibraltar question again.

  6. Are you going to write it before or after you fix the likes of [perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The Holocaust survivor, 87, facing eviction in California: ‘Will they throw me to the ground?'[/perfectpullquote] at ConTel?

  7. I hope no one resorts to the Irish solution – ie assassinate a few of the turncoat conservatives to force by-elections. That would not be in accordance with democracy

  8. Just wondering – is the Benn Act legal? It commits us to an extension, but without funding approval for the EU levy. Was finance approved for it?

  9. TMB;

    Well, not essential, but I wonder.

    If memory serves, Johnson has been particularly popular with the membership for really quite some time now, even before the contest that led to May.

    So, are the MPs required at conference? That is, if recess doesn’t happen, Conservative MPs remain in the House, and the members and hangers on go to Blackpool.

    How might that play out? I think we have to assume that the usual suspects go to Blackpool as well.

    Since the prorogation is now null and void, then all bills and papers continue along their timetable. What are they? Is there anything in there that might, or could be used to provoke an element within the house, including Bercow, into action? Johnson became PM on 24 July. Anything beginning passage after that date?

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    For clarity, from the Commons Library:

    What does the Bill do in relation to an extension?
    The Bill is not the same as April’s Cooper-Letwin Bill. It goes further than that Bill in several key respects.

    At first instance, clause 1 of the Bill gives the Government until Saturday 19 October to do either of two things. It could seek and secure the approval of MPs for either:

    (a) a withdrawal agreement, or

    (b) leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement

    If by the end of 19 October the House of Commons has done neither of these things, the Prime Minister must then have sought from the European Council an extension of Article 50 for a further four months – until 31 January 2020.

    If at any time after 19 October a withdrawal agreement is approved by the Commons, or the Commons decides the UK should leave without a deal, the Prime Minister can withdraw or modify his Article 50 extension request.

    Clause 2 of the Bill also gives Parliament, and the House of Commons in particular, an ongoing role in scrutinising progress towards the securing of a deal between the UK and the EU. The Government must publish a report on 30 November explaining what progress it has made in this regard. MPs would then, by 5 December, be asked to ‘approve’ that report.

    If MPs were not to approve that report or were to amend the report’s approval motion the Government would then have to set out a further report explaining what it proposes to do in the negotiations. This second report would have to be published by 10 January 2020. This reporting and approval requirement then repeats every 28 days until either a deal has been reached with the EU or the Commons resolves that the requirement should cease.

    Perhaps the time has come for Boris to resign and tell the Commons they can sort it out or call an election and go straight in to campaign mode asking the British people to give him a mandate to negotiate seriously or Leave. I can’t see that being any worse for him than limping on as nothing more than a puppet of this bastard of a Parliament.

  11. BiND,

    I am so very fucked off with this now.

    We need to go after these people. Follow them, dig up dirt, an MP is fucking someone on the side, we send evidence to his wife. We find where their children work and we boycott the businesses until the company fires them. We keep doing this until they’re broke. We pledge that if anyone harms them, we will deliver a perverse verdict in the case. You want to rob Dominic Grieve, you’ve got a good chance of getting away with it.

    They have shown themselves to have no respect for my rights, I will show them no respect.

    These fuckers have to be punished until the end of their days for what they have done.

  12. “Perhaps the time has come for Boris to resign and tell the Commons they can sort it out or call an election and go straight in to campaign mode asking the British people to give him a mandate to negotiate seriously or Leave. I can’t see that being any worse for him than limping on as nothing more than a puppet of this bastard of a Parliament.”

    I agree. There are two courses of action that Boris should take – either the Gotterdammerung route, whereby he uses all the powers he has (CCA, civil disobedience on his part, any other theoretical powers the Executive has) to force a 31st exit, and damns the torpedoes, or he resigns the government and chucks the whole lot back at the Remain Rump Parliament, and says ‘You deal with it then, and we’ll use the courts on you like you have on us’ and campaigns hard for an election. Faffing about in power in name only gets him nowhere.

  13. Boris can refuse to obey their cockrot and inform any judge/copper that any move on him will result arrest for treason.

    He can close the shithole again and put police/military on stand-by. Indeed any aggro from remain scum leavers can turn out against them. I’d be happy to.

    As for this VONC caper–what can be done to ensure Jizz and the gang DON’T get to form a govt? It would be the height of stupidity to leave it to luck to stop the scum joining forces. They will–it won’t last but could last long enough to vast damage. So no.

    I understand the Surrender Bill has various loopholes in it. The scum will try to close them–but can they? Again–close the place.

    Everything the remain gang do now fucks them over. Guido reports some mouthy former POS Supremo Judge saying “The 52% can’t have Brexit”–an admission on a par with Democrat idiot Beto and his “Yes–we ARE going to take all your guns” verbalisation. In terms of making every decent Briton mad the remainaics are working overtime 24/7. The GE will fuck them royally. But we have to get one.

  14. You are not often wrong Jim –but your “second course” would be absolute disaster. No –Johnson has to tough it out by any means. You cannot allow Marxist/globo elite scum that opportunity.

  15. I’m starting to wonder whether we’re losing sight of the main objective. All of the established parties are a heap of shite. There’s very little to chose between them. They all favour an interfering nanny state & policies have very little support in the country.
    Maybe this is the time to kill them once & for all. Brexit itself isn’t really that important. If, the other side of this we can come out with politicians actually represent the interests of the electorate, what’s to stop a future government just unilaterally withdrawing from The EU? No negotiating. No deals. Don’t ask them, tell them from a position of strength.

  16. I would love it if Boris resigns – Corbyn becomes acting PM and sends the letter to the EU requesting an extension of membership – and some rogue Prime Minister of say Malta says I’m not extending with a terrorist sympathising communist apologist in charge of a country that wants to be a member still.
    And then starting a rumour that is so obviously false like Arron Banks bribing the PM of Malta with Gambian diamonds or something, which Carole Catlady decides could be true.

  17. Even better, let the Scottish guy be acting PM.
    Someone campaigning for his own nation to not be an EU member for an unspecified period handing over a letter requesting that the UK remains a member for a further period.

    The EU Council would rather think the piss is being taken

  18. “–but your “second course” would be absolute disaster. No –Johnson has to tough it out by any means. You cannot allow Marxist/globo elite scum that opportunity.”

    They can’t avoid an election for ever. At some point there will be an election, and if Boris is standing on a ‘We Leave the EU now’ ticket, then he wins. Especially if his opponents have concocted some sort of stitch up in the meantime without any democratic legitimacy. No Parliament can bind its successors, and Boris with a Brexit majority would have the right and ability to reverse whatever had been put in place, regardless of what it was.

    You are falling into the Hitlerian ‘We must defend every inch of ground we hold’ fallacy, whereas I’m thinking more of the Mansteinian war of manoeuvre, whereby a strategic withdrawal creates the opportunity to destroy an over-extended foe. Allowing the Remainers the opportunity to get what they want allows them to overextend themselves vs the UK public, because they won’t be able to restrain themselves.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset


    There are two courses of action that Boris should take – either the Gotterdammerung route …

    The problem with this route is that Parliament has tasted blood and has the votes to change just about any law it like and has shown it can down it very quickly. Guerrilla warfare may play well to the faithful and provide hours of fun on blogs like this, but I’m not convinced it will be a long term winner. Joe Public is getting really pissed off wit politicians, don’t be seen as the one’s making a bad situation worse.

  20. Perhaps the time has come for Boris to resign

    No, because that’s what the enemy wants him to do. It could easily result in Hunt taking the Conservative leadership and all the creepy crawlies (Hammond, Stewart, Grieve et al) being welcomed back, some sort of Frankenstein Corbyn-Swinson-Krankie coalition, or both. Sum total equates to Remain controlling both Parliament and the government – bigly losing.

    It’s also not a good pitch to take to the electorate (“Hello voters, I quit when the going was tough, fancy making me PM again?”)

    I’m warming to Jim’s idea of using the Civil Contingencies Act or something like that.

    If you’re going through Hell, keep going! The public hates quitters, but loves a scrapper.

    Any of you chaps like the boxing? I like the boxing. Have done since the days of Frank Bruno, Mike Tyson, Chris Eubanks and co. There’s something primally compelling about two blokes knocking seven shades of shit out of each other.

    Anyway, at the moment Boris seems a bit like Anthony Joshua. A class act, a gentleman pugilist, but he’s taken a couple of bad knocks and looks a bit wobbly.

    So, don’t be Anthony Joshua. Be Tyson Fury. Fight like a mad gypsy bastard who has nothing to lose.

    Never give up, never surrender!

  21. “oe Public is getting really pissed off wit politicians, don’t be seen as the one’s making a bad situation worse.”

    I agree, thats why Boris resigning and letting the Remain side be ‘in charge’ is a good idea. Its a way of giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

  22. Bloke in North Dorset


    As well as my comment to Jim you’re plan may well backfire as Boris for one isn’t squeaky clean, from Stephen Bush’s morning newsletter:

    The return of Parliament opens up other prizes to the opposition parties too. Boris Johnson continues to face questions about his relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, the model turned entrepreneur, and the funds that his mayoral administration handed to her businesses. The oversight committee of the London Assembly is already using its powers to keep the story going and to keep the spotlight on Johnson – the far bigger level of media coverage that will be afforded to the row if MPs use their powers in a similar way means that it might cause real difficulties for the government.

    It doesn’t matter whether he’s guilty or not, its going to be yet more smoke and a big distraction. The general public generally don’t care about MP’s sexual peccadilloes as long as they aren’t hypocrites, and they’ve known about Boris’s for years, or even how many kids he might or might not have, that’s Westminster bubble stuff. If it looks like he may have played fast and loose with tax payers money, that’s a different equation.

  23. The thing that struck me is that the Supreme Court decided that the action of proroguing Parliament was unreasonable, but that the cure should be left up to Parliament.

    Seems to me to say that if Parliament does nothing as a result of the prorogation – no VoNC, say – then Parliament will have shown that they do not think that the prorogation was for an unreasonable reason; that is, Parliament must act.

    What can they do, beyond bringing down the government and triggering a GE?

  24. Since you’re writing for Yanks, my insane suggestion was for Boris to go to the US near the end of October, and for Trump’s IRS to arrest him for suspected tax violations while he was a US citizen. While he’s in a Federal prison he can’t send the surrender letter. 1st November he is let out, with fulsome apologies.

  25. Not often BiND and I agree but he is right about this one.

    Remember Jizz is Marxist scum and even if he hasn’t the balls for a commie takeover attempt McNasty does. The globo elite–who stand behind the scummy left and find them useful idiots par excellence- wont object.

  26. The GE will fuck them royally.

    Will it though? Boris (loser) has ruled out a pact with The Brexit Party.

    If TBP runs without a pact then the Brexit vote is divided. Remain majority.

    If TBP stand down the Brexit vote goes to the Conservatives (who are still mostly Remain). Remain majority.

    If I’m wrong in fact, correct me. Calling me a defeatist traitor won’t help.

  27. “It could easily result in Hunt taking the Conservative leadership and all the creepy crawlies (Hammond, Stewart, Grieve et al) being welcomed back,”

    Why? Boris resigning as PM doesn’t mean he’s resigning as party leader, and having just won a 2-1 victory of the Tory membership is pretty secure in that spot. I doubt the Tory membership would appreciate another leadership election. Plus 20 of the trouble makers are no longer Tory MPs so presumably wouldn’t have a vote in a leadership challenge.

  28. What happens if there is no official break for the tory conference but all the Tory MPs just go anyway – can/would parlimentary business continue without the government being there?

  29. BiND–Our accord didn’t last very long.

    The MP expenses scammers think they can bring BoJo down with some cockrot about his time as Mayor–when a useless crook like Sad Dick Khan is up to his eyes in every type of scandal and is useless in the face of what is becoming mass murder?

    And you think the people of a country whose democracy is being fucked by the said expenses scammers –is going to pee its pants about some cash issues BoJo might have had a decade ago?

    No that horse won’t run.

  30. Just generally – don’t equate BoJo with Brexit. Remember, he’s a scummy pol and he’ll happily deliver us BRINO. Indeed, I think that was his “plan”.

  31. PJF–An unofficial pact created by tactical voting will do as well if not better than an official pact.

    The remainiac scum are sweeping up votes for us every hour they open their arrogant gobs.

    The vast majority of the UK DO NOT want rule by MP EU crawling scum who openly mock the voters they abuse. We could not have secured publicity for leave at any price equal to that the remainaics are giving us for free.

  32. I think it might be worth noting that – in giving her verdict, Lady Hale said the the justification for the prorogation being judiciable was that (and I am paraphrasing fairly heavily here): “…we have always been able to pass judgement on this…” quoting something back in 1600s, and later on “…and as we have always been able to pass judgement on these matters… we can therefore pass judgement on this prorogation…”

    My ears pricked up as I was listening to that, live, and I thought “Something is wrong here”. The Supreme Court has only existed (as a Blair invention) since 2009 or thereabouts. Prior to that the highest court in the land was the House of Lords I think (ignoring the European Court of Justice – which was part of the problem we are trying to unpick, by Brexit, of course!)

    I’m not aware of anyone else picking up on this. Am I missing something, or is the basis she articulated for this to be judiciable therefore bullshit?

  33. I’m also starting to wonder what’s wrong with the prospect of a Corbyn government? MPs have already set a precedent it’s OK to ignore convention. The courts have become political.
    Democracy only works by consent. So does the law. Time to withdraw consent. Make the country ungovernable.
    The people get hardest are the self claimed elite, because they’re most reliant on the status quo.

  34. You could also add a bit about the EU Budgetary committee meeting yesterday to say that – even with no deal Brexit – they are expecting Britain to pay into EU coffers as part of BAU budgetary transfers….

    The figures are interesting. 20bn gross in 2020. He said it would end up (with money given back to UK) being around 15-17bn net.

    Now, take those figures, divide by 52 and you get… a big red bus!

  35. PJF–I agree with you about that to a degree–but I think it is going past that. A Treason May retread will destroy the Tories in any GE. No point in holding one then is there. Nor will the HoTraitors swallow such a deal now. If that is all BoJo has why sack the remainiac scum in the first place and cause vast bad blood.

    He will now realise the HoScum want delay as a halfway house to revoke–assuming they don’t have the balls for revoke. I don’t think Jizz and 60% of his MPs do–so delay is as far as they can go. If BoJo won’t give them that their options are limited. He must break the Supremes tho’ to ensure they can’t try declaring a No Deal exit illegal.

  36. Jim – because I don’t think BoJo has the full backing of his parliamentary party yet. The 1922 were complaining about the expulsion of their pals. Probably best not to make plans that involve those chaps having his back.

  37. Bearing in mind that the SC has effectively stated that the Queen has had the wool pulled over her eyes by naughty Boris – despite having absolutely no evidence pro or contra – what’s to stop her thinking “phaque this, if that lort think I’m bloody daft enough to fall for his blather, they’ve another think coming” and dissolve parliament until they’ve all provided tested proof that they’ve read and understood “Logic for Dummies”..?

  38. Lockers – it’s complete and shameless bullshit. It’s like the problem with the weaponised Electoral Commission or Mr Squeaker tho – only solution involves changing the people, breaking the institution, or both.

  39. Ducky,

    I wonder how many people SCM would need to employ if every kipper sent them a GDPR request (perfectly legal, has to be processed).

  40. Tories have filed for an emergency debate to repeal the FTPA.

    A good move. They are active again and a refusal to accept this debate and defeating it in Parliament will say again who is in support of democracy or not. And wastes more time.

  41. @Steve – yes, agree. Of course THE people (us) aren’t fucking changing*. Much to their chagrin. I wonder where all this will end up, Brexit or not.

    *not much anyway – and of the bits that are changing, it seems to be more of more previous remainers getting fucked off with the bastards blocking this all. But that could be an echo-chamber thingy

  42. Mr Ecks: “No Brexit–no Council Tax will become a reality if we are not out on 31st Oct.”

    This. We really need someone high profile to propose this. The time for playing by the rules is long past.

  43. @ Steve “Never give up, never surrender!”

    by Grabthar’s hammer… by the Sons of Warvan… you shall be… avenged.

  44. BiND,

    I’ll deal with Boris’s possible financial stuff 5 minutes after we officially leave.

    I’m not siding here. I just want to hurt the traitors. I want their families in council houses in 2 generations because their names are shit and no-one will go near them. And I can’t do much. I could tell an MP to go fuck themselves if they ask to borrow my phone on a train platform. But if all of us decided that we won’t serve them, won’t employ them, won’t help them…

    We need to destroy them so no-one ever thinks of pulling this shit again.

  45. Lockers; there’s definitely some weird shit in there. For instance, from the summary;

    “The question arises in circumstances which have never arisen before and are unlikely to arise again.”

    So, why take the decision? Although it does explain why any action is swerved and bounced straight back to Parliament.

    “This prolonged suspension of Parliamentary democracy took place in quite exceptional circumstances: the fundamental change which was due to take place in the Constitution of the United Kingdom on 31st October.”

    This blows any Remain wibbling about sovereignty straight out of the water. The implication being that at some point, membership itself created a fundamental change in the UK Constitution, which is something Remain has always denied.

    “It is something which has been imposed upon them from outside. It is not
    something on which members can speak or vote. It is not the core or essential business of Parliament which the Bill of Rights protects. Quite the reverse: it brings that core or essential business to an end.”

    Is there anything else upon which members can not speak or vote?

    So, we’re back to the Bill of Rights, with the implication being that if Parliament is denied the right to speak or vote upon a matter by the action of Government, then that action can be considered null and void, and has no effect.

    At this point, it’s curious to note that the Government basically did not offer any justification or defence, only the Nikki da Costa memorandum.

    Also rumbling away in the background, is the demand from Parliament to Cummings et al to hand over any communications.

    As far as I can see, the prorogation is a perogative power. Any other perogative powers that get used by the Government that have the effect of denying Parliament’s core or essential business are also null and void with no effect.

    The decision was unanimous, 11-0. Better than City, that.


  46. Lockers – I reckon it’ll end up setting the stage for a genuine Britain Trump (Or Salvini, Orban, Bolsonaro, take yer pick), and not the mild-mannered Milky Bar “populists” we have now.

    We’re currently living in The Worm That Turned alternate history, where feeble and petty greyminges of both sexes dominate the institutions for some reason, to predictably disastrous (tho sometimes comical – see ostensible adults mooning over Greta Thundertard) effect.

    We need to shift to the “Wat Tyler’s long overdue revenge” timeline, where people can live and laugh and enjoy a pint and a fag without some jumped-up clipboard-wielding little shit telling us it’s illegal.

    Uber-reactionary JRR Tolkien ended his Ring cycle on the cheery note of his very English hobbits scouring the Shire. Sounds like a bloody good idea to me.

    Ecks – Not bad.

  47. As I understand our legal system (kinda know basics, but I’m a spanner jockey, not a lawyer or barrister or judge or anything, maybe Mr Lud can correct me if I is wrong) the following would be true.

    1. The rule of law should be upheld by us all
    2. A person is innocent of breaking the law until proven guilty in a court of law

    1. BoJo ignores the sending the letter diktat.
    2. BoJo is dragged into court about breaking the law.
    3. BoJo demands trial by jury
    4. Jury, fed up with parliament and politicians in general, finds him not guilty. (resulting in jury nullification)

    No extension requested, we’re out, BoJo is a hero, the Pm was found not to have broken the law – tried and tested in court.

    Is this feasible? Would this be subject to trial by jury?
    Obviously it relies on the jury being fairly chosen and not stuffed with remainers by the corrupt system we have…

  48. I know David Starkey can be a bit of an old flapper, but when he decides to be serious he is worth the time and trouble. His interview with Brendan O’Neill on Spiked Online is a good sourse of constituional background.

  49. I think you have a problem with stage 2, when Boris gets dragged into court.

    The court here being Parliament.

  50. My last piece over there included the cunning plan of making the Queen’s Speech include “We’re leaving, Goodbye” so that either the House passed it or that’s a lost vote of confidence so therefore an election

    Think this is years out of date Timmy. The Cameron-Clegg Fixed-term Parliaments Act stops governments using a vote on legislation, even the Queen’s Speech, as a Vote of No Confidence. VONCs now have to be used in a very formal way and it is open to the opposition to keep voting the government programme down yet keep refusing to no-confidence them. It’s how we have ended up with a “zombie government”.

  51. @Chernyy_Drakon and Peter Briffa:

    No, no and no again. Rule of law is what has made this country great in the past – and if maintained will ensure this in the future. It confers great advantages in general civility, commerce and thus prosperity.

    The EU (to destroy our nation state) and the Marxists (to create conditions for revolution) would LOVE law and order to fall apart in this country – hence they are stoking this situation as much as they can.

    Do not go along with this.

  52. “Rule of law is what has made this country great in the past – and if maintained will ensure this in the future. It confers great advantages in general civility, commerce and thus prosperity.”

    And when the ‘law’ has been usurped by one side of the political argument, what then? Are you supposed to obey bad or corrupt laws? Hitler passed lots of laws and had judges prepared to uphold them, didn’t make them right, or moral.

    We are down to the difference between ‘law’ and ‘justice’ again. We are overrun by lawyers who everything of law, but nothing of justice.

  53. @Steve: well if Conservative MPs think that throwing away the leader who has lifted their polling from parity with Grandpa Death to a significant (and potentially GE winning) lead is such a stellar move, then let them get on with it. It just means the realignment of UK politics will happen a lot quicker on the Right than we thought it ever could.

  54. @CD/PB

    You’re (a) mixing up public and administrative law with criminal law (the Supreme Court didn’t find the government “guilty” of any offence, just that its actions were unlawful and therefore had no legal effect – might as well “never have happened” – with no jury or police involvement required) and (b) missing the political point, which is that parliament would likely defenstrate Boris if he refused to obey the law and replace him with a caretaker PM who would seek, and likely receive, an extension. (There’s just about enough time to get this done, I think, as the letter-writing deadline is a couple of weeks before the 31 Oct – not sure how the mechanics of getting the EU to grant an extension would work on their side but I imagine something would be worked out.)

  55. “We’ve always watched how the US goverment managed to cockblock each other in both houses for over almost two decades now.
    We could never have imagined this level of Kindergarten infighting would ever cross the Big Pond and infect the UK.”

  56. Law, in any system – democracy, monarchy, dictatorship, whatever – depends on one of two things. Consent or the exercise of raw power. So the people withhold their consent. How much raw power can either Parliament or the courts actually command? I’d suggest trivial. They’re all mouth & no trousers. 650 weak as kittens MPs, a tosserdom of lords & some geriatric judges. They rely on the people to enforce their laws. It’d depend on the police or the army & which direction their loyalty goes. Both are nominally loyal to the crown. Not Parliament or the courts. Wonder whether Brenda fancies getting the armour out of storage & saddling up?

  57. “It could easily result in Hunt taking the Conservative leadership and all the creepy crawlies (Hammond, Stewart, Grieve et al) being welcomed back,”

    “A Ministry of All the Traitors”

  58. Mr Drakon, as far as I can see, the Benn Act (so-called) does not make it an offence for BoJo to refuse to comply. So it is not immediately obvious how any failure by him to comply might become a matter for the criminal courts. Misconduct in Public Office, I think might be an option and from the point of view of your hypothesis, it would have the advantage of a jury trial because it is indictable only. But, to be clear, the offence charged would matter because it would determine whether he might avail himself of a jury trial.

    All of which said, and this may go to his defence in such notional circumstances, I think it is unique for a prime minister to become parliament’s bitch in the way specified by the Benn Act and in the particular circumstances of parliament as a whole purporting to act as the government.

    NB. I am not a consti lawyer!

  59. Bloke in North Dorset

    Tories have filed for an emergency debate to repeal the FTPA.

    Which will provide headlines on the MSM news of how Boris has just lost his umpteenth vote on he trot. No real discussion of the nuances or even reality, Boris lost and continues to be a loser.

    This will be followed over the coming weeks with news headlines of the government losing votes on having to provide emails and other correspondence of just about every SpAD and minister who’s ever uttered the word Brexit or prorogation. Each time the emphasis is on Boris the loser. Boris will not have the benefit of the PMs bully pulpit, he will always be on the back foot.

    This will seep in to the public conscience and the later a general election the less likely he is to get a mandate.

    Don’t mistake that fact that a minuscule section of the electorate reads blogs like this and understands what is going on, a large percentage of the population really does live in rational ignorance. Matthew Goodwin has just tweeted a ComRes opinion poll result that shows that only 52% of the population agree that “I feel I have a good understanding of The Brexit Party’s policy on Brexit”, 31% disagree and 16% don’t know [rounding errors included], whilst 51% have the same position on the LibDem Brexit policy.

  60. Just watched a moment of that appalling woman being interviewed by Piers Morgan. Parliament, she says, is elected to scrutinise everything (

    Pull the other one, love. Thousands of statutory instruments are enacted every year without a second of parliamentary scrutiny being applied to them.

    I wonder if it is possible that she does not know that. Equally, I wonder if she knows what a statutory instrument is. None of which is really the point though, is it?

    In her world it is reasonable for unaccountable, rich little old her, to lord it over 17,400,000 people in the country which welcomed her as an immigrant. Self-regard on that scale is a disorder.

    An end to stuff like this, is what I say.

  61. Let’s pretend for a moment I fix machines for a living and don’t know the difference between criminal, administrative and public law.

    Surely breaking the law results in some form of sanction?

    If the sanction for not sending the letter is them trying to remove the PM from office, then it is somewhat ineffective? As I understand it, there must always be a PM, and if they want to remove him, they must put someone forward who can command the confidence of the house?
    But if they can’t (which it doesn’t appear they can) then doesn’t BoJo remain PM by default? So what does he lose by not sending the letter?
    Sure, the chattering classes would be going around pretending they need the smelling salts. Meanwhile, those of us who actually live in the real world, would be thinking “Good on you Boris.” and then carry on with our lives…
    After, we would be back in territory I said earlier, with maybe a Misconduct in public office charge and a perverse verdict.

    It’s all very well obeying the law. But slavishly following the letter, while your enemies flout all the conventions and spirit of the system is not a good idea. We are playing croquet while our enemies are kickboxing.
    The perverse verdict / nullification method is just doing what they are – playing dirty. If we don’t, we will lose.

  62. As the prorogation was unlawful so didn’t happen that means the parliamentary session didn’t end so BoJo could say I have a deal with the EU (Mays WA) but as it’s been voted down and the speaker ruled it can’t be represented in the current session I can’t ask parliament to vote on it again.

  63. I trust all this is helping, Tom …

    [breaks into a fit of ungovernable coughing]

    Do we get to see the finished article?

  64. Bnic–He might more usefully announce that Bercow is a corrupt Speaker and ANY further deviation from accepted HoC procedure will not be accepted by the govt. On pain of closing the HoC again.

    He should have enough Plod muscle on hand to clear the building–carefully screened to ensure Common Purpose free men.

  65. Okay, Mr D, let’s pretend that.

    The difference between unlawful and illegal is that the former can be the subject of a civil claim, the latter the subject of a criminal prosecution.

    There are cases which are quite capable of being dealt with in both the civil and criminal courts, and they are. In those circs, what happens is that the civil claim is stayed until the outcome of the criminal claim. The reason being that the standard of proof in the criminal courts is higher. So if the criminal case is proved, it is highly unlikely the civil case will not also do so.

    Thus, you can break the law, and not be a criminal. Personally, I am unconvinced it is a distinction demanding to be preserved. But I am probably in a minority of one on that point.

    As for whether there must always be a PM, not sure. It was only about a century ago that the position brought a salary with it. But the position had existed for 150 years by then. As I say, I am not a consti specialist, but I would be surprised if there was an Act saying that there must be a PM.

    Can a PM exist without the confidence of the House? Well. That’s a good example of where we’re in uncharted waters. I mean, BoJo is nominally PM. But on a certain view, he does not have the said confidence.

    Will BoJo remain “PM” by default? I think so, until he resigns, or the FTPA requires a new election, or there is some other supervening event. In my view, however, he is PM in name only. The executive and the legislature are comical zombies.

    Best I can do, I’m afraid. And, candidly, I need some smelling salts. Be nice to think we can muddle through this and find some gentlemanly agreement to keep buggering on. But I fear that too many Rubicons have been crossed, too much is broken. As Starkey said in the link above, the last time we were in a fix like this, it ended in civil war.

  66. “they must put someone forward who can command the confidence of the house?
    But if they can’t (which it doesn’t appear they can)”

    Just looking at the political aspect this is somewhat missing the point of the opposition strategy. It’s two-pronged – they get to close down the possibility of a no deal Brexit AND they get to humiliate Boris by forcing his do-or-die promise of 31 Oct Brexit to fail. The idea is that he has to dance to their tune like a puppet while being forced to do stuff that crushes his popularity. Their theory is if he fails to Brexit by 31 Oct, your typical Leave voter will be too thick to realise Boris has been done up like a kipper by the parliamentary remainers and will vent their anger by pointlessly vote-splitting with Farage (this theory is backed up by various “what if” polling though such hypothetical questions are pretty unreliable).

    Your “it doesn’t appear they can” is true for the situation today but there is no great rush as they don’t wish to replace him now – they prefer their sadistic puppetmaster strategy. If Boris doesn’t play their game and send that letter then the remain faction in parliament will be under pressure to act immediately. In those circumstances it is likely, though not certain, that a compromise caretaker will be found in short order as needs must. The fact one can’t be settled on today is no guarantee of safety for leavers and should be of little reassurance.

    There seems to have been some discussion among remainer MPs today about bringing the letter date forward to facilitate the “what if Boris doesn’t send it” counter measures. Other strategies that have had serious airing are the speaker of the HoC sending it on the PM’s behalf, or getting a judge to do similarly. But they will have a good go at forcing Boris to humiliate himself first (or get him to break the law which they feel may also play to their hands electorally – though I reckon there is a risk of that backfiring).

    I have fingers crossed that someone at No 10 has covered these counter-moves successfully but politics is far more fluid than chess.

  67. We are on the brink of a (cold?) civil war.

    BREXIT is just the proximate cause, but it always was about more that that.

    The obstruction since referendum result has revealed the deeper causes: a political class (the ‘nanny state’ with with all its hangers-on) that have set themselves apart from the rest of us, they think they know best.

    None of the parties represent that fundamental division (well, maybe libdem/green/loony-left come close )

    So nothing will be resolved until someone is bold enough to break with the current parties and raise their standard. I am with Steve on this: “I reckon it’ll end up setting the stage for a genuine Britain Trump (Or Salvini, Orban, Bolsonaro, take yer pick), and not the mild-mannered Milky Bar “populists” we have now.”

  68. Yeah. I like Steve’s “it ain’t fixed, so let’s break it”, line. About sums it up.

    Hi, GCHQ! Fancy seeing you here!

  69. if I could offer a solution to the Irish border non problem either Boris bans imports from Ireland or we stop buying Irish products – no checks then needed

    Tell the EU they will never get a budget approved while the UK stays the tories and the brexit party will vote against everything

  70. “I’ve a request to do a column for the Americans on Brexit…”

    You need to start by explaining that we have a two party system like they do, and that the Brexit question is one which cuts across party divides….

    Then explain the political manoeuvres in terms of American politics…

  71. Posted Yesterday on OOL
    Read through full judgement: Lady H starts by saying ruling nothing to do with Politics or Brexit, then later contradicts and says it was political and Brexit.

    Furthermore, para (article) 50 creates a new law. As did Scotland judges with “Lying to Monarch” law – EU inspired

    Parliament, Gov’t & MPs and democracy no longer rule UK. Lawyers and Blair’s Supreme Court do.*

    Johnson should appeal this to ECJ

    Pipsqueak Toad Bercow: “Parliament is the legislator and can do whatever it wants”

    Blair’s Supreme Court has ruled Parliament & Gov’t are not, SC is.

    One would have thought lawyers decreeing they, not MPs, run country would be condemned by msm, instead they welcome it.

    * MP on C4 news said same

  72. Something one should know about law. The sole purpose of law is to keep the elite in control, preserve the status quo & further the aims of the elite. The judiciary are members of the elite. Any benefit the ordinary person might derive from the law & the justice system is purely fortuitous.
    What did you expect?

  73. Blair created the Supreme Court after binge-watching a boxed set of The West Wing and deluding himself he was President Josiah Bartlet.

    My missus was taught law by Brenda Hale, she has no high opinion of the lady. Nearly all her judicial experience has been in the Family Division, where it’s 10% law and 90% feelz.

  74. Good description of the Family Division, Mr M.

    And of the immigration tribunal.

    And of some public law.

    And of some pre-trial decisions in the criminal law.

    And of bits and pieces across the board.

    But Family Law, especially.

  75. Bloke in North Dorset

    An alcohol fuelled, off the wall idea. Boris calls their bluff:

    1. Tables A50 revoke, making clear he is vehemently opposed.

    2. Tables 2nd referendum as Leave/Remain, again he’s opposed.

    3 Says he can’t table May deal as same parliament so tables VoNC GE saying Parliament doesn’t know what it wants and they haven’t given him an instruction of what they want so he can’t negotiate.

    Most people will agree with last step and its hard to see how Parliament sides steps it.

  76. Thanks Mr Lud, et al.

    I think I have a slightly better understanding. Though I fear I’m condemned to permanently having an engineer’s outlook on this.

    Problem: we have to leave the EU
    Solution: leave the EU, if we can’t get a reasonable deal (which the WA appears not to be), leave without.

    Unfortunately, politicians seem to be entirely different creatures to us…:-(

  77. @BiND

    Can always abstain in a VONC. If the opposition don’t want an election right now, and are enjoying watching the government squirm, then they’re under no obligation to vote the government out. Yes the optics of doing so look thoroughly cowardly custard, but then so does refusing to table a VONC of their own in the first place and they’ve been getting away with that for a while too.

  78. MBE

    “Ignoring optics”

    I like this. What’s to stop the DUP (doesn’t some “party” actually have to do it?) bring a “friendly” VONC.

    DUP vote against, and the Cons abstain, Ie, this is an issue for the opposition. Will they “proactively” support Boris? Some Cons could even vote against just to up the ante…

    It’s surely no more farcical than the farce (including that conducted by the Berk and the ever so impartial SC) currently taking place?

    And might force the issue?

  79. @PJF

    If not a tweaked version of May’s deal, what path to Brexit do you think exists?

    Without an election, parliament won’t allow no deal Brexit so your only hope seems to be the EU refusing to extend, but that’s similarly unlikely (no deal hurts them too, and there are now good odds of a referendum in which the UK might vote to stay).

    With an election, Tories aren’t nailed on for a majority (betting markets make them more likely than Labour but make no majority the favourite, TBP are vanishingly unlikely to cruise to power). If the Tories do get a majority then at least there will be no second referendum with remain as an option, but they are not campaigning for nor will they seek No Deal – among other things, they fear doing so will cost more votes than it would gain. If Labour win then there’s going to be a referendum that remain will likely win, as Farage and other No Dealers are likely to boycott it. If there’s a hung parliament we are back to square one although potentially there could be numbers to force a second referendum, which again removes No Deal as an option.

    What path to No Deal can you see? (Betting markets don’t rule it out, if that gives you any hope. Something in the region of a one in five chance.)

  80. “What path to No Deal can you see?”

    The EU chuck us out, or rather one of the 27 veto an extension. No idea how likely it is, but its a possibility, no?

    And ironically, were such a situation come to pass (it become apparent at the last minute that the EU can’t extent the A50 period) the WA could not be suddenly brought back for a 4th time, because Parliament is still in the same session (thanks Gina Miller!) and its been voted down 3 times this session already. At that point there’s only A50 revocation left in the Remain armoury, leading to a mother of all shit storm votes – who is going to vote to directly in opposition to the 2016 vote?

  81. I just have to love the theory that the faceless elite are apparently conspiring against old Etonian Boris, hedge-fund owning Rees-Mogg, and city slicker Farage to stop their salt-of-the-earth project for the man on the Clapham omnibus.

  82. As for how to get out, Old Etonian Boris has a number of options for sticking it to the Elite that he so despises. He could ring in sick on 19 October, or tender his resignation at 23:55 on 19 October.

  83. “I just have to love the theory that the faceless elite are apparently conspiring against old Etonian Boris, hedge-fund owning Rees-Mogg, and city slicker Farage to stop their salt-of-the-earth project for the man on the Clapham omnibus.”

    So old Etonians, hedge fund owners and city slickers (whatever that means) cannot by definition ever be on the right side of an argument? They are too fundamentally evil to ever be right about anything?

    Thats interesting because both David Cameron and Rory Stewart are old Etonians, so presumably that taints the Remain camp too then. Or is that different because reasons?

    Incidentally, can you name any other Brexiteers outside of a few high profile MPs? How about someone on the Supreme court? Or in the BBC? Or in the Civil Service? Or are all those institutions Remain to a man and woman? We know from the referendum campaign that anybody who is anybody inside the Uk establishment is pro-Remain. The number of Brexiteers from that class is minuscule. Thats why we have a Remain dominated Parliament, with a bent Remain supporting Speaker (who doesn’t even attempt to hide his bias), with a media that equally biased towards Remain (see John Humphreys recent revelations on that score, though they’re hardly new – anyone listening to the BBC referendum broadcasts on the night could tell which side they were all on). Oh and an Electoral Commission who has done nothing since the vote but pursue Leave campaigners with false allegations of infractions of electoral law. Thats not forgetting the extraordinary demands for tax by HMRC from donors to the Leave Campaign, but none to donors to Remain. How much more evidence of institutional bias does one need?

    All of that establishment is arrayed against 17m ordinary people and few high profile campaign leaders. Leave doesn’t have people in high places, thats the problem. Millions of ordinary people’s votes count for less than the opinions of the likes of Gina Miller and Jolyon Maughan.

    And if you think thats just peachy, because the end justifies the means, just remember this – it won’t always be someone else the Establishment has it in for, next time it could be you.

  84. Jim, I said (implied) the idea they are not part of the elite is ludicrous, I said nothing at all about whether they are right. There are remedial reading and comprehension classes available at your local community college.

    If the parliament is mostly for remain, it is the voters who voted for all those remainers, after the election and after the Brexit process had started.

  85. “Lying politicians? Oh my!

    Gosh, whatever next????!!!!”

    So Boris lying about his reasons for proroguing is fine then? After all if all the MPs who lied when they said they supported their parties manifestos on leaving the EU (and indeed voted for it multiple time) could also be held to account by the courts for their mendacity we wouldn’t be in this mess now would we? But as we know, the courts have specifically refused in the past to accept that even the refusal to implement a specific manifesto pledge is actionable. Odd that, lying about giving the public a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is fine (to take us further into a EU super State) but lying to try and take us out of one is ‘unlawful’. I wonder what made the courts make those two decisions?

    We have the case where Remainers have lied repeatedly, with impunity, but Boris is being crucified for doing the same (possibly). And you say the Establishment isn’t arrayed against Leave?

    For fucks sake, just admit the truth, there is no democracy any more, the people who have the levers of power won’t give it up just because people have voted for something. You happen to agree with the Establishment on this issue but don’t think you won’t be on the target list at some point in the future. If they win on this they are unstoppable. Just remember it might not always be people on your side with their hands on the levers in the future.

  86. To point out that something is normal isn’t to condone it.

    I’ve gone on the record many times here as saying I think Brexit is a bad idea but that it should happen because of the referendum result. Stop thinking in binary.

  87. BiG, my point was that the public did not vote for Remainers. Plainly, the public was gulled.

    But sneering at the public for that, rather than at the deceivers?

  88. M’Lud, I would plead that the public did indeed vote for remainers. Most MPs campaigned thus at the referendum and kept their waste after May’s botched election.

  89. BiG

    You are missing the relevant issue of what the two main parties’ manifestos said in 2017. They were not Remain manifestos.

  90. “To point out that something is normal isn’t to condone it.”

    No but apparently only lying by one side of the argument will be viewed by the courts as actionable. One side can lie with impunity, the other gets hauled before the courts. And you can’t see the problem with this?

  91. @Jim

    Yes. EU sycophants are accepting of rule/law breaking if it’s for their EU Empire

    See: Greece, Italy, Spain, Hungary, RoI, Holland, France, Germany, EU itself (eg accounts)

    Jeremy Corbyn discusses Labour’s Brexit policy on Sophy Ridge on Sunday

    “Reform EU from within” – ROFL; Thatcher, Major, Blair, Cameron tried – EU response: “Non, Nein, verboten”

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