Category Archives: Brexit

Les Miserables

Les POne may safety say that Sir Oliver Letwin has brought the same world-wide regard for the dignity and respect of the UK as Sir Les Peterson brought to Australia.

Which is … Continue reading

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Batting for a Foreign Power

A price that England has long paid for its openness and tolerance is that, when the country is under threat of foreign powers seeking to take over, there have been traitors who have engaged with those foreign powers.

The latest threat is of course from the EU, which is desperately seeking to retain and then expand control over the UK’s laws, waters, animals, trading arrangements etc etc.

Bizarrely, Dominic Grieve and others do not deny that they have been engaging with the EU behind the government’s back, to assist the EU in the bringing about such vassalage.  They think that is perfectly fine!

It is not clear that they have a very good grasp of history. Happily for them, hanging (with or without the drawing and the quartering) has been abolished.

Spain, under Philip Anthony Babington, hanged, drawn and quartered 1586 babington
France, under Napoleon Wolfe Tone, committed suicide 1798, having been sentenced to be hanged for treason tone
Germany, under Kaiser Wilhelm Michael Collins, shot in an ambush 1922 collins
Germany, under Hitler William Joyce, hanged for treason 1946 joyce
   

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Battles and Wars

NFA really thoughtful interview with Nigel Farage.

In summary, he is modest enough to admit that he really cannot be sure. But his best guess is that Brexit will lose the battle (no Brexit on 31st October) but will then win the war. i.e. a General Election and then a clean break Brexit will follow before long.

He is probably right. The fundamental point is, I think, this. The British people voted for Brexit in a vote that they were promised would be implemented. You might think that the EU is a corrupt neo-Nazi cabal of old-fashioned German industrialists and French farmers who mistreat their animals according to 18th century standards. You might think the EU is lovely. Either way, the country has spoken, and the country’s voice should be respected.

In the end, the people will Continue reading

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Carrot, Sticks and Fish

margirisI have noted before that the UK might discourage the EU from extending the Brexit agony by promising to veto all and any EU business it can whilst the UK is still a member. It is hard to see that it is good for the EU have a really stroppy member in its club. That is the stick.

The Telegraph leads with a story today that Hungary might veto any extension.[1] That would do the trick of avoiding another damaging extension.

The cost of an extension is huge. Not only does it cost around £1 billion a month in direct costs; it is causing massive costs in terms of economic uncertainty. And of course the country loses the advantages of cheaper non-EU imports (food, clothes, footware etc) as long as EU-imposed tariffs are keeping those imports out. We all know that, for the plotters, this is not about “no deal”; it is about “no Brexit”. And so Tony Blair et al will have been scheming with the EU for a long extension, or perhaps one extension leading to another, and another and so on until we all give up on ever winning independence. The Surrender Act is designed to give the EU the power to impose as long an extension as they like.

It is not only British humans who suffer. The Dutch have deployed a massive trawler – the FV Margiris[2] – in UK waters. It is said to be some 14 times bigger than the British trawlers which fish sustainably.[3]  This EU trawler now is seeking to extract as much fish as possible, killing many short-beaked dolphins (we like dolphins), bluefin tuna (they are endangered) and sea bass (they are overfished) on the way,  in the next few weeks. Just in case the UK does achieve freedom from the EU on Continue reading

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Brexit & Global Warming: Gnostics v Faithful

GnosticIt has been remarked that there is some commonality between those who advocate for British independence from the EU (Brexit) and those who are sceptical about climate change alarmism.[1] The point might equally be put the other way around: that the more likely someone is to believe in the UK’s continued partipation in the EU project, the more likely that person is to believe in impending disaster resulting from anthropogenic global warming.

What is the link between these concepts? It is an interesting question, and the answer is by no means obvious. Certainly, it is the case that a number of the sharpest minds in Britain today (Matt Ridley[2], Nigel Lawson[3], Jacob Rees-Mogg[4] and Daniel Hannan[5] to name a few) – let us call them the Gnostics – are in favour of Brexit, and are also sceptical about the beliefs of the climate change lobby. But then again, there are also Continue reading

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Supreme Court – All out!

SCUKThe decision by the government of Tony Blair to puff up the judicial committee of the House of Lords into the new Supreme Court a few years ago might well have been a mistake.

Views vary as to whether it should, the other day, have ventured onto new political ground.[1] What is not in serious dispute is that it has ventured onto that new political ground. The judgment of the court claims that there is nothing wrong with that. It includes this:

  1. Secondly, although the courts cannot decide political questions, the fact that a legal dispute concerns the conduct of politicians, or arises from a matter of political controversy, has never been sufficient reason for the courts to refuse to consider it. As the Divisional Court observed in para 47 of its judgment, almost all important decisions made by the executive have a political hue to them. Nevertheless, the courts have exercised a supervisory jurisdiction over the decisions of the executive for centuries. Many if not most of the constitutional cases in our legal history have been concerned with politics in that sense.

This last sentence may be doubted. Certainly, it is contrary to the views of the Lord Chief Justice and the other members of the Divisional Court as expressed in Miller, R (On the Application Of) v The Prime Minister Continue reading

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Before The Cock Crow, Thou Shalt Deny Me Thrice

SCThere are a lot of lawyer jokes. And sometimes I do feel a bit queasy about what my professional colleagues do. But I do not think I have ever felt ashamed of being a lawyer as I did when I read the judgment of the Supreme Court in Miller v Prime Minister.[1]

Three times[2], the President of the court, Lady Hale, denied that the case was political.[3]  Few will believe that denial. Clearly, the proceedings were brought for a political purpose, and the judgment against the government is clearly part of a determined reluctance by the British establishment to give effect to the democratic results of the Brexit referendum in 2016.

The Supreme Court was wrong on all three elements of its judgment: Continue reading

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Plan B

TuskI have posted earlier today about the possibility that the Surrender Bill might not receive the Royal assent tomorrow. Such an event is not the only circumstance in which the democratic will of the British people – to leave the EU – might be achieved. It might also be achieved if the EU decline to grant any further extension, in which case the UK leaves the EU on 31st October.

The Surrender Bill contains the form of a draft letter which the Prime Minister is supposed to write to Donald Tusk by 19th October.[1]

The Surrender Bill does not prohibit the Prime Minister from other communications with Donald Tusk, and the prospect of EU declining to grant an extension (and thus seeing the back of the UK out of the EU at the end of October) might be enhanced if, in the meantime, the Prime Minister were to write to Donald Tusk along the following lines: Continue reading

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Royal Assent, Anyone?

parliamentWe live in bizarre constitutional times. And tomorrow, Monday, 9 September 2019, is a particularly interesting day. Will the Surrender Bill[1] obtain the Royal assent?

This question gives rise to issues which do not normally arise. Normally, the government controls the business of Parliament, such that bills do not get Parliamentary time without government support. Normally, the government enjoys a majority in the Commons, such that bills without government support are not passed. Normally, Parliament does not pass bills that defy the result of a referendum and are contrary to the election pledges of both major parties.

But these are not normal times. It is not unusual for the opposition to try to disrupt the business of the government of the day. That is true of both the main political parties, but is perhaps especially true of Labour Party oppositions; many Labour Party politicians resent Conservative politicians to the point of hatred. And it is not unprecedented for there to be groups of people who owe their principal allegiance, not to their own country but to a foreign power. The Babington plotters and the Jacobites in the 16th and 17th centuries owed their principal allegiance to Rome as the hub of Roman Catholicism, and in the 20th century the British communists owed their principal allegiance to Moscow as the hub of communism. Just as the Remainers now apparently owe their principal allegiance to Brussels as the hub of the European dream.

What is unprecedented is the unholy alliance between those two.

It is not the function of Parliament to Continue reading

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Goading clever?

sprawlQuite apart from all the other reasons why it is a bad idea, the Remainers’ Surrender Bill –  intended to order the Prime Minister to seek an extension for Brexit from the EU, and to obey any instructions from the EU as to when, if ever, Brexit is to happen – breaches the fundamental principles of separation of powers.

It is not the function of Parliament to govern; that is the function of the Executive. There are very good reasons for that constitutional principle. For a slow-moving and public forum such as a legislative chamber to try to dictate the management of the State’s affairs is hopelessly inefficient. It is scarcely better than Parliament seeking to order the captain of the English cricket team what to do if he wins the toss, who to get to bowl and for what spells, and when to declare. Come to think of it, it’s worse than that. It’s like ordering the captain of the English cricket team to make these decisions according to the wishes of the captain of the Australian cricket team.

Plainly, the effect of the Surrender Bill, if it becomes law and not Continue reading

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