Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. It seems that every trick in the book is being considered to either implement or derail the Brexit process. Although not the latest wheeze the one that is getting most media coverage is the suggestion to prorogue parliament to prevent any challenge to the current leave date of 31 October.
Proroguing marks the end of a parliamentary session and normally takes place in November.
Even the government is not happy with the plan however, with many Conservative MPs determined to fight any attempt to bypass parliament. A group of them are allegedly planning to bring down the government if such a thing is tried while John Major, the former Conservative Prime Minister ‘would be prepared to go and seek judicial review to prevent Parliament being bypassed.’
His argument is that ‘this is completely and utterly against Parliamentary tradition and against the way the government should work.’ Whilst not a politician, I agree.
The often used argument with Brexit is that it is the will of the people and that the outcome of the 2016 referendum must be upheld. The irony is that parliament itself is also determined by the will of the people, with each MP elected in order to serve the needs of their constituency. The last general election was in 2017 and so it can be argued that the will of the people at the election must precede that of the referendum.
I am not suggesting that the 2017 vote invalidates the outcome of the 2016 referendum, that is for another day, yet the latter was a legal vote rather than an advisory vote. It shows, among other things, how fatuous the expression ‘the will of the people’ is.
However much you worry about the state of democracy in this country, parliament must be paramount. Using a trick to avoid democracy in the name of democracy is the route to tyranny.
I, for one, am not falling for it.