This article was published by the Herald on 25th September 2019. You can also read the Evening News version online, here.
WHEN the gently-spoken Lady Hale read out the decision in the UK Supreme Court yesterday morning, it sent shockwaves through our political system.
She said the decision was unanimous, and that the court did have jurisdiction to rule on the prorogation of Parliament.
Eleven of the most senior judges in the UK said the suspension of Parliament was “unlawful” and the Prime Minister had acted “unlawfully”. It was a truly astonishing judgement.
The repercussions from the verdict are still unknown but the important conclusion is that Parliament is no longer suspended and can sit as if it was never stopped.
It will be reconvened at 11:30am today and I will be using that time to demand that Boris Johnson resigns as Prime Minister, Parliament ensures a no-deal Brexit is taken off the table, and a public vote with the option to Remain is delivered. Boris Johnson is a total embarrassment and disgrace to high public office.
He has constantly lied to the public, Parliament, and his own party to get his way and it has finally caught up with him. There are only so many times you can lie before those lies catch up with you.
The Prime Minister’s first act in Parliament should be to make a statement that apologises to Parliament, MPs, the Queen and, most importantly, the public. I then want him to lay out how much the taxpayer will be forking out for this legal case and if he had taken any legal advice on the consequences of proroguing Parliament in such circumstances.
I was proud to be a petitioner on the Scottish case and we should all celebrate and cherish the part of our system that allows members of the public to go to the courts to hold a government that is acting unlawfully to account.
We all know that the Prime Minister was trying to shut down MPs in order to deliver a no-deal Brexit that nobody voted for. A no-deal would be hugely damaging to the country and we must ensure that Mr Johnson doesn’t break any more laws of the country and implements the extension of Article 50 to January 31 in full. That means that we can’t afford to have a General Election called until after October 31.
We all knew we couldn’t trust this Prime Minister and the courts have now confirmed that.
This time also gives us a real opportunity to get a majority in parliament for a People’s Vote with the option to remain, so we can put a stop to this Brexit madness before it is all too late. Given this is now Labour policy I think we can get this through Parliament and we are all working frantically on delivering that.
We should have that before any General Election so we can get it settled and allow the country to have a proper debate about the day to day issues that matter to them from their hospitals and schools to the economy and defence. Otherwise, we risk a lurch to the far right with a coupon election swamped by Brexit.
I will be back on those green benches to make sure I can represent my constituents, hold this Government to account, and ensure Boris Johnson breaks no more laws.
And let’s not allow the Government to continue to deride the judiciary. They have already politicised the police, silenced Parliament, derided any media that doesn’t agree with them, and tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the public by saying they were negotiating with the EU when they were not. We can’t trust anything they do and that is the most serious concern. The Trumpisation of UK politics by our very own Etonian Trump is almost complete.
The Prime Minister could redeem himself yet. He could bring his “deal” to Parliament and we will allow it to pass on the condition that it goes back to the public in a final say confirmatory referendum with the option to Remain. That is the sensible compromise position. If he is so confident that his deal or no-deal is what the public wants, then let the public decide.
But whilst the court judgement was brought on the back of Brexit, from the point of view of the cases, it really has nothing to do with Brexit as such. What it does confirm is that we don’t live in a dictatorship.
The judges have upheld our democracy and we should all thank them for that.