Government Entitled to Ask Queen Not to Give Assent to Brexit Wreckers’ Bills

Devastating argument from Policy Exchange this morning. Sir Stephen Laws QC – who was until 2012 the Government’s most senior lawyer on legislative and constitutional matters – says don’t assume that MPs could engineer a change to the law to postpone or cancel Brexit without persuading Government to acquiesce and participate in securing the change.

Attempting to change the law without the Government’s participation, he argues, could jeopardise fundamental constitutional principles based on centuries of history, especially if the Speaker dispenses with or ignores a rule that gives Government complete control over increases to public expenditure.

Sir Stephen Writes:

“If the Speaker chose to allow this rule to be dispensed with or ignored, that could have unpredictable, and potentially horrific, constitutional consequences. It could raise a question whether the Government would be entitled or might feel required to reassert its constitutional veto by advising the Queen not to grant Royal Assent to the Bill.

How should the Monarch react to such advice? The answer is not straightforward and the prospect of it needing to be considered in a real life political crisis is unthinkably awful. It is a sacred duty of all UK politicians not to involve the Monarch in politics. They have a constitutional responsibility to resolve difficulties between themselves in accordance with the rules, and so as not to call on the ultimate referee.”

If the Speaker and Dominic Grieve are going to vandalise the constitution and overturn established parliamentary conventions, don’t expect the government to just roll over. The Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will be studying this argument closely as no doubt will the Brexit sympathetic Queen. Bercow is only the Prince of Parliament, though he might not want to believe, the Queen still outranks him constitutionally. Grieve isn’t as clever as he thinks he is…

mdi-timer 21st January 2019 @ 10:49 am 21st Jan 2019 @ 10:49 am mdi-comment Comments
Leadsom Outwits Bercow and Grieve on Brexit ‘Plan B’

Dominic Grieve and John Bercow’s attempts to force the Government into a corner have fallen flat thanks to a loophole which allows the Government to avoid another humiliating defeat just three (working) days after the last one. Andrea Leadsom confirmed that the Government would lay its motion on its Brexit ‘next steps’ on Monday as required by Grieve’s rogue amendment, but that the debate and vote on it would not be held until the following Tuesday 29th. Backbenchers who have worked with Grieve on amendments before privately whisper that his drafting skills are not as tight as they are made out to be…

Leadsom also announced that the Government would not be bringing any more Brexit legislation back to the Commons for the foreseeable future, including the Trade Bill and the Immigration Bill. No legislation, nothing for Remainers to attach hostile amendments to…

mdi-timer 17th January 2019 @ 11:16 am 17th Jan 2019 @ 11:16 am mdi-comment Comments
Bercow Ends May’s Last Hope In Amendment Selection

John Bercow has slapped down May’s hopes of winning over sceptical backbenchers with Andrew Murrison’s amendment, by not sdelecting it to be voted on. The four he has selected instead are:

  • Jeremy Corbyn Rejects the deal because it does not meet Labour’s criteria, including a customs union and strong single market relationship. Says government should “pursue every option” for avoiding no-deal or leaving on the terms of May’s deal.
  • Sir Edward Leigh States that a permanent backstop would constitute a change in circumstances compared to those in the Withdrawal Agreement and that this would give the UK the right to withdraw from it. Asks the government to confirm it would do so if this was the case.
  • John Baron Also says the deal should only be approved if the UK has the right to exit the backstop without the agreement of the EU.
  • Ian Blackford Rejects the deal, citing opposition from the devolved assemblies, and calls for an extension of Article 50.

These amendments will be voted on from 7pm. If, as expected, none of them pass, then the we can expect the meaningful vote to take place at 8pm, with the result at around 8:15. Get your popcorn ready…

mdi-timer 15th January 2019 @ 1:04 pm 15th Jan 2019 @ 1:04 pm mdi-comment Comments
Former NI Assembly Speaker Calls for Bercow to “Seriously Consider His Position”

Former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Willie Hay has told BBC Radio Ulster that Bercow has lost the trust of many in Parliament and is no longer seen to be acting impartially. Lord Hay then called on the Speaker to “consider his position.” His is an authoritative voice. Bercow has clearly abandoned any pretence of impartiality and those who continue to defend him are doing so for their own political interests…

mdi-timer 10th January 2019 @ 2:44 pm 10th Jan 2019 @ 2:44 pm mdi-comment Comments
Leadsom’s Plan To Get Rid Of “Annoying Little Creature”

Andrea Leadsom got a chance to present an award to who she considers to be the ‘Best Villain’ on ITV’s Peston last night. She awarded it to “an incredibly annoying little creature, that squeaks a lot and has found a place in the corridor outside my office, but I have a plan to get rid of it.”

She went on to clarify that she was not in fact talking about the Speaker (whose office is very close to Leadsom’s) but of a mouse in her office. Priceless.

mdi-timer 10th January 2019 @ 10:23 am 10th Jan 2019 @ 10:23 am mdi-comment Comments
Boothroyd: Bercow’s Behaviour “Disgusting”, “Absolute and Utter Disgrace”

Bercow’s brazen behaviour has not just been infuriating Tory MPs, earlier today the highly respected former Speaker Baroness Boothroyd was overheard in the corridors of Parliament reportedly telling a senior Tory MP that Bercow’s actions were “disgusting” and an “absolute and utter disgrace”. Guido’s well-placed source says the esteemed Baroness looked visibly shocked at the events unfolding…

One Tory MP is adamant that several pages of what looked to be Parliamentary guidance were removed from the desk in the Commons and taken away during the lengthy Points of Order session where Bercow was repeatedly challenged. Whatever they were, we will never know now…

mdi-timer 9th January 2019 @ 3:49 pm 9th Jan 2019 @ 3:49 pm mdi-comment Comments
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