Bercow Selects Grieve’s New Anti-Brexit Amendment

In the most predictable development of the day, Bercow has selected Grieve’s beefed-up anti-prorogation amendment, despite it being even more contrived than the version that was rejected by Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing last week. There’s a sizable number of Tories who have put their name to it already, former minister Alastair Burt co-sponsoring the amendment with Hilary Benn despite not even rebelling on the weaker Grieve amendment last week. Wonder what Jeremy Hunt thinks about one of his leading supporters co-sponsoring an amendment as hostile as this?

The Tories are expected to put a ‘hard three-line whip’ against the amendment, rebels think they’ve convinced ministers to abstain. Even with less than a week left, May surely can’t allow Cabinet Ministers to flagrantly flaunt a three-line whip…

Gauke Doesn’t Rule Out Resigning to Vote With Grieve

The Northern Ireland Bill is heading back from the Lords today with fresh amendments designed to thwart prorogation, courtesy of Dominic Grieve’s moat-cleaning buddy Lord Hailsham. Grieve himself is considering having another go at adding his out-of-order amendment now his other key ally John Bercow is back in the chair. All of which means a number of very tight votes today…

It could be even tighter after Newsnight reported that Remainer Cabinet Ministers were even considering resigning to rebel and vote with Grieve, given most of them expect to be out of a job in a week anyway. Philip Hammond is one on resignation watch, while ‘Gaukeward Squad’ leader David Gauke left the door wide open to rebelling on Today – which would also require his resignation. Could get messy…

UPDATE: Grieve has now tabled an even tougher version of his previously out-of-order amendment, which would force Parliament to return for days on end if a new PM attempts to prorogue. Predictably Bercow has selected it

Major Prorogued Parliament in 1997 to Suppress “Cash for Questions” Sleaze Scandal

John Major has continued his recent campaign to make a fool of himself with a threat this morning to take the Government to court if it prorogues parliament to enable a No Deal Brexit to take place. Funny how Major didn’t have such a problem with proroguing Parliament when he abused his power to do so in 1997 in order to delay the publication of a highly embarrassing report into the “cash for questions” sleaze scandal involving his Government. Flagrant hypocrisy even by his standards, he must be glad no-one sued him then…

Prorogation is presented as a power grab but in practice all it does is keep the law as it is – preventing changes to the statute being made for a time. It wouldn’t work as a mechanism to deliver a No Deal Brexit if MPs hadn’t already voted for No Deal. When they set it as the legal default by passing the EU Withdrawal Act a year ago.

The pernicious trend of Remainers trying to wage ‘lawfare’ against every political decision they don’t like is much more damaging to the constitutional balance of the state. There’s only one group of people who benefit from it – the lawyers…

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