June 13, 2024
Britain’s ‘No Election’ Constitutional Crisis
The process David Cameron rashly unleashed when he called the referendum is not one of entopic decline — it is a headlong plunge into the abyss, as one convention after the other crumbles and as all signs of political civility are lost.
The process David Cameron rashly unleashed when he called the referendum is not one of entopic decline — it is a headlong plunge into the abyss, as one convention after the other crumbles and as all signs of political civility are lost.

Where to now, Boris Johnson? Yes, I acknowledge it is unwise to predict what might happen in Britain, based on my knowledge of the Westminster system as practiced in Australia — a deficiency of which Henry Ergas’ excellent piece in today’s Australian makes me even more aware. Ergas writes:

…the obvious risk was that the views of “the people’’, as expressed in a referendum, would at some point clash irreconcilably with those of their elected representatives, pitting two starkly contradictory principles against each other: that of the sovereignty of the people, which, in the popular mind, was the basis of British democracy, and that of untrammelled parliamentary sovereignty, which was its reality. Were such a clash to occur, the British constitution had no way of resolving it, ensuring that the consequences would be disastrous — first and foremost for the constitution’s legitimacy…

Still, if only for the purpose of prompting Quadrant Online‘s readers’ thoughts in the comments thread below, indulge me.

Now that it appears the No-Deal Bill will pass the Parliament, it will then need to go to the Queen for Royal Assent. Johnson could present the Bill to the Queen and advise that she withhold assent on a number of grounds, including that it is contrary to the express wish of the British people, or that it is contrary to the national interest in that it can only result in a deal which is no better than the one rejected multiple times by both sides of the Brexit debate.

That would be a highly controversial move. The Queen would be bound by convention to accept the advice of her prime minister but it would undoubtedly bring down undeserved opprobrium on the monarchy. I doubt very much that Johnson would want to put Her Majesty in that position.

[Read It All]

See Also:

(1) No wonder Labour are terrified! Nigel Farage unveils plan for ‘unstoppable’ pact with PM

(2) Italy: Salvini Down but Not Out

(3) Zarif’s Inexcusable Warm Welcome in Europe

(4) Switzerland frustration with EU erupts: We want deal with UK – had enough of ‘dogmatic’ EU

(5) European Dreams vs. Mass Migration

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