Mike Vickers' Blog

October 18, 2019

Johnson in a Rush – To minimise the Opportunity for MPs to read the Small Print

From Today’s Financial Times

The deal that Boris Johnson signed with the EU yesterday has immense economic and constitutional implications for the UK.

In any normally functioning democracy, a treaty of this magnitude would be subject to extensive parliamentary scrutiny — if not a confirmatory vote by the British public.

The reality is that neither of these things is happening, or indeed likely to happen. MPs are being given little time to scrutinise the text before being asked to hold a landmark Commons vote tomorrow.

As for the confirmatory referendum, there will be numerous attempts by MPs to secure one in the days ahead if the Johnson deal is passed. But MPs on all sides are now so fatigued by Brexit that their efforts are unlikely to end in success.

The absurdity of the situation is not difficult to see. As Martin Wolf argues in the FT, the Johnson deal damages the UK economy. As he writes: “It is going to make the country substantially poorer than it would otherwise be. It is going to reduce the resources available to any future government to deliver on domestic policy promises.”

The constitutional implications are possibly worse. The Johnson deal means Northern Ireland will be in a completely different trading relationship from the rest of the UK. This will inevitably fan the flames of militant unionism for the first time since the Good Friday Agreement.

Note, for example, this story that the Democratic Unionist party met loyalist paramilitaries — including the Ulster Volunteer Force — to discuss the implications of a mooted Brexit deal this week. This is troubling.

Meanwhile, Scotland, which voted Remain, will want the same preferential trading terms with the EU as Northern Ireland. Instead, the Scots are being subjected to the hard Brexit that Mr Johnson is imposing on the whole of Great Britain. 

As the commentator Ian Dunt writes: “It is as if Westminster were trying to write the SNP’s independence campaign for it.”

One other aspect of this deal should not be ignored. Many MPs will vote for the Johnson package tomorrow because they think they are avoiding no deal.

But this simply isn’t the case. Under this treaty, the UK will enter a standstill transition period until December 2020. If there is no fully-fledged trade deal agreed with the EU by then, the UK will crash out anyway.

In other words, if the Johnson deal passes tomorrow, Britain will spend the first half of 2020 having the same argument it has had for the past three years. Do we accept the tough trade terms the EU wants to inflict on us? Do we ask for an extension? Or do we crash out?

MPs campaigning for a confirmatory referendum will not give up hope. If Mr Johnson succeeds tomorrow, they will try to pass an amendment demanding one in the time left before the UK’s departure on October 31.

But the numbers probably aren’t there because MPs and the British public believe that passage of the Johnson deal will mark the crossing of a Rubicon. They want the UK to move on to other things.

Of all the illusions about Brexit, this is probably the greatest of all.

 

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Johnson, Northern Ireland, Scottish Independence, UK Parliament — derryvickers @ 11:22 am

Tim Farron – Belfast Telegraph

“Those factors added together mean that the border in the Irish Sea would be absolutely permanent – that, in my opinion, is a racing certainty.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/farron-fears-latest-accord-will-rip-the-uk-apart-and-lead-to-a-united-ireland-38606378.html.

Johnson chose the wrong  date for leaving the EU:  He should have chosen the 5th of November not the 31st October

October 14, 2019

Johnson Double Talk:

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Immigration, Johnson — derryvickers @ 9:47 pm

The Queen’s Speech

My Government remains committed to ensuring that

resident European citizens, who have built their lives in, and contributed so much to,

the United Kingdom, have the right to remain. The bill will include measures that

reinforce this commitment.

 

But the caveat:

 

Confirming our commitment to the EU Settlement Scheme and giving EU

citizens and their family members who apply a right of appeal against

decisions under the Scheme.’

October 3, 2019

Theresa May less than convinced by Johnson

Filed under: Brexit, Johnson, Theresa May, UK Parliament — derryvickers @ 9:19 pm
On hearing Johnson in full Flight

The Waugh Zone:  On hearing Johnson in full flight

 

 

September 26, 2019

Rather the UK Cabinet has no Moral Right to Sit

“This parliament is a dead parliament,” [Geoffrey Cox] said. “It should no longer sit. It has no moral right to sit on these green benches.”

Expel the Johnson (Mussolini) Dictatorship.

September 24, 2019

The Self-Richteous

Filed under: Johnson, Trump — derryvickers @ 10:03 pm

One good reason why Johnson should go

Despicable Pair

Self-Righteous Johnson and Trump

A Significant Victory for Democracy in the UK

I view this as a great victory of Parliament over the Executive.

‘Bring Back Control’ to Parliament, not to a cabal of Tory misfits.

Simon Jenkins in this afternoon’s Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/24/supreme-court-judgment-sounds-trumpet-failed-prime-minister.

He is somewhat sanguine in his final paragraph:

‘Whether that is sustainable in an era in which parliament and MPs are held in such low regard, in which the political parties are so fragmented and partisan, and in which the electoral system that creates the sovereign parliament is so slewed in its effects, has to be in doubt. The supreme court did not just sound the trumpet over a failed prime minister. It did the same over a failed constitutional order.’

I agree. Whether the UK will now embark on a written Constitution is still a matter of conjecture.
A trouble point remains; we still have the right wing media supported by capitalists on the make.

But I came to the Bill of Rights of 1688, late. I had misaligned it with the Glorious Revolution of 1689.
In the end the Bill of Rights was crucial to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
As an aside it was before the Act of Union of 1707.

September 23, 2019

One Law for the Banks and One for Thomas Cook’s

Filed under: Bankruptcy, Corporates, economics, Johnson — derryvickers @ 3:14 pm

Warning that state intervention risked creating a “moral hazard” in future cases of companies on the brink, the prime minister hinted at possible government action against directors of travel firms who oversaw bankruptcies.

All very true: but opposite for the Bank Crash where the Government rescued them at a much greater cost to the State and the Country.
But were those directors ever sanctioned?

September 19, 2019

The Supreme Court – John Crace summarises 19 September

Filed under: Brexit, Gina Miller, Johnson, Law, Uncategorized, Westminster — derryvickers @ 9:54 pm

John Crace at his best.

Far more to the point than mine on Newton and the Supreme Court

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/19/supreme-court-hears-masterful-prorogation-defence-dont-sweat

Newton and Prorogation of the UK Parliament

Filed under: Bill of Rights, Brexit, Dictatorship, Gina Miller, History in the making, Johnson, Law, Newton — derryvickers @ 7:13 pm

Isaac Newton in 1675: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”.

Equally this applies to Law as it does to Mechanics.

So much is Case Law.

But with the Prorogation of Parliament by Johnson, there is too few Cases to build on other than the Bill of Rights 1688.

I note in his closing submissions, Keen said the judges should decline to become involved. “Whether it is dissolution or prorogation [of parliament], this is forbidden territory … It is a matter between the executive and parliament.

But this is a not possible as, as Parliament is not in session, the matter cannot be resolved ‘between the executive and parliament’

He continues “The applicants and petitioners are inviting the court into forbidden territory and an ill-defined minefield that the courts are not properly equipped to deal with.”

Nevertheless, the Bill of Rights 1688 provides for:

Dispensing and Suspending Power.

By Assumeing and Exerciseing a Power of Dispensing with and Suspending of Lawes and the Execution of Lawes without Consent of Parlyament

And can we expect Johnson now to tamper with:

Violating Elections.

By Violating the Freedome of Election of Members to serve in Parlyament

The real question remains, is the Executive above or subservient to the Parliament. Is the Executive ‘The Queen in Parliament’ and, even if so, the Bill of Rights states that ‘Exercising a Power of Dispensing with and Suspending of Lawes and the Execution of Lawes without Consent of Parlyament’.

We can only wait a see what the conclusions of Supreme Court comes up with. What ever verdict is arrived at we may hope that we can be able to, as Newton says, Stand on the shoulders of Giants for the future.

BTW Bill Jameson in today’s Scotsman suggests that if the Supreme Court cannot come to an agreed verdict it could appeal to the European Court of Justice.

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