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The only statute law you have quoted is the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 which I too have highlighted and quoted in the text of this diary. The provision relating to the 14 day waiting period has never been applied so convention and case law relating to same is scarce and speculation rife. I worry when senior advisors to Boris appear to advocate actions which appear to me to be illegal or unconstitutional.

The other main problem I am highlighting is that laws with limited if any sanctions applicable to actions many months after the event have not been shown to change that event even where those actions are found to have been illegal - in which case they are little more than window dressing.

In countries with written constitutions, clear precedents, and strong and independent enforcement mechanisms, respect for "the constitution" seems (to me) to be much stronger, and any government which has been found to act unconstitutionally faces severe consequences. The very fact that Boris doesn't have to face some kind of impeachment process for suggesting he might ignore the will of Parliament - and before he can actually do so - is also a matter of concern.

I have, for instance, also been critical of countries where this doesn't appear to be the case: for example where the pre-trial incarceration of Catalan separatist leaders seems to be motivated by an overly politicised judicial process. The separation of powers is an important constitutional principle.

The breakdown of respect for convention and the rule of law seems to me characteristic of a descent into authoritarianism and totalitarianism and the UK political class and media have not been slow to use the language of "traitors", "collaborators", "defeatists" and other xenophobic references to anyone associated with a less confrontational attitude to "Brussels".

I hope you are right and "the will of parliament prevails" and a "no deal" Brexit is avoided.  Perhaps my parents German background makes me overly sensitive to any creeping undermining of democratic norms.  However Rafel Behr also draws parallels to the onset of the Great War and notes a similar fatalism growing amongst Remainers that a no deal Brexit will happen in any case despite the catastrophic consequences they see coming.

"The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing"

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 22nd, 2019 at 09:10:21 AM EST
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