UK in Turmoil as Boris Johnson Struggles To Control Brexit Plan
“This is really unprecedented what’s happening to our democracy. It’s positive the court has ruled today that this is unlawful.”
Since winning an inter Conservative Party election to replace Theresa May as party head and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Boris Johnson has taken over responsibility for Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU). However, Johnson hasn’t found any success in finding a resolution suitable to all parties involved.
The most recent events have seen Johnson’s Conservative party spectacularly rebuke his decision making.
Johnson’s Mishandling of Conservative Dissent
“Britain’s House of Lords endorsed a measure Friday that would block Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to leave the European Union next month without a deal in place, giving final approval to a bill the House of Commons passed earlier this week,” said National Public Radio (NPR) in reference to a September 6th vote in Parliament. “The House of Lords’ passage was widely expected after the bill won approval in the House of Commons on Wednesday. The legislation now proceeds to royal assent — a formality that will result in its becoming law.”
The new measure replaces the Cooper Bill, reaffirming that the UK cannot leave the EU without a specific deal in place, making it more likely a second referendum is held to decide whether Brexit moves forward or not.
If a deal isn’t reached by October 19th, it would require Johnson to ask the EU for an extension to the current October 31st deadline. Johnson reacted in a bullish manner to the vote.
“Boris Johnson has expelled 21 Conservative members of parliament, including two former chancellors and Winston Churchill’s grandson from his party, after they helped inflict a major defeat on him in his first House of Commons vote as prime minister,” Business Insider reported.
Those 21 members of parliament and having the Conservative Whip removed means that Johnson is now leading a minority government – a move not well received within the party according to reporters covering the situation in the UK.
Johnson’s struggles extend past his party according to The Guardian, “Boris Johnson would trigger a legal and constitutional crisis that would force his resignation as prime minister if he failed to obey a law mandating him to seek another extension to Brexit, according to high-level legal advice obtained by Labour.”
Along with the Social Democratic opposition leading Labour party, the Social Liberal, Liberal Democrat party has also backed the concept of Johnson having to resign if he disobeys the law.
“If the prime minister refused to comply with this order, then, while we would be in historically uncharted political territory, the legal position would remain clear – the prime minister would be in contempt of an order of the court and would be exposed to a full range of sanctions,” Matrix Chambers’ lawyers stated when speaking to reporters at The Guardian.
After pushing for Prorogation, the dissolving of Parliament between sessions, Johnson has undergone massive pressure to recall government back to session. Leading opposition parties have taken to legal means in an attempt to force the issue, “Labour, the SNP and Lib Dems all demanded an urgent recall of parliament to allow scrutiny of the government’s Brexit plans, after Scottish appeal court judges ruled against Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline,” reported The Guardian.
“I am going to be discussing this with others; but there is an argument that that judgment now stands, and that the prorogation is illegal; and until it’s challenged and a new judgment is made in a higher court, the prorogation has no legal basis,” said Labour MP Clive Lewis.
“This is really unprecedented what’s happening to our democracy. It’s positive the court has ruled today that this is unlawful. There is one reason why Boris Johnson has prorogued parliament and that is because he wants to force through his no-deal Brexit without having scrutiny, without having to obey the normal rules that a prime minister has to obey by,” said Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson about the suspension of Parliament.
Johnson’s administration states they have not broken any laws by continuing through with prorogation, yet the legal and political battle will continue over the next several days.