At the end of last month, the Prime Minister moved to suspend parliament ahead of the opening of a new session.
The prorogation of parliament has been the subject of much debate over the past couple of weeks and yesterday the Supreme Court started its hearing in proceedings which are likely to last until tomorrow.
The government is appealing against last week’s surprising ruling by the Scottish Court of Session as it believes that proroguing Parliament is a legal and necessary way to bring forward a strong domestic agenda.
There are now contradictory judgements and the matter will be considered by the Supreme Court given the government’s stance was previously upheld by the High Court in England and Wales.
The Prime Minister has been clear that he has the greatest respect for the judiciary in this country, indeed this week he’s said that its independence “is one of the glories of the UK”, and who am I to disagree?
The reaction to the calling of the Queen’s Speech has undoubtedly been stirred up by some MPs who are ideologically hell-bent on preventing us leaving the European Union.
Yet, a prorogation happens nearly every autumn and it’s well established, standard parliamentary practice for a new government to have a Queen’s Speech, despite the phoney outrage created by individuals who are working extremely hard to overturn the referendum result.
It is a fact that this is the longest Parliament since the English Civil War and in recent months one of the least active.
Members of the opposition, including prominent Welsh figures such as the Rhondda’s Labour MP Chris Bryant, have been criticising the government for quite some time for failing to bring forward a Queen’s Speech, indeed the Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House pretty much raised the issue on a weekly basis in Parliament! There’s clearly no pleasing some people.
A new Queen’s Speech will allow our new Prime Minister and his government to bring forward a new bold domestic agenda that improves public services, fights crime, invests in infrastructure and cuts the cost of living across the UK. In short, doing its job!
Following the conclusion of the traditional party conference season, which occurs on an annual basis, Parliament will have plenty of time to discuss Brexit as it has done for over three years.
Parliament always goes into recess for three weeks when the party conferences are held and this only removes four days, which given the hours remainer MPs wasted backslapping the outgoing controversial speaker a couple of weeks ago, I’m sure the public at large would agree that’s not such a bad thing!
Indeed, despite the faux outrage, I note the Labour Party Conference hasn’t been cancelled, nor the Liberal Democrat Conference, and they never would be in a month of Sundays, as the parties are so reliant on these annual events to boost their respective coffers!
And the end of the first session of this Parliament will have no effect on the dates of when MPs would have debated any deal agreed at the October 17/18 European Council.
The Prime Minister has made clear that he’s keen that Parliament is sitting before and after Council so they are able to consider what is negotiated, and hopefully pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. If there is no deal, they will have an opportunity to hear what was said at Council, and respond accordingly.
And do forgive us if we don’t take lectures on constitutional propriety given they come from the same opposition MPs who feel it is entirely appropriate to consider plans to oust the current Prime Minister and to install an anti-Brexit backbencher!
And to those now ‘pro-democracy’ protesters, where were they when millionaires launched legal cases to try to frustrate Brexit? Where were they when the House of Lords were trying to block Brexit? Where were they when voters were demeaned time and time again by the elite?
And where were they this week when the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru said they’ll revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit, putting two fingers up to 17.4 million people? The talk of respecting democracy has gone strangely silent.
The hysterical reaction from the bubbles at Westminster and Cardiff Bay does a great disservice to our politics particularly when there’s been a prorogation of Parliament pretty much every year before a Queen’s/King’s Speech since the beginning of time.
And if Parliament really felt it was being restricted by the Prime Minister, why didn’t they vote for an election or hold a vote of confidence as would be par for the course in such circumstances?
The reason is pretty clear. Ultimately, opposition parties are doing all they can to stitch up the electorate and do not want to risk feeling their wrath at the ballot box.
Indeed, the biggest ongoing threat to our democracy is the point-blank refusal of parliamentarians to implement or even acknowledge the biggest democratic instruction the UK has ever seen – we have a duty to deliver otherwise the consequences for democracy in this country will be catastrophic.
The House of Commons has had three years to debate Brexit and has sadly proven utterly useless. It’s against a deal, against no-deal, against an election – some remainers are even against a 2nd referendum!
It’s not FOR anything and is no longer fit for purpose and that’s why an election is now necessary.
The highest authority in Wales and the UK is the people and they voted to leave the EU – Parliament must obey that instruction – this one isn’t and that’s why it requires clearing out.
The executive is doing it all can to abide by the mandate and Boris Johnson is the only leader determined to respect and deliver on the referendum result and ensure that the UK comes out of the EU on October 31.
The public have had enough of waiting and only by honouring the referendum result will we be able to start restoring trust in our battered and bruised democracy.
All articles published on Click on Wales are subject to IWA’s disclaimer.
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