Thursday, August 29, 2019

Proroguing Parliament: Brexit

I rarely venture into politics in my blog but in the past couple of months I have been following the process of Brexit closely. I like Boris Johnson if only because he was a graduate of "the greats" (Classics) from Oxford University. I tend to admire people with a classical education especially those who can read Ancient Greek and quote from Pericles. And I wish Boris Johnson well in his latest decision in suspending parliament or proroguing the House of Commons. I am interested in Constitutional Law; in fact I taught the Federal Constitution of Malaysia for two years (2017-2018). But Britain does not have a written constitution though most commonwealth Constitutions are derived from British conventions, customs, rule of law, an independent judiciary, democratic principles and parliamentary sovereignty to name a few. It is a fascinating clash between Leavers and Remainers. Leavers (Johnson's cabinet) will contend that what they had done was within constitutional framework of democracy. Parliament had been in session for more than 3 years and it is time for a refresh with a new government and the Queen's Speech on the 14th October 2019 will set the tone for the domestic (and foreign) agenda of the Johnson's government for the next 3 years before the next General Election.
Though arguably it is all legal and constitutional (proroguing parliament) but within the political context of Brexit in general and no-deal Brexit in particular, many Members of Parliament are up in arms as they view Johnson's call to suspend Parliament as an entire self-serving political move to ensure there is little time in Parliament to oppose (hard or no-deal) Brexit set for 31st October. It is a gamble Boris Johnson is bold enough to take (I tend to agree with the Rt Hon. Boris) that should his government fall either due to a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons or whatever outcome of negotiations at the European Council on 17-18th October, a snap General Election could be called and Boris's Conservatives could be returned in a landslide if they play their cards right. After 2 years of Theresa May's government and her failure to get a satisfactory Brexit deal, the British public is sick of the entire process. They would want the results of the 2016's referendum to leave EU upheld and I believe whatever arguments to the contrary of proroguing parliament, Boris Johnson's actions would be viewed as delivering Brexit according to the wishes of the British electorate and there will be no ifs and no buts. Brexit will come to pass on 31st October 2019. I wish Boris Johnson well and I look forward to his many years as the British PM.

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