Parliamentary sovereignty is central to our democracy.

Perhaps there was a feeling that the enormity of the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal would bring sense to prevail. What politician would purposively, knowingly wreck the economy? The warning signs were there. Brexiteers in the Tory party were becoming more strident as they were gaining more hold on the Tory party. They now sit round the cabinet table. They are making the decisions and they control parliament. They are convinced by their own rhetoric. Even now, when all the signs are against it, many believe 'sense will prevail', that it is all tactics and there will be a deal. But whose 'sense' is it that will prevail?

Proroguing parliament removes the political machinery for holding the government to account at a time when it makes decisions that will affect our future for generations to come. In doing so they turn our democracy on its head. We had a parliamentary democracy. Today, our government is riding roughshod over it. Our representatives are no longer able to represent us.

Whatever views are held on Brexit itself, voters should wake up to the enormity of what is happening.

No law is being broken. Constitutional procedures are being followed, yet a minority government without a mandate is stopping parliament from holding it to account. This is a travesty of our constitutional arrangements. It takes advantage of our unwritten constitution to undermine it.

Some still believe this is a tactical manoeuvre to convince the EU to give way on the backstop arrangements and do a deal. Even if this were so, it is a dangerous move. It sets a dangerous precedent and takes power from our elected representatives.

We are told 'the people voted'. They did not vote for parliament to be stripped of its power to hold the government to account. On the contrary. The sovereignty of our parliament was a significant argument in the referendum. Those who have campaigned against British membership of the EU over many years have argued for our parliamentary democracy and against what they saw as the removal of powers from our parliament. So nobody could have been voting in the referendum to allow a minority Tory government to strip parliament of that power.

"Taking back control" was a powerful message. It still is. We must take back control from a reckless government and give power back to our elected representatives. Parliamentary sovereignty is central to our democracy and our constitutional arrangements.

Comments

Popular Posts