Amid all the surreal fantasy that Brexit has given us, the fact that the government can maintain that the people just want to ‘get it done’ at the same moment that there about a million people outside the Parliamentary gates asking for a second referendum ranks as some of the most brazen lying of the lot. Then when Johnson’s three letters to ‘comply’ with the Benn act include an unsigned photocopy of the letter in the Benn Act and a signed letter of why he says he doesn’t want to comply, they seem to be rather childish, foot- stamping shenanigans that only serve to emphasise the fact that he has not ‘died in a ditch’ but has simply surrendered to what he himself referred to as the surrender act.
I doubt there is any purpose to be served by further intervention in the appeal due to be heard in the Scottish Court of Session at midday on Monday, (but I confess I shall not be disappointed if the court turns out to consider that the Prime Minister in writing a second letter has frustrated the will of Parliament – though a Supreme Court Appeal would be likely). The SNP MP, Joanna Cherry has stated that the Scottish court action will be continued in order to ensure that Johnson agrees to any suggested extension by the EU.
What is clear is that the grudging respect for the rule of law from a government responsible for creating its framework does not work to societal benefit. Neither does a government where lying has become a trademark, even more than its predecessor. Ironically the breakdown in trust only makes Johnson’s governmental tasks even more difficult. And of course, as with Trump, it devalues his office and devalues politics.
Then when Amber Rudd is actually reported as saying that we must ‘get it done’ even if the economy declines by 5%. We have to realise that principles give guidance. Without them absolutely anything goes.
And 5% of GDP is £100bn or so whereas the EU membership is about £9bn. This is the only deficit the Tory Party seems to thoroughly approve of. We could in fact take ten years to decide exactly how or whether to leave and still be in pocket.
No wonder the FT has reported that one EU diplomat said “This is the greatest soap opera ever.”
He could have added that most of the extras in the cast are participating without their consent….