Monday, October 10, 2016

Brexit and Parliamentary Democracy

Funny thing, your Johnny referendum. Supposed to be the ultimate expression of the people's will. Overrides parliament. And yet in the vexed case of Brexit, the total lack of detail about what is to replace our membership of the EU demands the utmost involvement of parliament. The government grudgingly suggests that maybe there will a debate at the end of the negotiating process. The government, voted into power in 2015 on a platform of supporting British membership, not of leaving, now claims to have some sort of direct mandate. So a handful of MPs, nearly all of whom stood behind our membership of the EU, are now going to decide how we exit and parliament will get a chance to rubber-stamp it. And it really is a rubber stamp for the government has made it clear that parliament may not change anything that is negotiated.

Oh, and we are not allowed to know what it is that is being negotiated because that would jeopardise our bargaining position. Umm, we've already done that, fellers. We've given unconditional notice that we are out. We don't really have a negotiating position.

Maybe Mr Johnson, our make-it-up-on-the-spot Foreign Secretary can sort it all out. Or should we all invest in Irish citizenship while the going is good?

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