The judgment of the Supreme Court, delivered by Lady Hale on Tuesday with such meticulous force and clarity, made me very proud to be British.
We have long taken the ‘rule of law’ for granted, but the decision by Boris Johnson to shut down Parliament for five weeks at a time of national crisis for his own political reasons, was clearly a step too far.
The Supreme Court agreed this was an unlawful act. They upheld the supremacy of our parliamentary democracy and rebuked Johnson for his abuse of executive power. Yet the Prime Minister has refused to apologise or show any contrition.
So Parliament resumed business on Wednesday – there are hundreds of pressing issues where we demand answers from the Government – especially on their lack of progress negotiating a Brexit outcome.
When questioned, Boris Johnson doubled-down with inflammatory and populist rhetoric, using dog-whistle phrases implying MPs were “surrendering” and questioning our patriotism. I challenged Boris Johnson on this, appealing to him to desist in mining the seam of populism and extremism himself.
I also asked Ministers about the progress needed on key legislation ahead of Brexit, especially the Trade Bill without which we can’t adequately scrutinise Johnson’s priorities for the trade deal he is apparently seeking with Trump and the US.
Politics has sadly descended into a place where the main parties have shifted to the ideological fringes. A clear compromise exists if Boris Johnson does get a ‘deal’ with the EU, to then put this back to the public in a confirmatory referendum. I will still argue that the best deal is remaining in the EU and that should be the public’s choice – not a decision solely for MPs.
We should be making decisions based on what is best for jobs and livelihoods and the future of the country, weighing up the evidence and listening to the arguments carefully. I will keep trying my best to prevent politics decaying into a fight between extremes, but this is a very difficult state of affairs at present. I will try, as always, to keep you updated with developments.