MIL-OSI UK: England denied a voice in Brexit talks

Source: English Democrats

Yesterday the UK Prime Minister had a meeting with the leaders of Scotland, Wales, & N. Ireland Parliaments. England was again excluded from those talks as the British Government continually deny England the same democratic rights they enjoy.

Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/uk-pm-may-urges-devolved-nations-back-her-000559962–finance.html

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May will urge the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to “listen to business” at a meeting on Wednesday and back her Brexit deal, which envisages continuing close ties with the EU.

A day after her government said it would implement plans for a no-deal Brexit in full, May was due to stress how her deal works for all parts of Britain, her office said.

“I am confident that what we have agreed delivers for the whole of the UK,” she was due to say ahead of the meeting.

“That’s why it is more important than ever that the devolved administrations get behind this deal and listen to businesses and industry bodies across all four nations who have been clear that it provides the certainty they need.”

May is due to meet the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, new First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and representatives of the Northern Ireland Civil Service at her Downing Street office.

She will update them on plans being made for every eventuality including leaving the EU without any kind of a deal, plans that include setting aside space on ferries to ensure a regular flow of medical supplies and keeping 3,500 armed forces personnel on standby to support contingency plans.

With just 100 days until Britain is due to leave the EU, May has yet to win the support of a deeply divided parliament for the deal she struck last month with Brussels.

She has said a delayed vote on her deal will take place in mid-January, prompting some lawmakers to accuse her of trying to force parliament into backing her by running down the clock as the March 29 exit day approaches.

Sturgeon, leader of the independence-minded Scottish National Party (SNP), has accused May of not listening to Scottish opinion and has likened her Brexit deal to taking a blindfolded leap off a cliff.

The Welsh Assembly also rejected the deal in a symbolic vote earlier this month. Northern Ireland has been without an executive since January 2017 when the governing parties, Sinn Fein and May’s allies at Westminster, the DUP, split after a fierce row.

A so-called backstop plan to avoid the reintroduction of a hard border between the Irish republic and Northern Ireland remains one of the principal obstacles to parliamentary agreement on May’s deal.

“From the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and Diageo , to Airbus and Manufacturing Northern Ireland, business and industry right across the UK want to us to deliver this deal as it gives them the clarity and stability they need to protect jobs and living standards,” May was due to say.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by James Davey)

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Robin Tilbrook on Sputnik: Analyst on May’s Brexit Crisis

Source: English Democrats

British Prime Minister Theresa May has sensationally postponed a parliamentary vote on her Chequers Brexit plan, much to the outrage of the pro-Brexit factions in the commons. Sputnik spoke about it with Robin Tilbrook, leader of the English Democrats.

Sputnik: What do you make of Theresa May’s decision to cancel the vote on her deal?

Robin Tilbrook: Wasn’t it an astonishing turn around? We had not only the European Court of Justice saying that the Article fifty notices could be revoked, but we then have Theresa May coming forward and basically admitting that she couldn’t possibly get her deal through the House of Commons, and then talking an absolute load of nonsense about going back and getting some more reassurances.

The most sensible thing that anybody seemed to say in the House of Commons was by Nigel Dodds; the leader in the House of Commons of the Democratic Unionist Party, who said that there was no way that these reassurances, would make any difference.

In order to get it through the house, she’s got to find some other legal mechanism to deal with the so-called backstop.

It isn’t at all unlikely that the UK is going to break up. We’ve had movements towards that sort of thing for quite a while, and the SNP are getting more and more excited, that that’s the way it’s going to go.

Public opinion in Scotland seems to be going towards independence, and clearly, if anything like the current deal offer goes through, then Northern Ireland is very likely to be separate from the main UK, so with either of those happening, you’ve got dissolution of the United Kingdom occurring.

Personally; as an English nationalist I don’t find that a problem, because we’re paying quite a lot at the moment to maintain the union and are mostly only getting grumbles and complaints in response for all our money.

Sputnik: Would we be in this situation with a pro-Brexit leader?

Robin Tilbrook: One of the most extraordinary things that’s happened in the past three or four years is the sort of implosion of incompetence in the Conservative Party. The reason why we wound up with; as Jacob Rees-Mogg called it, a remainer who’s remained a remainer as leader, was because the two leading Brexiteers knifed each other.

Particularly the loathsome Michael Gove backstabbing Boris Johnson, who would otherwise have become the leader. They would then have had Boris Johnson as a keen Brexiteer, with the number two in the cabinet in Gove as another Brexiteer.

I suspect if that had happened; we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are now.

Listen to full interview here 

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Brexit has reopened two constitutional conflicts which must be resolved

Source: English Democrats

The British have, typically, little interest in constitutional law. Unlike the French, who regularly rewrite their constitution in revolutions or attempts to prevent revolutions, the British tend to assume that little changes and that all is well. Alas, the constitutional problems accumulate nevertheless. Dominic Grieve was right in a recent Commons debate to say that there are areas of the British constitution that need clearer definition. But what exactly are they? Why is the Brexit question so difficult to resolve through the familiar Westminster machinery?

The big issues of constitutional conflict are so fraught because they happen in legal grey areas, in which agreement and definition have never emerged. Today there are two such major areas, though many minor ones.

The first is the question of sovereignty: where does ultimate authority reside? It is many centuries since any significant number of people claimed that it resided with the person of the monarch alone. But the decline of that image was followed by the growing popularity of another, ‘the Crown in Parliament’, that is, the monarch, the Lords and the Commons acting together. This image never went away, but was upstaged by the doctrine of the lawyer A. V. Dicey (1835-1922) that ‘Parliament’ (meaning, increasingly, the House of Commons) was sovereign. Yet from the Reform Bill of 1832 into the 20th century, successive rounds of franchise extension strengthened another old idea, that the ultimate authority lay with ‘the People’, however defined.

From 1973, when the UK joined the EEC, it slowly became evident that the answer was ‘none of the above’: ultimate authority lay with Brussels. Parliament rubber-stamped increasing amounts of secondary legislation from an evolving super-state. In 2019, departure from the EU would remove that layer of command. This prospect inevitably reopens an old debate, which had never really been settled: was Parliament or the People finally supreme? Its re-emergence reminds us that Dicey’s doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty was the opinion of one commentator only. That opinion partly corresponded to contemporary practice, partly not.

Today, the tide is everywhere running in the opposite direction. Deference and duty daily fade; the key word everywhere is ‘choice’, and this means the choices of the many, not just the few. The transformation of communications places steadily more power in the hands of a steadily more educated, better informed ‘People’. But this trend has been matched by another, seen across the West in recent decades and at all levels: in increasingly complex societies, the executive has everywhere grown more powerful vis-a-vis the legislature. Political scientists have largely ignored this tide, but it has swept forwards nevertheless. It means that two powerful social forces now collide. Across western democracies, ‘ordinary people’ find means of complaining that they are ignored by elites who ‘just don’t get it’; elites decry ‘populism’ and exalt the opinion of ‘experts’, expressed to within one decimal point in forecasts of outcomes 15 years hence.

This collision reopens a second, equally old, question. What is a Member of Parliament: a delegate, or a representative? Edmund Burke famously outlined the case for the second: MPs, once elected, represent the nation as a whole; they owe the nation their best judgment; they are in nobody’s pocket. But another idea is just as old, and equally honourable: MPs are sent to Westminster by their electors to redress the electors’ grievances, and are accountable to them. Against Burke, we can set another intellectual, Andrew Marvell, MP for Hull in 1659-78, who was paid by his constituents and regularly reported back to them. Understandably, Burke’s high-sounding doctrine proved the more popular among MPs. But after he framed it, his constituents in Bristol threw him out for favouring Irish commercial interests over theirs, and he represented thereafter only his patron’s pocket borough.

Both ideas in their pure form are unacceptable. But how the balance between the two is to be struck can never be quantified or defined, and a crisis like the present makes the impossibility of a definition clear. ‘The People’ voted by 52 to 48 for Leave, and a larger percentage now says ‘just get on with it’; but about five-sixths of the House of Commons are for Remain.

Among Conservative MPs, something under 100 are evidently for Leave; of the other 200 or so, over half are on the Government payroll in one capacity or another, and more would like to be. So profound a dissociation between elite and popular opinion is rare. Worse still, public opinion polls and the growing practice of referenda quantify the problem as never before; the issue is easily expressed in binary terms (Leave or Remain); and the arguments have been fully rehearsed. Other countries show similar problems of relations between the many and the few, but in the UK these are brought to a focus. Since the constitution has failed to resolve them, public debate is full of expressions of elite contempt for the ignorant, prejudiced, xenophobic, racialist populace on the one hand; of popular contempt for the self-serving, condescending, out-of-touch Establishment on the other.

Before 1914, Conservative peers making technical points over a budget were manoeuvred by Lloyd George into a constitutional confrontation that could be memorably summed up as ‘Peers versus the People’. In this clash, the peers could only lose. Now, the Remainers have been manoeuvred into a constitutional confrontation that, if it goes much further, will be labelled ‘Parliament versus the People’. In such a conflict it can only be Parliament that will lose. In that event, the damage would be considerable.

These great questions of constitutional definition are seldom solved; rather, the issues are defused by building next to them a new practice. The present challenge is to accommodate that new arrival in the political arena, the referendum, and to turn it into a clearly specified, moderate, and constructive institution, as it is in Switzerland. Those concerned about daily policy should think again about a subject, once salient in university History departments but now everywhere disparaged: constitutional history.

MIL-OSI UK News