PPI News

In times of turbulence it is vital to know your anchor points. The points of security that provide a framework and refuge.For people of faith, these would be spiritual truths, but for the majority that is not the case. 

For our democracy there are two obvious anchor points: therule of law and general elections. Our democracy is founded upon these. You could add an independent judiciary and a free press, but that is for another article.

The rule of law. A famous former law lord once said: “be ye ever so high, no man is above the law.” In our system, no monarch, no government minister and no celebrity is above the law. It is one of the hallmarks of British society. That is why when occasionally the government gets taken to court and loses, that is a good thing, a reminder of this important principle.

That is why recent talk of the Prime Minister refusing to obey the new law that Parliament has recently passed to seek a further extension of the Brexit date is wide of the mark. It cannot happen. It may well be that the law passed by opposition parties and some Tory rebels is a poor law, and I think it is, but that does not matter. The rule of law dictates that it must be obeyed.

The second anchor point in these crazy times is a general election – let the people decide. The British people have got a canny knack of delivering the result the country needs. It is therefore galling that although Parliament is stuck, although we have a minority government that cannot pass any legislation – nonetheless, we cannot have an election. The 5 years fixed term Parliament Act, possibly the most useless piece of legislation ever passed, requires a two thirds majority of MPs to vote for a general election and naturally opposition parties (who are trailing miserably in the polls) are refusingthe only way to seek clarity. Turkeys not voting for Christmas. 

We must have a general election before Christmas. I can see no other way of achieving a breakthrough. If we win, we will leave (if we have not already done so), hopefully with a deal – but, if not, we will leave the EU. If our opponents win there will be presumably a coalition that will arrange a second referendum on EU membership in 2020. 

Whatever the ultimate outcome, it will be your choice.