• Brexit: Where do we go from here!

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    One thing that we think that most British politicians will be able upon is this: Yesterday was an important day in British political history.

    For once the many demonstrators – on all sides – milling around the Palace of Westminster added and not subtracted from the occasion. Most were passionate and noisy. And there is nothing wrong in that.

    In the history of these islands it can be said that things bump along more or less smoothly but every so often something comes along which causes a right old hoo-ha and then some things change.

    The other thing that can be said about these islands is that things evolve and develop over time. If one was to compare British political history to a house, the type of house would be a happening.

    A happening is the term applied to a residential property which is old and has been added to, extended and rebuilt several or many times. Happenings come in all shapes and sizes. A happening could well have started off as a small single storey cottage and was extended modestly. Later a new wing with two storeys that was twice as large as the cottage was added and became the main part of the property. Later still, a two storey wing could be added to this. Then an extension to the ground floor on the older of the two two storey wings could be added. Then the roof space across the property could be given over to loft extensions and new roof tiles with the owners selling the very old slates to architectural salvage merchants. Then, to disguise the differing ages of the property, all outside walls were rendered and pebble dashed. Then, because the property had managed to escape being listed, the owners took full advantage of their luck and replaced all the windows with modern plastic windows!

    In the case of the Pre/Post 1707 (English/British) constitution the important dates are 1688/1689 being the Declaration/Bill of Rights. This laid down in written form the limits to the Crown’s authority. It had to seek the consent of Parliament for it’s enactments. Since that time we have seen little erosion of the Crown’s power but we have seen a steady transfer of executive authority from the person of the monarch to the person of the monarch’s Prime Minister.

    In modern times the Prime Minister has become a very powerful figure. Far more so in national terms that other executive heads of governments. It is often said that US Presidents are genuinely jealous of the de facto power of a British Prime Minister.

    British Gazette readers will have course have immediately spotted the use of the qualifier “de facto”. This is because the power of a British Prime Minster depends on three things:
    #1: The size of their party’s majority and,
    #2: The extent of party discipline exercised through the whips.
    #3: The rules of the house.

    In the case of Madame Mayhem two of these three factors appear non existent and one is appearing to change! In this evenings confidence motion it is not party discipline that will send the Tory MPs through the Aye division lobby but self preservation.

    For the exercise of power through rules of the house the Prime Minister needs the co-operation of the Speaker of the Commons. You see, in the past (before the last week) the government was able to dictate things in the Commons like allocation of time and allowing/not allowing of amendments. Speaker BERCOW however appears to be rewriting the rule book. Thus, if as expected Madame embarks on yet another Grand European Tour to drum up letters of assurance from divers EU leaders, then it is likely that Remainer MPs from both sides of the house will co-operate in a bid to force the government into;
    A: seeking an extension of some months to Article 50 and,
    B: holding a second referendum on Brexit.

    The other items of the MPs wish list – a renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement – is not possible as the EU is not prepared to reopen the negotiations on that. They would be prepared of course to renegotiate the statement of aims and objectives.

    This situation may well become established custom and practice and the Commons will henceforth have much more control over the government.
    NB: A political crisis appears unavoidable! This because in order to satisfy the ERG, “No Deal” must be on the ballot paper. This also because in order to satisfy the DUP, “The Deal” must not be on the ballot paper. This also because in order to satisfy the many Labourites, all Lib-Dems and the SNP “No Deal” must NOT be on the ballot paper!
    Therefore Madame is in an impossible situation!

    At this point British Gazette readers will ask: “If this comes to pass, which option will the Editor choose?”

    In such circumstances we would vote “Deal.”