Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.

Wow. I am really confused now. Three years ago, the EU referendum was ‘won’ by the side which wanted the UK to take back control of our own legislation after decades of undemocratic meddling by the bureaucrats of Brussels. ‘Let us be the masters of our own destiny’ came the rallying cry.

Somewhere in the intervening years, we had a court case, brought – and won – by Gina Miller, which determined that Parliament would have the last say on any final Brexit decisions.  A Parliament that was mostly made up of MPs whose natural inclinations were on the Remain side. Which meant that Teresa May’s proposed deal was thrice denied.

So now it appears the Queen will be asked to suspend Parliament almost immediately after MPs return to work in September, just a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.

The plan now, apparently, is to allow Boris Johnson’s new administration to layout its plans in a Queen’s Speech on 14 October. But, as there can be no laws or motions passed whilst Parliament is suspended, it means MPs will have no time to pass any laws that could stop a No Deal situation.

If Parliament = democracy, then surely, without Parliament we have no democracy, even if it’s just for a few weeks? Not exactly ‘will of the people’ is it?  But how much of this has been?

2016: the EU is undemocratic, let’s get rid of it. 2019: Parliament is stopping us doing what we want to do, let’s get rid of it.

Ever the optimist, I’d like to think that, should (when?) we end up with no agreed EU deal, everyone on all negotiating sides will look at it and think ‘this is a bit rubbish isn’t it? Let’s sort it out’.

I’d really like to think that would happen. But then I’d also quite like a pet unicorn.


About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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