THE final few weeks before March 29 were always going to see the last-gasp effort of Remainers to block Brexit.
Regardless of the constitutional norms or their previous votes or statements, the diehards of the Brussels Brigade blithely believe they can keep the United Kingdom shackled to the European Union.
March 29 was voted on as being the date of departure from the EU, regardless of a deal or not
EPA The Brussels Brigade blithely believe they can keep the United Kingdom shackled to the European Union
Three constitutional perversions have been used in this effort.
The relationship between Government and Parliament is now disordered, with the House of Commons trying to do Ministers’ jobs.
Collective responsibility has been abandoned so no one knows which minister speaks authoritatively for the Government’s position and, worst of all, the Referendum result, where 17.4million people decided that we should leave, is put at nothing by the extremist Remainers.
Next week will see this come to a head as there will be a series of Parliamentary votes to determine the future of Brexit.
First, there will be another vote on Mrs May’s deal.
The relationship between Government and Parliament is now disordered, with the House of Commons trying to do Ministers’ jobsJacob Rees-Mogg
In its current form this is unlikely to pass because of the backstop which divides the United Kingdom between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and could leave us indefinitely as a vassal state, where we have a mutual obligation to a superior state.
Assuming this fails, then the second event would be a vote to stop a No Deal Brexit.
Clearly some politicians have short memories because in 2017, 494 members of Parliament out of 650 voted for the law that led to March 29 being the date of departure, regardless of a deal or not.
Cabinet ministers, who are now abandoning collective responsibility, voted for it, the Labour leadership voted for it, even Yvette Cooper voted for it.
Yet these same people now pretend that such an outcome is an unimaginable horror.
Even though removing the possibility of No Deal weakens the Government’s negotiating position and contradicts the law of the land, such a motion could pass but in itself would have no legal effect.
This leaves the third vote on the issue of seeking an extension to our membership of the European Union.
Rex Features First, there will be another vote on Mrs May’s deal, but in its current form this is unlikely to pass because of the backstop
Getty Images – Getty Even Yvette Cooper voted for the UK to leave on March 29 despite her current attempts to keep us in
As yet it is unclear what length of time would be requested or what the purpose of such an extension would be.
These key questions are left unanswered because the extreme Remainers do not just want an extension — they want reversal and see this as a first step.
It is worth remembering that those who love the European Union prefer it to democracy and always have done.
This is why so many other votes have been ignored in the past and why referendums are now so unpopular with the European elite.
The Government has so far meekly accepted these developments, although Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is trying to achieve some apparently minor changes to the backstop.
Instead the Government must reassert the constitutional norms.
It is worth remembering that those who love the European Union prefer it to democracy and always have doneJacob Rees-Mogg
If the House of Commons will not accept the ordinary relationship between it and the Executive, then a vote of confidence ought to take place. If Theresa May were to win such a vote for a second time then there is no obligation for the Government to follow mere motions of the Commons.
Similarly, ministers who cannot support Government policy are entitled to leave the Government, as the honourable recent example of George Eustice shows.
Naturally, the Government must prove that it is committed to the referendum result, for that is the authoritative constitutional voice.
No responsible government ought to allow the constitution to be subverted because of its own weaknesses. The conventions are there for good reasons and, if ignored, confidence in the system that has served well for centuries will be damaged — with consequences that could include the rise of extremist parties. Failure to deliver Brexit would be a gift to Tommy Robinson.
DUTY AND OBLIGATION
Fortunately, it is in the power of the Government, and especially of Mrs May, to deliver Brexit. Votes in the House of Commons cannot override the law.
If they could we would have arbitrary government and the law says we leave at the end of this month.
The Prime Minister could simply refuse to ask for an extension or to move the Statutory Instrument that is needed to change the date. Mrs May may choose to fulfil or to break her promises to the electorate and will be held to account accordingly.
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Eurosceptics must similarly be guided by the electorate — it is our duty and obligation to those who trusted that the vote in 2016 would be decisive and would be implemented.
This makes it necessary to vote against the current deal as well as efforts to move the date beyond March 29.
The people have spoken. The case ought to be concluded. Let’s have lift-off.
Alamy Live News Geoffrey Cox is trying to achieve some apparently minor changes to the backstop
Reuters Ministers who cannot support Government policy are entitled to leave the Government, as the honourable recent example of George Eustice shows
Pro-Brexit minister George Eustice QUITS in protest at PM giving Parliament a veto over No Deal
Jacob Rees-Mogg is Conservative MP for North East Somerset.