+++Jo Swinson requests a meeting with the Queen to discuss the constitutional crisis

Today the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, has written to Her Majesty the Queen to ask for a meeting following the reports that the Government is expected to suspend Parliament from mid-September.

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said:

I’ve written to the Queen to express my concern at Boris Johnson’s anti-democratic plan to shut down Parliament, and to request an urgent meeting.

This is a crucial time in our country’s history, and yet our Prime Minister is arrogantly attempting to force through a No Deal Brexit against the democratic will. He is outrageously stifling the voices of both the people and their representatives.

It is appalling that the Prime Minister has forced opposition leaders into taking this action. However, we must take all measures necessary to avoid a disastrous No Deal Brexit, for which there is no mandate.

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33 Comments

  • The Queen is guided by her PM, not others. This childish gesture is pointless. The PM’s request was well within precedented practice and has already been approved by HMQ.

    It is rich hearing Ms Swinson talking about democratic will. This is the woman who calls for a second referendum that will lead to a Remain decision regardless of the result.

  • If HM is there just to rubber stamp such actions it is time to terminate her role and replace it with a ‘written constitution’.
    Even she doesn’t seem too keen on a Charles 3rd monarchy so let’s end ithe whole farce with her.

  • DAVID FENTON 28th Aug '19 - 4:28pm

    Peter, I’m not sure how you define democracy but do you truly believe it is now “the will of the people” to leave the EU?

  • The Monarch has power to prorogue Parliament, the Prime Minister personally, does not.

    The Prime Minster could advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament in order to frustrate the will of that same Parliament. However it is outside the scope of the Queen’s prerogative power to exercise it so as to frustrate the will of Parliament. A precedent was established in 1995, that the executive is not permitted to use prerogative powers to frustrate the will of Parliament.

    Both Houses of Parliament have expressed the view that a “no deal” Brexit should not be permitted. Parliament has exercised control over the process of Brexit so as to ensure a “no deal” Brexit is avoided. It will likely seek to do so again. The act of advising the Queen to prorogue Parliament before 31 October would have the effect of excluding Parliament from the Brexit process.

    It’s not the first time a rogue leader’s tried this. Hitler asked Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag on 1 February 1933 at least all he wanted was an election. Boris seems further on up the dictatorship road.

  • I always thought one of the best arguments for the monarchy was that it underpinned our parliamentary democracy! That no transient prime minister – not even Winston Churchill – could believe themselves to be a King (or Queen) because that job is taken! Now we have an executive disconnecting itself from its parliamentary legitimacy and suddenly we seem to have a executive King and a diminished Queen because of that action! Worryingly it set an awful precedent for the future!

  • Andrew McCaig 28th Aug '19 - 4:42pm

    David,
    If you say it often enough it becomes true, you must know that?

  • @David Fenton
    The answer to your question is “yes”, but my definition of democracy is immaterial. Parliament pledged to implement leaving the EU and has failed to deliver, many politicians reneging on the manifestos on which they were elected. The decision to leave is indisputable, enshrined in law and will remain that way until it is either delivered or the law is changed.

    The last referendum on the subject produced a result and the people did not get a chance to express another opinion for four decades.

  • Paul Barker 28th Aug '19 - 5:30pm

    When it comes to defending our Democracy or Civil Rights The Monarchy is as much use as a chocolate teapot.
    Surely its now time for us as a Party to abandon Monarchism ?

  • Parliament has had ample time to interfere in the Brexit process and has failed to produce any sense of direction. It has three times voted against the only deal available and A50 is due to expire for the second time. The blockage is purely political, not constitutional.

    Parliament is frustrating both the will of the people and the legal requirement to leave the EU. It may be unexplored parliamentary territory, but it is crystal clear that Parliament is in the wrong. It is acting in contempt of its own prior decisions and sadly its rogue members are too arrogant (and thick) to comprehend that.

  • John Marriott 28th Aug '19 - 5:52pm

    Time to think about serious democratic reform?
    1. Introduce a Written Constitution
    2. Pass a Bill of Rights
    3. Get rid of the House of Lords and replace it with a Senate elected or nominated by the regions and actions of the U.K.
    4. Bring in fair votes in all elections

    None of the above has got much to do with Brexit; but our inability to see the wood from the trees has contributed massively to the current situation.

  • John Marriott 28th Aug '19 - 5:55pm

    Typo alert. For ‘actions’ please read ‘nations’, ie NI., Wales and Scotland

  • Boris Johnson is really playing with fire now. He’s got us to a point where Scotland may leave the UK, NI could decide to go with the ROI and now even the role of the Monarchy is in question. He could unleash forces on the UK which will mean the Uk fundamentally no longer exists…..

  • @ John Marriott I’m outraged by the casual arrogance of Johnson and I agree there is a need for constitutional reform.

    I’d add to your list the removal of the monarch from any role in the prorogation of parliament. The hereditary system is absurd and it’s only by luck that we won’t be landed with a King Andrew one day. The power to prorogue should be by a majority vote of the House of Commons… End of.

    As for the monarchy, happy for them to remain as a Disneyland type tourist attraction. I won’t bother them over much if they don’t bother me.

  • @ Christian You’re right.

    Those of us living north of the border have some very serious thinking to do. Whether we want to remain tied to an undemocratic Westminster instead of being part of the EU with a parliament (and local government) elected by PR is a very fluid question post 31 October.

  • David Raw
    It’s been a fluid question for donkey’s years. I note that in Scotland and Northern Island unionists tend to be pro Brexit and nationalists pro EU, which suggests that the idea that the Europe is keeping the UK together is a little problematic or basically a convenient argument for said nationalists. I also note that the SNP actually lost votes in the 2017 election.
    Personally, I think an independent Scotland would be fine, but would probably rebirth Scottish conservatism as the political arguments would become more nation-centric and less focused on the English problem. The other thing is that once nations have gained independence they tend not to voluntarily give it up.

  • Northern Ireland, blummin’ typo

  • What did we expect after Boris spent the weekend being bigged-up by Donald Trump?

  • Peter, I trust you are therefore ok with any future PM doing the same thing? Because this isn’t just about Brexit, it’s about the principal of a PM riding roughshod over Parliament.
    And any PM can claim his scheme is The Will of The People by virtue of being in power.

    If it is ok for Boris today, it will be ok for Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow, and any other PM down the line who wants to do away with pesky Opposition.
    That’s not democracy, that’s autocracy.

  • Peter is having fun winding us up but his arithmetic is suspect. After Remain won the first referendum 3:1 leavers campaigned for a second referendum for 40 years until they got it and won by a tiny margin. Jo is asking for a 3rd referendum, not a 2nd.

  • Glenn 28th Aug ’19 – 7:29pm:
    I note that in Scotland and Northern Island unionists tend to be pro Brexit and nationalists pro EU,…
    Moderate nationalists perhaps, but more hard-line Irish republicans welcome Brexit – they have no more wish to be ruled over by Brussels than they have by Britain. Here, for example, is the post-Referendum press release from Republican SINN FÉIN Poblachtach (not to be confused with the much larger and better known Sinn Féin)…

    ‘British EU Referendum result weakens old and new imperialisms’ [June 2016]:
    https://republicansinnfein.org/2016/06/24/british-eu-referendum-result-weakens-old-and-new-imperialisms/

    We are proud of our record of consistently opposing the construction of a militarised and undemocratic Superstate in every referenda held in the 26 Counties since the original referendum on membership of the EEC in 1972. This is the only position that Irish Republicans can hold if we are serious about creating an independent Ireland based on the principles of the 1916 Proclamation. There is no point in removing the shackles of British imperialism only to replace them with the political and economic imperialism of the EU.

  • It really is very simple. If Parliament decides what to do it we will stay in the EU. If Parliament decides to have an election we will have an election. If Parliament decides to have a referendum there will be a referendum there will be a referendum.
    As someone who has believed in a European Union since I was a school boy I find in depressing that those who claim that they want to remain are allowing others to set the agenda.
    And without wishing to comment on our lack of a constitution, the role of the Queen is all of this is clear, she must follow the advice of Parliament as relayed by her Government. Parliament have the power to remove the Government.
    It is not her fault if Parliament do not want to make decisions.
    But back to the key issue. Who is going to lead the fight to convince people that the European Union is a huge step forward in co-operation between the countries of the world – a beacon of sanity.

  • “Surely its now time for us as a Party to abandon Monarchism ?”

    “1. Introduce a Written Constitution
    2. Pass a Bill of Rights
    3. Get rid of the House of Lords”

    Time for a bit of homespun advice / light relief, c/o the power plant maintenance industry:

    “When you’re up to your a*se in alligators, don’t f***ing try to drain the swamp!”

  • @ Lorenzo Cherin “Andrew would, had he been heir, not behaved in so , no pun intended, cavalier a manner.”

    How do you know ? Are you applying to be The Master of the Closet or the Silver Stick in waiting ? All this heredity business and the patronage that goes with it is absurd and feeds pretentious snobbery. I would choose to be a citizen not a subject.

  • Of course the monarchy is absurd, and is the figleaf for all of the privilege that still blights our nation, and I’d do away with it in a heartbeat ….

  • Malcolm Todd 29th Aug '19 - 12:23pm

    The monarchy in modern Britain has but one purpose, which is also the Queen’s sole priority: to preserve the monarchy. Reason enough, I think, to abolish it.

    (And to those who say What would you replace it with?, I reply: Why replace it at all? What useful earthly function does it serve that would need to be continued if there were no longer a king or queen to perform it?)

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Aug ’19 – 2:58am……………Heredity is only absurd if unwanted and unwarranted. Our monarchy is not, on either.
    Andrew would, had he been heir, not behaved in so , no pun intended, cavalier a manner. No monarch in a couple of centuries has been a disaster , bar one, who abdicated. The system finds ways to rid us of the bad apples…………………

    Really? HM would’ve been a forgotten minor royal if your ‘bad apple’ had stayed (as he would’ve in today’s more liberal age). A more dysfunctional family, outside a ‘sink estate’, would be difficult to find.
    As for the ‘system’ weeding out anything????? The point of a monarchy based solely on heredity is that it can’t.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Aug '19 - 1:45pm

    David Raw, expats

    I do not say, I know, I let others come across as know alls, I delighted in David giving us the excellent quotation from Rumsfeld , about what any of us do or do not, know.

    I reckon had Andrew been heir, he would have kept better company, and had better judgement.

    If not, as with E V111, the real powers , pm, like then, mps, advisers, would , like then, told him, exile looks good over there , Majesty!

    The people baying for our Monarch, are not Liberals or Democrats really.

    Liberalism tends towards evidence. Evidence shows it, our figure head, works. She, that monarch, works hard.

    Democracy is about being in tune with public opinion. About three quarters of those polled or more, like our Constitutional monarchy. I do to.

    We do not have to be pretentious or deferential or snobbish. My father, as a waiter, then managing in restaurants, served many a pm and Royal great and good. He, like me, who has interacted with him myself, liked Prince Charles best. The heir. Well trained. A sense odd, though some find it, of duty. Warts, and all. Though the less said about Cromwell whose quote this is, the better! Monarchy or dictatorship, make mine, monarchy. Cromwell or Charles 1, I shall keep my tickets for , and right to perform myself, in, the theatre , and even as a teetotaller, right to visit the tavern!

  • @ Lorenzo So can we take it you would like to see the House of Savoy reinstalled in Republican Italy ? Liberals are, or should be men and women of independent mind…. and I prefer Robert Burns :

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
    Wear hoddin grey, an’ a’ that?
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
    A man’s a man for a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that,
    The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
    Is king o’ men for a’ that.

    Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord,
    Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
    Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
    He’s but a coof for a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    His ribband, star, an’ a’ that,
    The man o’ independent mind
    He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Aug '19 - 3:23pm

    David
    I think to keep what I know works is in this country my focus, rather than get back what I do not know worked in another country.

    As for independent mindedness mine prefers the great Scot’s…

    “My love is like red red rose, that’s newly sprung in June,

    My love is like the melody that’s sweetly played in tune

    So fair art thou my bonnie lass, so sweet in love am I

    And I shall love thee still my love, till al the seas gang dry….”

    Independently romantically minded, me!

  • Laurence Cox 29th Aug '19 - 3:25pm

    David Howarth on what the Commons can do against Boris’ threat of prorogation:

    https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2019/08/29/threat-of-prorogation-what-can-the-commons-do/

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Aug ’19 – 1:45pm..

    More full of straw men than East Anglia…

    It doesn’t matter that HM works hard; Lamplighters, Town Criers, etc worked hard but changing times made their position obsolete.
    Opening bridges and hosting dinners for dictators are not reason enough for the monarchy to exist.
    As for tourism. most tourists never see HM and are only interested in the castles and palaces of long dead royals.
    Monarchists, instead of talking about the evils of presidents Blair or Johnson, should look into the real world..The Republic of Ireland might be a good place to start.

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