Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures


I would hazard a guess that the majority of people in the country are by now exceedingly fed up with the Brexit saga, and just want us to leave at the earliest opportunity. This view has even been expressed by 'remainer' friends of mine, most of whom appear to have accepted the outcome of a democratic referendum, even though they disagreed with it. Indeed, a poll reported in today's edition of The Daily Telegraph found that 61% of those surveyed agreed with the statement: 'Whether or not I voted for Brexit, the 2016 Referendum result should be respected' (Tominey, 2109:7). Liberal Democrats please take note: it is on the basis of acceptance of the majority view that democracy – such as in a General Election – functions; claiming that the General Public do not know what they voted for, and saying that you will 'Stop brexit' is not only anti-democratic, but it is also a very risky strategy: it shows the public that their politicians cannot be trusted to abide by democratic decisions. I was also rather amused by a picture showing Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour Party Conference, standing behind a podium on which was written 'PEOPLE before privilege' (Yorke, 2019:4). It would be interesting to know the extent to which the Labour Front Bench team have had privileged upbringings: certainly the University of Leeds and University of Oxford educated Sir Keir Starmer cannot deny a privileged background. Does that give him and other politicians the right to trample over the democratic choices of hundreds of thousands of voters?

It will be up to pro-Brexit groups and organisations, individuals, and MPs to remind voters of who the people are who have consistently blocked the outcome of a democratic referendum. I have written on many occasions of these groups: the traitors to democracy, who feel that the result of the referendum can be ignored and/or reversed before it has been implemented. I find it outrageous that Boris Johnson should be castigated in public by the 'chattering classes', the Media, MPs, and now the Supreme Court, over his decision to prorogue Parliament – the gist of such criticism being that he has acted unlawfully. What utter nonsense! There is no more glaring example of hypocrisy than such people/the PM for attempting to implement the results of the referendum, whilst at the same time they have spent the last three years trying to avoid the implementation of this same referendum. Who is un-democratic? Boris or the remainers? If the Supreme Court feels it has the right to intervene in political decisions, why, one might ask, has it done nothing over the years to curb the unconstitutional partisan actions and utterances of John Bercow? As Speaker his role is to observe and enforce order whilst the House conducts its business: it is not to blatantly abuse his power to present fellow-traveler 'remoaners' with advantage after advantage in their fight against democracy. Based on their current desire to become involved in politics, surely Their Lordships should have 'prorogued' Bercow some time ago? Unlike Boris Johnson, who is carrying out his mandate from the British people to leave the EU, Bercow has been seeking (along with other anti-democratic factions) to frustrate this. Lady Hale said that Johnson's action were 'unlawful' because they had "… the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions…" (Foster, 2019:6). Possibly so, but one could equally add that Parliament itself has been 'frustrating or preventing the ability of the PM to carry out the results of a democratic referendum.' Using the logic of the Supreme Court, one could suggest that Parliament has 'acted unlawfully.'

The real problem with the judiciary intervening in political matters, is that it may suggest to the public at large that they are no longer neutral; whether this is true or not is irrelevant, it is the public's perception of their motives that matters – and as Flaubert famously said "Perception is reality." The anti-democratic factions in the country (the 'Brussels Fifth Column', the Brexit deniers, the Media, big business and others), have undermined the population's confidence in our parliament and in democracy in general; would it not have been a more prudent ruling by the Supreme Court to have concluded that the issue was one of politics, and best left to politicians? By using the law to settle a political dispute, one wonders whether they might have done irreparable damage to their reputation, just as many politicians have done irreparable damage to the reputation of politicians and the UK Parliament?

If it proves impossible to move forwards from this, then it would appear that Boris is left with very few options. Rather than resign, would it be possible for him to call a vote of confidence in his own government, and deliberately lose, thus triggering a General Election? I am unsure as to whether a government is forced to call a General Election if they lose a vote of confidence; if they are, then bizarrely, this might be the one way in which Johnson could trigger a General Election, despite the attempts by the opposition not to hold one. The reason they fear another election, is that so many voters (of various parties) are sympathetic to Boris – he is increasingly regarded as one of the few politicians who will keep his word, and he has repeatedly said that we will leave on 31st October, with or without a deal. An alliance with Farage would allow tactical 'pro-Brexit' voting, which should help deliver a Conservative majority, consisting of those who would vote to leave without any conditions if necessary. If a group of undemocratic MPs wish to frustrate this, then they are likely to find themselves looking for new jobs following the next election: the public will know that Johnson tried to get us to leave as he promised. If he is ultimately unsuccessful, he can go into the next election with his head held high, and point the finger at those responsible.

Alternative, and somewhat ironically, could he appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ)? Surely if this were to happen, government could carry on whilst any appeal were being heard? Judging by the rate at which such EU organisation work, any judgement would come much after 31st October, by which time – by default – we would have left. Could EU bureaucracy come to the rescue of Brexit? Stranger things have happened at sea, as they say.


Foster, Peter (2019) "The PM has lost his leverage with Europe as bigger battle looms." The Daily Telegraph, p. 6

Tominey, Camilla (2019) "Public backs court's decision but remain divided over Brexit."

The Daily Telegraph, pp. 6-7

Yorke, Harry (2019) "Corbyn: crisis can only be settled with an election." The Daily Telegraph, p. 4 

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