Constitutional crisis. What would happen if Mr Johnson advised the Queen to refuse the Royal Assent to an Act of Parliament requiring he seek an extension under article 50.
Contempt of Parliament. Mr Johnson’s possible situation if he refused to abide by any Act of Parliament requiring he seek an extension under article 50. Michael Gove has refused to say whether the government would abide by legislation against no-deal Brexit, if it were passed by Parliament. A case of ‘Who GOVErns Britain’ then (c. Heath, E 1974).
Cummings. ee, American poet (1894-1962) who broke the rules of punctuation. Dominic, chief adviser and major domo to Mr Johnson.
General Election. Cannot be called until 2022 under the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 unless either the Government or the Opposition put forward a motion of no confidence in the government. If this is passed there are then fourteen days for an alternative government to be formed and if this is not possible Parliament will be dissolved and there will be a general election at a time specified by the Prime Minister. Alternatively, as in 2017, Parliament may be dissolved before the expiry of five years from the previous general election if there is a two thirds majority for this in the House of Commons. The opposition may not necessarily cooperate in which case there could be no ‘snap election’ for Mr Johnson, but Mr Corbyn might have to accept the soubriquet ‘frit’ (c Thatcher, M).
GNU. A Wildebeest, celebrated in song by Flanders and Swann. Alternatively, a Government of National Unity.
Interdict. Scottish for ‘injunction’. This was refused on Friday in the current proceedings in Scotland challenging the legality of the prorogation of Parliament by Mr Johnson, but the hearing of the proceedings has been advanced to this Tuesday. Gina Miller has launched a separate application for judicial review of Mr Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament to be heard on Thursday. Today’s ‘Times’ reports that space has been made for the Supreme Court to hear the inevitable appeal this coming Friday. A further application is before the court in Northern Ireland. A busy week for the judiciary.
Labour votes. What Mr Johnson may need to get a new withdrawal agreement through Parliament (see ‘Spartans’ below).
No deal Brexit, ways of stopping.
- Mr Johnson renegotiates a withdrawal agreement and seeks an extension from the EU under article 50 to get Parliament’s approval.
- Article 50 is revoked. Must be done by a PM so need a new PM via Vote of No Confidence (VONC).
- An extension to article 50 is sought. Must be done by a PM so need a new PM via VONC.
- Act of Parliament requiring PM to seek further specified extension under article 50 and to revoke article 50 if the EU had not given the extension sought by 30 October. See, too, contempt of parliament, constitutional crisis.
Making your mind up. Rare Eurovision win for UK in 1981. Alternatively, something Parliament was incapable of doing in the indicative votes in the Spring.
Rebel Alliance. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia (still fighting the same enemy thirty odd years after their decisive victory). Alternatively, Oliver Letwin, Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry etc
Spartans. Members of the European Reform Group who are likely to vote against any new withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU by Mr Johnson.
Standing Order 24
From Parliament’s website
“An MP may apply to the Speaker for an emergency debate on Mondays to Thursdays during sitting time under the rules of Standing Order No. 24.
If the Speaker has given the MP leave they will have three minutes to make a speech after question time and any urgent questions or ministerial statements. The Speaker then decides whether to submit the application to the House.
The House will have to agree that the debate takes place. If the House agrees to the application the emergency debate will take place on a future day, usually the next sitting day. The motion to be debated will be “That the House has considered the matter of [Topic]”.
Expect Speaker Bercow to allow an emergency debate on a bill requiring the PM to apply to the EU for an extension under art.50.
TBP. The Brexit Party. Hovering in the wings.