By Saeed Sobhani

Death of Democracy in UK

September 1, 2019

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension has led to deep divisions among citizens.Some British citizens express their support for Johnson, while others are furious. Undoubtedly Britain's challenges to exit the EU will continue, even if it does. Many analysts believe that London will be at war with the effects of this phenomenon for at least ten years.

Here's a look at the latest news and analysis on the political and social conditions in England:

Brexit: MPs trying to block no deal make it more likely, says Boris Johnson

As BBC reported, The PM has warned MPs they are damaging his chances of getting a deal with the EU by trying to block a no-deal Brexit. Boris Johnson said the UK would leave the bloc "do or die" on 31 October - prompting some MPs to act to stop the UK leaving without an agreement. But he said the more MPs try to block a no-deal Brexit, "the more likely it is that we'll end up in that situation".

It comes after the PM announced he would be suspending Parliament for five weeks over September and October. Mr. Johnson said it was to allow the government to hold a Queen's Speech and outline its "very exciting agenda" for the future. But critics claim his intention is to prevent any moves in the Commons to stop a no deal. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the PM's comments "complete nonsense".

He said he was working with all the opposition parties to "challenge the government" to stop a no-deal Brexit next week and he was "hopeful" of securing the backing of the Commons.

Senior Tory Sir Oliver Letwin said MPs still had time to act next week when they return from recess and before the suspension - which is expected to begin between 9 and 12 September and last until 14 October.

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major also confirmed he would be seeking a judicial review through the courts to oppose the suspension - known as prorogation - joining forces with campaigner Gina Miller.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson have also offered their backing.

But a separate legal bid in Scotland to order a temporary halt to prorogation has been dismissed by a judge. However, a full hearing will now be heard next Tuesday, rather than Friday.

Mr. Johnson has promised to "step up the tempo" on securing a deal with the EU before the Brexit deadline, with UK's negotiators set to meet their EU counterparts twice a week in the run-up to a crucial EU summit on 17 October.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "In the last couple of weeks, there has been a great deal of movement from the EU side. They do think the UK is serious, as indeed we are, about doing a deal.

"We are working together now on serious ways that we can change the current agreement, get out of that mistake and do a deal."

A European Commission spokesperson said its "doors remain open" and insisted it had "demonstrated our willingness to work 24/7 throughout this long process".

But Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said it was up to the UK to "propose alternatives that can solve those problems".

Media caption Simon Coveney says proposals have to be "credible"

As things stand, the UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October with or without a "divorce" agreement. The previous government, under Theresa May, agreed on a deal with the EU but it was rejected by MPs three times. Mr. Johnson said that deal would leave the UK being "bossed around by Brussels with no come back".

And while he would prefer to reach a new deal, he said he was willing to leave without one - and maintained the UK would leave by the October deadline "no ifs, no buts".

He said: "The best way to [leave with a deal] is if our friends and partners over the Channel don't think that Brexit can be somehow blocked by Parliament.

"As long as they think in the EU that Parliament might try to block Brexit or might even succeed in blocking Brexit, the less likely they are to give us the deal we want."

He added: "The weird thing is that the more the parliamentarians try to block the no-deal Brexit, the more likely it is that we'll end up in that situation.

"So the best thing now is for us to get on and make our points to our European friends with clarity and with vigor, and that's what we are doing."

After Backlash, Boris Johnson Promises to Speed Up Brexit Talks With Brussels

As New York Times reported,  Faced with a growing backlash over his decision to suspend Parliament next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday sought to calm the furious reaction by promising to accelerate efforts to reach a new Brexit agreement with Brussels.

His statement came after another day of Brexit turbulence, two resignations from within his own party, and claims from critics that the government was trampling the conventions of the country’s unwritten Constitution, undermining its democracy.

Mr. Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament in September makes it significantly harder for lawmakers to pass legislation preventing Britain from leaving the European Union without an agreement — a step his critics were planning.

But in his latest swerve, Mr. Johnson promised that Britain’s Brexit negotiators would sit down with their European counterparts twice a week through September, with the possibility of additional technical meetings, to try to reach a deal that would avert the risk of a cliff-edge departure.

“I have said right from my first day in office that we are ready to work in an energetic and determined way to get a deal done,” Mr. Johnson said in comments released by his office. “While I have been encouraged with my discussions with E.U. leaders over recent weeks that there is a willingness to talk about alternatives to the anti-democratic backstop, it is now time for both sides to step up the tempo.”

The two sides remain some distance apart on critical issues but are willing to work hard to find a way through, Downing Street said. But Mr. Johnson’s latest intervention seemed to acknowledge the mounting concern about his suspension of Parliament, a decision that provoked spontaneous protests in London and other cities on Wednesday and prompted almost 1.5 million people to sign an online protest petition.

imager. Johnson’s stance suggests he may be preparing for an election in which he would run as a champion of the people against a Parliament opposed to the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Mr. Johnson’s stance suggests he may be preparing for an election in which he would run as a champion of the people against a Parliament opposed to the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The most prominent figure to resign Thursday was the Conservative Party leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson. Though she carefully avoided criticizing Mr. Johnson in a resignation letter and at a news conference, she nonetheless acknowledged her differences with him over Brexit. Ms. Davidson opposes a “no-deal” Brexit but said she trusted Mr. Johnson’s assurances that he does intend to reach an agreement with the European Union by Oct. 31 and appealed to lawmakers to support a new deal if one can be reached.

Lord Young of Cookham, a former cabinet minister, resigned as a Conservative whip in the House of Lords on Thursday, saying in a letter that Mr. Johnson’s action “risks undermining the fundamental role of Parliament at a critical time in our history, and reinforces the view that the government may not have the confidence of the House for its Brexit policy.”

Numerous reports, including ones by the Bank of England and the International Monetary Fund, have said a no-deal Brexit would be chaotic and would seriously damage Britain’s economy. Leaks from the government itself have warned of the possibility of jammed ports and shortages of some medicines and fuel.

A majority of lawmakers are on record as opposing such an outcome. But Mr. Johnson, who became prime minister last month, has promised to leave the European Union on the scheduled date, Oct. 31, preferably with an agreement but without one if necessary.

In an overnight poll, far more Britons opposed than supported his suspension of Parliament, and angry comments calling it undemocratic peppered social media, many with the hashtag #StopTheCoup.

The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, and a former Conservative chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, each called it a “constitutional outrage”; Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, labeled it “a sort of smash and grab on our democracy.”

Ruth Davidson announced in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday that she was resigning as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

But Jacob Rees-Mogg, a hard-line Brexit supporter and the Conservative leader of the House of Commons, on Thursday defended the government’s decision, arguing that there would still be adequate time to debate Brexit. The real threat to Britain’s unwritten Constitution, he wrote in The Daily Telegraph, came from those who opposed Brexit and wanted to overturn the 2016 referendum decision to leave the bloc.

“The candyfloss of outrage that we’ve had over the past 24 hours — which is almost entirely confected — is from people who never wanted to leave the European Union,” Mr. Rees-Mogg said in an interview with BBC radio.

The suspension procedure was normal, Mr. Rees-Mogg argued because Mr. Johnson wanted to start a new session of Parliament.

While that is technically correct, the timing of the decision, the length of the suspension and its practical impact make the move look like a politically motivated tactic to stifle opposition in Parliament — an institution that Brexit was supposed to strengthen.

Mr. Johnson’s stance also suggests that he is preparing for a general election campaign, in which he could present himself as the champion of the people against a Parliament intent on thwarting the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Lawmakers are scheduled to return from summer vacation next week, but Mr. Johnson’s move means that Parliament will be suspended sometime the following week. That heads off any attempt by his opponents to tack on a few more days, a tactic they were considering.

Mr. Johnson had the option of continuing the current session of Parliament into October, but instead, he is starting a new one, meaning that any pending legislation intended to bind his hands will not carry over. If lawmakers who want to prevent a no-deal Brexit cannot draft, introduce and pass legislation in the next two weeks, they will have to start again from scratch in mid-October.

In effect, Mr. Johnson has cut short the already dwindling time for parliamentary action and packed it with new obstacles for opponents of a no-deal Brexit. Even so, they will try to legislate to prevent a no-deal Brexit when they resume work next week.

Another strand of opposition will come through the courts. One challenge is underway in the Scottish courts, and in London, the anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has made an application for judicial review of Mr. Johnson’s decision.

Legal experts are skeptical about her chances, and Jonathan Sumption, a former justice of the country’s Supreme Court, told the BBC’s Newsnight program that Ms. Miller’s case was a “very, very long shot.”

Ms. Miller has, however, previously upset such predictions. In 2017, she won a case preventing the previous prime minister, Theresa May, from bypassing Parliament on the decision to formally trigger Britain’s departure from the European Union and start a two-year countdown.

Mr. Johnson’s move involves some considerable risks, as the backlash has illustrated. Yet it has also underscored the ruthless focus of the prime minister and his team to succeed where Mrs. May failed, after the Brexit deal she negotiated with Brussels was rejected three times by Parliament.

His tactics also seem designed to reunite the political right and Brexit supporters behind the Conservatives, ahead of a looming general election that most analysts expected soon. Under Mrs. May, many of those voters had drifted away from the Conservatives, gravitating to smaller, pro-Brexit parties.


 

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