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Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over parliamentary democracy

3 min read

Parliament will not be intimidated, blackmailed or prevented from challenging a rogue executive, says Tom Brake MP.


Boris Johnson’s attempt to end Parliamentary Democracy is the machination of a tyrannical ruler.

Shutting down Parliament, to force through a personal agenda, makes Mr Johnson unfit to govern our country. It goes against democracy, the people and our constitution. The Prime Minister is following the example set by King Charles I - who also rather over-reached his abilities and brought the English Civil War upon our country.

History tends to repeat itself and Johnson's hand, the hand of the man who as a boy wanted to be King of the World, is hovering over the repeat button.

Our country has been rooted in democratic traditions for centuries. A country where a nakedly sectarian political agenda cannot subvert the will of the people. A country where people’s voices are not suffocated but heard.

Boris Johnson’s subterfuge is undermining these values, shutting down the core of our democracy, the voices of the British people and their parliamentary representatives.

It is not coincidental that Johnson made such a move hours after the successful meeting where MPs from all the opposition parties agreed to cooperate to prevent a disastrous No Deal Brexit and find a way to block it through a legislative route.

Boris Johnson evidently felt threatened by this united front and in an impulsive move involved the Queen in his ‘do or die’ battle. If he succeeds, Parliament will be silent, and the people voiceless, from as early as the 9th September until the 14th October when the Queen will formally reopen Parliament and outline the PM’s very meagre legislative agenda.

For our PM, desperate times call for desperate measures. To avoid defeat, the Prime Minister decided to shut Parliament, with the sole intent of crashing our country out of the EU. But whilst this is the longest proroguing of Parliament since 1945, Brexit is not a done deal.

Despite Johnson’s rash undertaking to leave by the 31st October, whatever the consequences, Parliament will not be intimidated, blackmailed or prevented from challenging a rogue executive. Parliament will do everything in its power to stop the disaster no one voted for. Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over parliamentary democracy and impose a view that represents, at best, the view of some hundred thousand Conservative members who crowned the Prime Minister. Johnson has no mandate beyond this.

In March 2016 Johnson said: “We have given so much to the world, in ideas and culture, but the most valuable British export and the one for which we are most famous is the one that is now increasingly in question: parliamentary democracy – the way the people express their power.” 

We will uphold that parliamentary democracy, allow people to express their power and stop the PM bypassing Parliament.  The future of our democracy depends on it

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