Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The monarch is not a functionary of Parliament. The PM is a functionary of the Crown. That is the delightful fairy-tale principle.

The monarch is not obliged to do whatever the PM asks. Both monarch and PM operate (normally) as if they were decent, gentlemanly people. Absent that particular convention (behave like gentlemen for the common good) the whole house of cards may fall apart.

As we have just seen, the PM's advice may lead to an unlawful situation, (distending normal constitutional relations and threatening the house of cards, which of course is Johnson's intention). Arguably, had she understood all its implications, the Queen could have refused to assent to his request. After the Supreme Court ruling, we should expect anything plugged by Johnson and Rees-Mogg (President of the Privy Council therefore a chief adviser of the Queen) to be placed under rigorous scrutiny before receiving assent.

This is a situation of constitutional crisis, of which there have been several over the centuries, each one resolved by a new balance of power, up to now always in favour of increased power for the House of Commons. Johnson et al's goal is, roughly speaking, to reduce HOC power in favour of the executive (supposedly backed directly by the people).

This unprecedented situation may find an issue in a piece of statute law, the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, that says a government defeated in Parliament by a VNC should be replaced by another which can command a majority within 14 days of the VNC. Unfortunately that law is vague on the obligation to resign of the disavowed government. The PM may remain in place and influence following events by the advice he gives the monarch.

To get over this hurdle, the Opposition could in this case 1. vote no confidence 2. immediately vote confidence in a new leader and government 3. address a humble petition to the Queen to call up the PM and request his resignation, then to call on the new leader to become PM.

If the Queen rejected the petition, she would be aligning herself with a Prime Minister that Parliament had just voted out, and refusing to call on the new Prime Minister that Parliament had just voted in. That would be a head-on clash between the monarch and Parliament, and the pre-eminence of Parliament is something that was settled centuries ago. Extremely unlikely to happen is an understatement.

So this could be a way of getting Johnson out, and bringing in a new PM (possibly Corbyn). I can't see any reason why the Queen should then ask Corbyn to resign?  

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Sep 27th, 2019 at 02:49:57 PM EST
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