Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I've tried to restrict the diary to a fairly mainstream scenario of how current events could unravel, but there are a few other possibilities I have considered:

  1. Boris could refuse to present the Bill for Royal Assent, after it has been approved by both Houses. I don't know what this means in British Constitutional terms...

  2. Boris Could refuse to seek an A.50 extension as mandated by law leaving the House with no option but to Vote no confidence and appoint someone else PM to carry out the law - and very little time to do so.

  3. Boris could formally seek an A.50 extension but tell the EU he will make their lives as miserable as possible and suggest they would be well advised to refuse the request. Game over, if the EU refuses request under those circumstance? Or the EU could grant request anyway and dare him to do his worst - resulting in the UK's international reputation going further down the tubes.

  4. Boris could refuse to send a Commissioner to Brussels by 1. Nov as required under EU law - resulting in the expulsion of the UK from the EU. Presumably the House of Commons could appoint someone as Commissioner?

  5. Boris could keep his word and not seek an A.50 extension but could simply withdraw the A.50 notification altogether - saying The UK can always re-issue an A.50 notification once it has agreed what sort of Brexit it wants. Cue uproar in the Brexit party. Cue a decision of the European Court of Justice that an A.50 notification cannot be simply issued, withdrawn and issued again? Cue uproar in the HOC that such a major decision can only be made by the British people in a public vote? Cue a HOC attempt to legislate for such a public vote? Cue a general election with the Conservative and Brexit parties at loggerheads over Britain's true Brexit soul?

The possibilities begin to multiply, and the diary is long enough as it is. However I reserve the right to write "The Prisoner of No.10, chapter 2" at some stage!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 at 11:09:51 AM EST
1 means an immediate constitutional crisis. Royal assent has not been refused to legislation passed by the UK parliament since 1708 (naturally, they did it all the time to their colonies, and it was one of the reasons the Merkins rebelled). It is disputed whether the monarch actually could refuse assent to a bill passed by parliament, and if ministers advised her to do so, it would result in an immediate court case. or a second bill declaring the assent unnecessary (or a third one declaring a republic).

(In NZ, also a westminster system, it would be unthinkable. In our derivative constitution, there is a strong constitutional norm that parliament is supreme. But then, we're democratic, and we've long accepted that the government may not have a majority on all things, and may have laws passed against its wishes. Unlike Britain).

by IdiotSavant on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 at 11:30:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The very nature of the options you list, along with the multitude that have been discussed here over the last few years, constitutes proof that the UK government is fundamentally broken. I don't expect anyone to do anything about it, but I don't expect anything good to come from the existing institution either.
It seems to me that the fptp system encourages brinkmanship and intolerance, not to mention dictatorship by the few. Isn't that the essence of bolshevism?
We shouldn't have to guess how a purportedly transparent democratic institution should work. And we sure as shit shouldn't have to guess or care what the freaking queen will do.
by Andhakari on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 at 02:43:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, its fundamentally broken, and their archaic voting system and the confrontation and unaccountability it promotes is a huge part of that problem.

But then, that's the difference between NZ's westminster system and the UK's: we're democratic: we use MMP. And that has completely changed our political and constitutional thinking.

by IdiotSavant on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 at 07:43:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes the mixed member proportional system is a good compromise between the party list system and the FPTP system encouraging proportionality in representation, some tactical voting, and cooperation between parties  while not entirely losing the identification between Constituencies and their MPs.

A diary on how it has changed New Zealand's political culture since its introduction would be much appreciated!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 at 07:57:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the Parliament website:

Does the Queen give Royal Assent in person?

The Queen can give Royal Assent in person but this has not happened since 1854. The Queen's agreement to give her assent to a Bill is a formality.


There is no set time period between the conclusion of consideration of amendments/ping pong and royal assent.

...which could give rise to shenanigans.

The great constitutional authority Wikipedia says:

The last bill that was refused assent by the sovereign (on the advice of ministers) was the Scottish Militia Bill during Queen Anne's reign in 1708.[4]

Under modern constitutional conventions, the sovereign generally acts on, and in accordance with, the advice of his or her ministers.[5] However, there is some disagreement among scholars as to whether the monarch should withhold royal assent to a bill if advised to do so by her ministers.[6] Since these ministers most often enjoy the support of parliament and obtain the passage of bills, it is improbable that they would advise the sovereign to withhold assent. Hence, in modern practice, the issue has never arisen, and royal assent has not been withheld.[7]

From the same UK Parliament page as above:

Lords Commissioners: are also Privy Counsellors - appointed to advise the Queen in carrying out her duties.

They perform certain functions on behalf of the Queen, including announcing Royal Assent during prorogation.

The acting Lords Commissioners are known as the Royal Commission.

Back to Wikipedia:

The Royal Commission includes at least three--and usually five--Lords Commissioners. In current practice, the Lords Commissioners usually include the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury (who is named but usually does not participate), the leaders of the three major parties in the House of Lords, the convenor of the House of Lords Crossbenchers and (since 2007) the Lord Speaker.[citation needed]

The Lord Speaker is the Speaker of the House of Lords. The Lord Chancellor (named by Bojo) is currently Robert Buckland, a Welsh barrister who was for Remain in the 1916 referendum.

On balance, therefore, we may safely say that... god alone knows what might happen if Bozzer wanted to torpedo or delay this bill. The whole thing depends on all the lords and ladies bowing and curtseying and dancing the gavotte in a public-spirited manner. And since, after all, Bozzer represents the Will of the People, all kinds of things might happen.

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 6th, 2019 at 03:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither is there "I" in "team".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Sep 7th, 2019 at 04:16:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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