UK UK politics

Melanie Phillips: Goodbye British Consititution…….


A once proud nation…



Well that’s it then. Goodbye, British constitution. It was lovely while it lasted.


The importance of the Supreme Court judgment – and it is seismic – rendering the prorogation of parliament null and void is not about any effect it will have on the prospects for Brexit. This remains no more or less opaque as a result of the fresh chaos that the ruling has now inflicted upon the political system.


Of infinitely greater importance is the axe the Supreme Court judges have taken to the delicate but hitherto sacrosanct separation between politics and the courts. By ruling that this decision by prime minister Boris Johnson to prorogue parliament was justiciable, the judges have crossed a fateful line.


The issue was not whether the PM was wrong to have prorogued parliament. The issue was that this was a matter for parliament itself to decide. It should not have been a matter for the courts.


In deciding that it was, the judges resorted to circular or straw man arguments. If the issue before them was justiciable, they said, “deciding it will not offend against the separation of powers.” But the decision to make it  justiciable itself offended against the separation of the powers.


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