Boris and the Benn Act

What is Boris Johnson going to do about the Benn Act? He’s made apparently contradictory statements that he would comply with the law but will not ask the EU for an extension to the October 31st deadline, as the Act requires. There’s been a lot of discussion about this contradiction and legal commentators seem fairly confident that the Act is watertight and legally binding – but what will happen if he resigns as Prime Minister on the evening of the 19th of October?

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Choosing a new Prime Minister

Boris Johnson was appointed Prime Minister after his predecessor, Theresa May, told the Queen he commanded the confidence of the House of Commons – despite the fact that no more than a quarter of MPs had demonstrated support for him, and despite the fact many members of Parliament, even among his own party, openly regarded him as manifestly unfit for the position. MPs’ support being taken for granted in this way undermines public respect not just for Parliament, but also for our whole system of government.

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Honouring the referendum without leaving the EU

The last three years have laid bare the inadequacies of our current political system and many people who were previously fairly happy with how our country is governed now recognise that, whatever happens with Brexit, we need fundamental change, not just in our relationship with Europe but also in the way our domestic politics works.

For now, though, most people find it hard to look beyond the looming deadline – and that’s a large part of why the current problem seems so intractable.

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Would leaving the EU really honour the referendum?

The 2016 referendum feels like a long time ago now but Parliament is perhaps, at last, trying to have the discussion that (in my innocence) I’d assumed would follow the shock of the result. Is it too much to hope that, before committing ourselves irrevocably to a profoundly disruptive course of action, Continue reading

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Does more democracy mean better government?

Desmond Avery sent the following comment by email:

If I understand it rightly, you’re proposing more local autonomy as the way to make decision-making more democratic and therefore better. I have two immediate questions about that: Continue reading

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