Tag Archives: Benn Act

Will Gove’s scaremongering put Boris Johnson in prison?

Behind bars: Considering all of the evidence, including his own behaviour in the weeks leading up to the vote on October 19, and Michael Gove’s decision to trigger Operation Yellowhammer, will a Scottish judge put Boris Johnson in prison?

Michael Gove has triggered Operation Yellowhammer – the Tory government’s contingency plan for a “no deal” Brexit, saying we cannot be sure the European Council will grant the Brexit delay that Boris Johnson has requested.

Why would he scaremonger like that? There’s no reason for the European Council to turn down the request.

Or is Mr Gove suggesting that the EU should pay more attention to Mr Johnson’s second letter, which states that he would prefer that a delay should be refused?

Won’t that put Mr Johnson in contempt of court?

He promised the Court of Session in Scotland that he would adhere to the provisions of the so-called Benn Act, meaning he would send a letter requesting a delay if Parliament did not pass his deal on October 19.

He has indeed sent such a letter – although unsigned. He also sent another missive asking the European Council to ignore the first – signed.

Today (October 21), Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, will rule on whether these actions constitute contempt of court.

Potential punishments could include a fine or even imprisonment.

It is possible that sanctions may be suspended to allow the prime minister to comply with the court’s ruling. But this might be a little difficult as the time for compliance was October 19.

And the fact that Mr Gove has triggered “no deal” preparations in the belief that the EU will not grant an extension, and his boss won’t get Parliament to pass his deal, suggests a belief in an intention to sabotage the Benn Act conditions at the very least.

Source: Michael Gove triggers no-deal Brexit contingency plans | Politics | The Guardian

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Tories wildly contradict each other about breaking the law over Brexit

Behind bars: If Boris Johnson is lying to the courts, this is where he could find himself.

Well, this is as clear as mud, which is exactly what Boris Johnson is playing in.

Yesterday (October 3) he told us all that his newly-offered version of an EU withdrawal agreement was his last word on the subject and if it was rejected by Parliament or MEPs he would take the UK out of the 28-state bloc without a deal.

This would be a breach of the conditions of the so-called Benn Act, which forbids the UK from leaving without a deal.

On the BBC’s Today programme this morning (October 4), Home Office minister Brandon Lewis said: “From our point of view it’s a final offer…  I’ve got to say, to be frank, as the prime minister said, this is our clear final deal. We think it’s a good deal, it’s a fair deal, it delivers both legally and security-wise for both our country here in the UK and obviously our friends in Europe.”

He added that the government would be willing to enter negotiations on smaller points – and claimed that there was a “building majority” of support for the plan in the Commons.

But Mr Johnson’s legal team said the exact opposite in its submissions to a court case today.

Scotland’s highest civil court – the Court of Session’s inner house – is set to hear a case to decide whether a judge could sign a letter calling for Brexit to be delayed, if Mr Johnson refuses to do so. The power to do so is called nobile officium – which Twitter users have humorously abbreviated to #noboff – but judges have already said there is “a question of competence” to do so as this power has never been used over a prime minister.

The government tried to have the case delayed until after October 19 – the date by which, if his deal is rejected, the Benn Act requires such a letter to be sent – but the court ruled that this would not provide enough time to hear the case and send the letter, if necessary.

So now the government has said, in documents sent to the court, that it will send a letter “in the form set out by no later than 19 October 2019”.

He seems to be saying one thing in public and another in private.

And isn’t it illegal to lie to a court – perjury? Could this case put Boris Johnson behind bars, at last?

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WATCH: Johnson confirms he’s ready to break the law to leave the EU without a deal

Boris Johnson: As Opposition MPs tore into his new attempt at a withdrawal agreement, he didn’t look happy.

Boris Johnson has told Parliament he is prepared to break the so-called Benn Act and commit to a “no deal” Brexit if MPs – and MEPs – reject his latest pretence at offering a withdrawal agreement to the European Union.

See for yourself:

This Site has already explained why stakeholders in this matter – in both the UK and the EU – believe Mr Johnson’s latest deal is a sham.

Now BoJob has confirmed what we all expected – that he will break the law to push ahead with the “no deal” Brexit has has wanted all along.

This will fuel speculation that he is in hock to high-powered financial speculators who backed his bid to become leader of the Conservative Party. Hopefully John McDonnell’s demand for an immediate independent inquiry will win more support as a result.

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn and Ian Blackford have already confirmed that Labour and the SNP will not support the new attempt at a deal, and it seems unlikely to gain the votes it needs.

It seems the only immediate choice is a vote of “no confidence” in Mr Johnson’s government followed by a bid to form a temporary government led by Mr Corbyn. If this fails, then Speaker John Bercow may be prevailed upon to seek another delay of Brexit while a general election is held.

Perhaps Mr Johnson is hoping for that. It certainly seems the Liberal Democrats are supporting him in it, by refusing to back a Corbyn-led government.

Perhaps he thinks the Brexit-supporting public will put him back into Number 10 with a majority.

But after a series of failed attempts at Brexit, is anybody really stupid enough to think he has anything to offer us?

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