19 September 2019 | UK NEWS
Politics in the UK has seen multiple developing stories today, from developments in the Supreme Court, to news surrounding the Monarchy. This evening marked the last day of the Supreme Court hearing to decide the fate of prorogation, with both Lord Keen on behalf on the Government, and Lord Pannick representing Gina Miller, presenting the conclusion of their cases.
Lord Keen seemed to reiterate his previous judgment that the issue of prorogation is political and not judicial. In turn, he warned judges not to stray “into forbidden territory and what is essentially a minefield.” He also argued that, if Parliament did not want to be prorogued, it could have done more to stop it, rather than simple oral objections. However, Lord Keen did also state that the executive does obey the law, and whatever the Court decides the law is, the executive will address it.
Lord Pannick, representing Gina Miller, also presented his final submission, arguing that the Government does not have unfettered power, and it is the right of Parliament to hold the Government to account. Pannick argued that prorogation for the conference season cannot be used to justify such a long prorogation, as all the conferences will be over in a couple of weeks. He concluded his submission by stating that, if the Government were to lose, he wanted the Court to issue a statement that the prorogation was unlawful, and that Parliament should therefore resume sitting at the end of the week.
This story is still developing, with the decision by the Supreme Court expected tomorrow.
In other news, a story surrounding the former Prime Minister David Cameron has gained a large degree of publicity today. Cameron had stated in a documentary due to be released that he had asked the Queen for help with the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. However, sources have now stated that the comments have caused “displeasure” within the Palace, with one source reported to have said that “it serves no-one’s interests” for comments between the Queen and the PM to be made public.
Cameron stated to Jeremy Vine that he said “possibly too much”, with Alex Salmond using the revelation as evidence for his argument that the No camp had become desperate during the referendum campaign. This is not the only time the former Prime Minister has faced criticism for his comments surrounding his discussions with the Monarch, after he was overheard in 2014 stating that the Queen “purred” upon hearing the result of the Scottish independence referendum.
This revelation has also caused some to question whether the former Prime Minister had pushed the Queen to break constitutional precedent, at a time when the Supreme Court is also sitting to question the legality of current Prime Minister Johnson’s actions in asking the Queen to prorogue Parliament.
The atmosphere surrounding constitutional matters in Westminster at present is, by all accounts, highly febrile. Today’s developments will have done nothing to calm the situation down.