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Corbyn’s Brother Shares Petition Calling for Queen to Save Brexit by Suspending Parliament

Brexit
Sydney O'Meara/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
JACK MONTGOMERY

Hard-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s older brother, Piers, has circulated an official petition calling on Queen Elizabeth II to ensure Brexit takes place on March 29, as scheduled in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act of 2018 and repeatedly promised by the Prime Minister, by temporarily proroguing, i.e. suspending, the current parliamentary session.

Jeremy and Piers Corbyn are both long-time critics of the European Union, but while the younger Corbyn’s public position on the bloc changed after he was elevated to the leadership of the largely europhile left-wing opposition party, his older brother has remained staunchly opposed to it.

The celebrity meteorologist, who is also a noted sceptic of the theory of man-made climate change, shared a petition signed by almost 100,000 people calling on the Prime Minister to have the British monarch guarantee Brexit takes place, deal or no deal, on March 29th, by proroguing the parliamentary session until that date – preventing the Remainers-dominated Houses of Parliament from acting to block, delay, or otherwise sabotage it.

Historian Andrew Roberts has previously argued that a strong Prime Minister would have prorogued Parliament “as soon as it became clear that Parliament was about to flout the will of the people,” and that “She would be well within her constitutional rights, and protecting democracy” if she did so.

The call to prorogue has since been taken up by leading Brexiteer parliamentarians, most notably Jacob Rees-Mogg, who leads the European Research Group (ERG) of Tory MPs.

If the House of Commons undermines our basic constitutional conventions then the executive is entitled to use other vestigial constitutional means to stop it,” the Somerset MP explained towards the end of January.

Critics of prorogation as a means to save Brexit, such as BBC presenter and Economist editor Anne McElvoy, have described it as a “despotic” strategem – while proponents say it is a legitimate means of countering the activities of MPs who are acting to block Brexit in defiance of their electors, with more than 80 percent of them having pledged to deliver it in their 2017 manifestos.

There are few checks on Parliament in general and the House of Commons in particular within the British constitution, with the power prorogue being one of the few with any real teeth, roughly analogous to the U.S. President’s power to veto Congressional legislation.

A more direct parallel would involve the Prime Minister advising the monarch to refuse the Royal Assent to a parliamentary bill, although in a system where the executive emerges out of the legislature – and the legislature can depose the executive through no-confidence proceedings in short order – this power has not been exercised since the reign of Queen Anne, hundreds of years ago.

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