Tory Brexiteer MP John Redwood has thrown a nice little rock into the Remainer ant-Brexit pond.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
John Redwood has published a couple of Tweets that seem to have triggered a few of the more Remain minded people out there.
What he put out about this surrender bill that's gone through parliament was:
"The law Parliament is seeking to pass is an unusual law seeking to control the conduct of the Prime Minister in an international negotiation. It is not a criminal law creating a new crime. There are no proposed penalties, fines or prison sentences in it should the PM not obey it."
And then he replied to his own Tweet saying:
"It is not a general law applying equally to all of us, nor even a law always applying to government. It is a Parliamentary instruction or political opinion on one issue at one time passed as a law."
And he's right in that this surrender bill makes absolutely no mention of any sanction at all, should the Prime Minister fail to follow its instructions.
There has been talk that, if Boris does ignore the law then he should be subject to impeachment or even a Bill of Attainder.
Now impeachment means he has to go to the House and explain himself, which is something I think he'd do anyway.
But an ancient Bill of Attainder is where a person can be punished by the Commons without trial. You know, a sort of breach of human rights thing.
But the route would more likely be that Boris would have to end up in the Supreme Court where Remainers hope he would be told by court order to obey that law and if he didn't, then he would be in contempt of court and imprisoned.
And, if that happened, some official could be ordered to sign the letter on behalf of the PM to request that Article 50 extension.
But there is also this matter that the full weight of the legislature has been brought to bear on one person for one event in one time to order him to do something that would otherwise be legal for him not to do.
Would this not constitute a breach of his human rights?
Anyway, If Boris didn't do as he was told by this law, then the Remainers actually have to get the Prime Minister into court.
And the most talked about way would be that a charge of misconduct in public office would be brought against Boris.
The problem here for the Remainers, is that it involves arrest and is an offence at common law and is only triable on indictment, presumably therefore in front of a jury.
Now, tell me how a fair trial could be possibly assured in a case involving Brexit and a figure as well known and as marmite as the PM – to go down this route would surely be against the public interest? What would the Crown Prosecution Service make of it?
And as I understand it, such a procedure would be the local Magistrates Court first, then automatically passed up to the Crown Court for a trial by jury then appeal etc etc.
What a nonsense!
I'll put it another way, MPs are prepared to send a Prime Minister straight to jail for not writing a letter, but they are also supremely content to see other political players walk around free after sending this country to war on the backs of dodgy dossiers and the like – and worse.
Let's get our priorities right, shall we?
The law Parliament is seeking to pass is an unusual law seeking to control the conduct of the Prime Minister in an international negotiation. It is not a criminal law creating a new crime. There are no proposed penalties, fines or prison sentences in it should the PM not obey it.
— John Redwood (@johnredwood) September 9, 2019