The UKIP Leader Gerard Batten has petitioned the Queen to intervene in the anti-Brexit machinations of our MPs by shutting down parliament until after the Withdrawal Act comes into force.
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The leader of the UK Independence Party, Gerard Batten, has today as the leader of the party, petitioned Her Majesty the Queen using the right to do so under the 1689 Bill of Rights, asking her prorogue, or shut down, parliament in order to prevent MPs thwarting the result of the 2016 EU referendum.
In his petition, Mr Batten says that there was a clear decision made in the EU referendum and that this was followed up by general election manifestos where the vast majority of MPs were elected on the basis of leaving the European Union.
"It is evident that these same Members of Parliament are attempting by all and any means to thwart this result." He writes. "They are accordingly in breach of their pledges to you and us, your citizens, and of a long-standing Constitutional convention whereby Parliament must implement the will of the people expressed in a popular vote and are bound by electoral manifestos which have received popular assent at General Elections."
He also points out that the Treaties of the European Union are null and void under the English Constitution.
And further he said that the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and associated Act in 1992 purported to make the monarch a citizen of the EU and will therefore "enjoy the rights conferred by this Treaty and shall be subject to the duties imposed thereby".
This, says Batten, "…was, and remains, unlawful and treasonous under the Bill of Rights, and the Coronation Oath. Your Majesty's ministers were gravely in error and wrongly advised you."
I would add that it also wrongly places the monarch under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. And I say this because when I studied law in the late 1990s, I read that the Crown can do no wrong with the interpretation being that the monarch is outside the jurisdiction of the courts.
Some people argue that as the ultimate power in the land the Queen could sign those powers away. While others claim that because of the concept that the monarchy is never an infant and never dies, no single holder of the post can sign those eternal powers away.
Anyway, I do understand that things move on and I've read arguments about this over the years. The trouble is that however accurate it is, it means trawling over reams of legal text old and new with the result that peoples' eyes glaze over faster than you can say 'Strictly Come Slobbing is on the Telly'.
But to get back to the point, Gerard Batten ends his petition by saying:
"I appeal for a protection by Your Majesty as the Guardian of our Constitution against the aforesaid malicious designs and usurpations. You may accomplish this by proroguing Parliament until the Withdrawal Act has come into force on 29th March and the UK has left the European Union."
As I've already alluded to, there has been a lot of discussion over the decades since we joined the whole European superstate project as to whether the associated treaties and acts were actually legal because of the amount of power removed from the monarch, as well as from parliament and the people, which was then shuffled off to Brussels without a by-your-leave.
According to the Guardian, the UKIP leader is not the first politician to bring this idea up, but he is thought to be the first to actually deploy it.
And this presumably is because no-one in Westminster really wants to open that particular can of worms. I also wonder how many legal opinions and warnings about this are tucked away in the archives wrapped in re tape with a not to be opened for a hundred years sticker firmly attached to them.
It always takes a Ukipper to ask the really difficult questions doesn't it?
I am absolutely not an expert, but in this case I'm not sure the Queen can act directly in the manner requested By Gerard Batten. The Royal prerogative seems to be very wooly in this area and from what I've read the monarch would normally act on the advice of their government in these matters. For her to just make the decision with no really powerful triggering event may in itself be unconstitutional.
But Batten's petition is a good preparatory move to cover any such event.
Now, if she was asked to sign a bill into law and declined to do so, then that I believe is a completely different matter.
Anyway, let's just sit back and see what the response from the palace is.