The year the people defeated Gina Miller

The legal crusades against Brexit were rendered gloriously irrelevant by the election.

Luke Gittos
Columnist

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

In 2019, we witnessed an epic battle between the law and politics. Pro-Remain campaigner Gina Miller, tax lawyer Jolyon Maugham and others became famous for launching cases that sought to slow down or halt the Brexit process. They succeeded for a while, but only until the voters made their voices heard in the December General Election.

In August, the queen ordered the prorogation of parliament to last between 9 September and 14 October. The five-week prorogation was the longest since 1979. Many saw it as an attempt to avoid the parliamentary plots to stop Brexit.

The decision led to the short-lived ‘Stop the Coup’ movement, in which Corbyinstas who wanted to overturn the democratic vote for Brexit complained that democracy was being silenced. Speaker John Bercow told crowds at the Edinburgh fringe festival that he would ‘fight with every breath’ in his body to prevent the prorogation (breath which he has more recently put to good use, shouting at Italians on a popular talk show).

The decision to prorogue was challenged in a series of cases which culminated in the decision of the Supreme Court to declare the prorogation null and void. The High Court in England had found that the decision to prorogue was lawful. The judgement said that the courts should not interfere with political decisions because there were no proper legal standards to measure the power against. The Court of Session in Scotland, however, had found the decision to be unlawful. It was excoriating about the impact of the decision on the democratic process. When the case went to the Supreme Court, the 11 justices unanimously declared that the decision to prorogue had been unlawful and that the court had the power to strike down any exercise of the royal prerogative if its exercise interfered with the sovereignty of parliament.

It seemed for a time that lawyers and judges were driving the events of Brexit. Lady Hale, the president of the Supreme Court who delivered the ruling, was lauded as a ‘girly swot’. A t-shirt range with a spider-shaped logo was produced, mirroring the brooch warn by Hale when she delivered the judgment. Anti-Brexit litigant Gina Miller appeared on Question Time and was regularly across the media. Prior to all this, Jonathan Sumption, a former Supreme Court justice, warned that Johnson could find himself in contempt of court for his Brexit plans. When the Benn Act was passed by parliament, it obliged the prime minister to seek an extension to the Article 50 process. But Johnson had planned to send two letters to get around this – one asking for an extension and another saying the government did not really want to delay Brexit. There was even talk among Remainer lawyers that for doing this the prime minister could be jailed. (In the end, Johnson sent three letters and he remains at large.)

But if the recent General Election taught us anything, it is that democracy is the antidote to the power of unelected legal activists. The majority now afforded to the Conservative Party means there is no longer any need for Johnson to rely on the royal prerogative to ‘get Brexit done’. The uncertainty and gridlock of the last parliament are now over. Further legal challenges to the progress of Brexit are highly unlikely to get off the ground. Senior judges are likely to be even more nervous about intervening in the Brexit process now that it has an even clearer public mandate.

The whole language of the Brexit debate changed in the lead-up to the General Election. The campaigns – tawdry as they were – were at least relatively free of the influence of the courts (apart from an ill-advised attempt by Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson to sue her way on to the TV debates). The future was put back into the hands of the people and the people delivered a resounding verdict. The General Election rendered almost all of the high-minded legal debates of 2019 historically obsolete, at least in the context of Brexit.

The celebrity lawyers had their moment in the sun but the public has swept them aside. Our constitution depends on a healthy line being drawn between politics and law. We must affirm that boundary in the year to come.

Luke Gittos is a spiked columnist and author. His new book Human Rights – Illusory Freedom: Why We Should Repeal the Human Rights Act, is published by Zero Books. Order it here.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

14th January 2020 at 10:55 am

Nearly 17 million people agreed with Miller. What the hell are you talking about?

David Alanson

1st January 2020 at 7:45 am

Gina Miller and her ilk were soundly defeated in December 2019.

Thank God and rejoice.

TrappedInTheOffSide .

27th December 2019 at 8:24 pm

Think your affording her a bit too much credit and importance with that headline

David Alanson

27th December 2019 at 1:24 pm

elite money was thought to be effective; not so, people’s power, real people power won out………….in the end and Miller is history and a lot poorer I hope.

Fred Mutton

27th December 2019 at 7:08 pm

She should be in jail as foreign interference in referenda/elections.
Report and deport.

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JP Edwards

26th December 2019 at 6:05 pm

This sums it up very well indeed:

https://youtu.be/f2zJ8vaB5jo

DJ SMITH

26th December 2019 at 5:11 pm

In a desperate cry for attention, and the huge press attention he used to get, famed litigious Remainiac, Jolyon Maugham has been reduced to beating a helpless fox to death with a baseball bat… then boasting about it on twitter.

Jerry Owen

27th December 2019 at 11:15 am

And the twitter mob are after him now. It appears that the twitter mob are just as happy to eat their own.

James Knight

26th December 2019 at 3:37 pm

It’s not over. The Vice President of the European Commission has now written Britain a “Love Letter” suggesting the UK could rejoin the EU if it wanted to.

This looks like a classic case of denial and grief from somebody who cannot accept a relationship is over. It sounds creepy and clingy, exactly what you would expect when trying to escape from a controlling partner.

Modern Money

26th December 2019 at 3:23 pm

The liberals will not be happy until there is no choice at the ballot box again.

For 30 years when we voted for either new Labour ( which lost all of Scotland ) and the Tories we got the same results.

Neoliberal globalism.

Oh how the liberals screamed when the Blairites were purged from Labour.

Oh how the liberals screamed when the liberal right were purged from the Tories regarding Brexit.

That is the sign we have won the battle against neoliberal globalism when we have a choice at the ballot box. No choice is a sure sign out democracy has been hijacked by the liberals.

Modern Money

26th December 2019 at 3:16 pm

Excellent !

They have not gone away on the or the right.

Infact, the liberal left are taking over Labour as we speak.

James E Shaw

26th December 2019 at 11:27 am

Spiked, as ever, using rancid totalitarian language, using abuse to silence legitimate debate.

There is a certain irony here; Spiked calls for the abolition of the royal prerogative yet it was this very law that the government used in order to trigger Article 50. Spiked believes that politicians should not be held accountable by the law, and in effect states that parliament should not scrutinise the democratic process and that the 16.1 million people who voted Remain are not the people.

This is the language of totalitarianism.

Yes we Remainers lost, largely due to the fact that the referendum was badly timed and our campaign was sabotaged by an ineffective Labour leader whose over promotion was the equivalent of Manchester United or Liverpool going into the fourth tier of English football to find a new manager (and stating that Corbyn was the equivalent of fourth tier English football manager may being even doing him a service).

No, we, the 48% are every bit as much the people as the 52%, our views about our post Brexit future should be have every right to be heard and represented as the 52% should. To state anything less takes us on a step towards totalitarianism. Totalitarian regimes always try to bring the judiciary under control.

By the way, on a note of conciliation, I do agree with Spiked that the House of Lords should be abolished. There are some excellent peers like Lord Salisbury who has argued that the United Kingdom should adopt a federal model of democracy, but there are too many aged peers who achieved their places through cronyism.

By the way Spiked, how’s this wonderful revolt against an out of touch elite going now that the government has appointed two peers to ministerial roles who are widely two failed politicians? I am, of course, talking about Nicky Morgan and Zac Goldsmith.

Yes I lost but I make no apology for showing defiance in defeat to those who show no magnanimity in victory.

Michael Lynch

26th December 2019 at 12:56 pm

James, a lot of Leavers would have sympathy with the 48% view. However, even most of the Remainers rejected the idea of revoking article 50 hence the drubbing the Liberals got. Democracy, it seems, is still very much important to the British people, much to their credit. Many of them would have also been heartily sick at the way Parliament has acted, particularly alarmed at the shenanigans during the 4 months leading up to the election. You need to ask those MPs, particularly Labour MPs, if they wanted compromise then why didn’t they grab May’s BRINO deal with both hands when they had the chance? Instead, they played partisan games and refused, outright, to compromise in any way shape or form.

James E Shaw

27th December 2019 at 11:18 am

Michael Lynch, no matter how you spin the last year the reason why Theresa May’s deal didn’t go through was because not only did Labour MP’s vote against it, so did hard line Brexiteers like David David Davis and Boris Johnson who both resigned from the government about it.

The reason why Labour MP’s voted against it is because they believe it should go back to the people, a perfectly honourable and democratic stance even though it did cost many of them their seats.

Jerry Owen

28th December 2019 at 3:30 pm

James Shaw
There is no such thing as a ‘hard Brexiteer’.

James Knight

26th December 2019 at 1:14 pm

“There is a certain irony here; Spiked calls for the abolition of the royal prerogative”

Well in the end the Turkeys in parliament could not avoid Christmas and the people did a good job in draining the swamp.

The real irony is those shouting about “parliamentary sovereignty” or that “parliament had been sidelined” only did so because they wanted to permanently sideline parliament by keeping the UK in the EU. They effectively wanted to permanently “prorogue” parliament and block what people voted for.

I don’t buy this nonsense about “totalitarian language” or remoaners being “silenced”. Nobody is being silenced by democracy. I did see Yasmin alibhai-brown on Sky news having a tantrum about “North Korea”, but it looked like she was the one trying to talk over and silence BON. The division and totalitarianism is from those who were never reconciled to the democratic result and never respected it’s legitimacy. This includes MPs who betrayed the people, their own party, parliament and the country.

Imagine if Scotland had voted for independence in 2014. If you were against independence should you get behind it and offer your vision for Scotland outside the UK even though you were against it? Or do you plot against it, it try and undermine it and then go and sulk into a corner if you can’t get your way? That is the difference between a Remoaner and a Remainer.

James E Shaw

27th December 2019 at 12:40 pm

James Knight, as ever using all the hard line Leaver clichés about Brexit being ‘the will of the people’ and deliberately not asking the question ‘who are the people’ and ‘what sort of a Brexit it was people voted for?’

Regarding your point “The real irony is those shouting about “parliamentary sovereignty” or that “parliament had been side lined” only did so because they wanted to permanently side line parliament by keeping the UK in the EU. They effectively wanted to permanently “prorogue” parliament and block what people voted for” the following point deserves to be made.

It is ridiculous to talk of Brexit being the will of the people when there are so many forms that Brexit could take and that leading up to during the referendum campaign many Brexiteers argued for completely different forms of Brexit. As the brilliant broadcaster James O’Brien pointed out there are at least 5 constituencies in the Leave camp. There are those who want Canada plus, which would see us put the Irish border in the Irish sea, those who want to see a Norway style relationship with the EU which would ensure that freedom of movement would continue, causing no doubt great anger among those who voted for Brexit because they believed it would lead to greater control over immigration, those who support Theresa May’s deal, those who support trading on purely WTO terms (something I don’t remember any leading Brexiteer arguing for in the lead up to the referendum). And then some people who have changed their minds.

And then, of course, there are the 16.1 million people who didn’t vote for it at all, effectively branded as being irrelevant and not worthy of representation. This is the language of totalitarianism and represents the point where patriotism becomes the last refuge of the scoundrel.
And it is equally ridiculous to claim that Parliament was deliberately side-lined during our EU membership when during it, the people of this country consistently voted for parties that made no secret of the fact that they would adapt EU legislation. In 1992 the Conservative government of John Major made no secret of the fact that it would adopt the Maastricht Treaty and did so, and secured key opt outs from the single market and the social chapter. Remember 1997, where we voted overwhelmingly for a New Labour government that was unequiviqually pro European and made no secret of it stating that it would implement the Human Rights Act into British law? Eurosceptic parties such as UKIP and the Referendum party were regarded as fringe movements and the Conservatives were widely regarded as divided, sleazy, weak and incompetent. Today, of course we are where we are, with moderates expelled from the party including two chancellors and a veteran statesman with a previous leader having told supporters to vote for those expelled candidates standing as independents, and a proven liar in Number 10 with a landslide majority. An effective Labour leader would have exploited this situation and if Labour had elected a leader in 2015 as effective as Tony Blair was in 1997, there is no question in my mind that Brexit would not have happened and Boris Johnson would be nowhere near Number 10. 22 years ago, with his colourful private life and record of lying he would have been seen as the epitome of Tory sleaze, now he is Prime Minister.

The fact that the last election was a choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson marked the death of our reputation as a serious country.

Oh, I’m used to the kind of responses I am going to get. I’m against democracy because I have taken part in at least 5 marches against Brexit and for a People’s Vote (I’m proud to have done so and would do so again), the people who represent my views in parliament are traitors and totalitarians, I am a traitor and so forth. I am proud of these responses because those who make them (and yes, David Starkey, if you are reading this, I mean you and everyone who agrees with your stance) represent the point where patriotism becomes the last refuge of the scoundrel. As do newspaper editors who attack the independence of the judiciary with headlines such as ‘Enemies of the People’ and MP’s who stand up for the 48% as saboteurs.

Let me explain how democracy works.

In a democracy, you are free to change your mind. The heavy defeat of the Conservative party in 1997 was largely put down to the European question, as were the defeats of 2001 and 2005. Euroscepticism was regarded as a fringe movement, with parties such as UKIP and the Referendum party struggling to poll more votes than the Monster Raving Loony party. The fact that, as I pointed out previously, we have gone from electing New Labour in 1997 with its pro-European stance to where we are where we shows how radically an electorate can change its mind.

I support the people being given the chance to have a say in the final deal, have them consulted through a referendum (I freely concede this is not going to happen but I make no apology for having marched and argued for it). Those MPs that argued for it are honourable people who in many cases sacrificed their careers for certain defeat and stood up for 16.1 million people who are every bit as much the people as the 17.4 million people. Many of them have faced death threats as a result and I have nothing but admiration and respect for them; they amount to far more than those who claim to defend democracy but in reality are mobocrats in self-denial.

To argue for a People’s Vote was not to attack democracy, it was to defend it. Please call me a traitor for I hold the view that the sort of people who attack me represent the point where patriotism becomes the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Fred Mutton

27th December 2019 at 7:19 pm

I could respect them were it not for the little bag of 30 pieces of silver. OR was it thousands of Euros, job promises or a few thousand dollars from a well known international speculator. or perhaps photos/videos that originated on an island in the Sun..

Joseph Brown

26th December 2019 at 1:24 pm

You speak of Brexiteers showing no magnanimity in victory and yet you remainers have shown yourselves to have absolutely no dignity in defeat as you continue to aggressively push your “Britain is a racist country” propaganda machine.

James E Shaw

27th December 2019 at 12:41 pm

Where did I say Britain was a racist country?

Paul Sutton

26th December 2019 at 1:33 pm

“No, we, the 48% are every bit as much the people as the 52%,”

By the way (your favourite phrase!), 48% is not “every bit as much” as 52%”. You ignored Leavers concerns for 41 years – suck it up now.

NEIL DATSON

26th December 2019 at 5:34 pm

Yawn. Leave or Remain was a binary question. The country cannot do both. It voted to Leave and – although at present we can only hope – it will Leave. Had it voted to Remain (by so little as a single vote in 34 million) there would have been no question of any other outcome than it Remaining. Does that mean that whose who wanted to Leave would have given up the fight? No. But they would have had no option but to continue to campaign through whatever democratic means were available to them; accepting that those means are far from ideal. Does voting to Leave transform the country into a ‘perfect’ democracy? No. But those who value democracy and who want its mechanisms to be improved have much more chance of getting them improved outside than within the EU.

As for bleating that Remain lost because: ‘. . . the referendum was badly timed and our campaign was sabotaged by an ineffective Labour leader . . .’ What, pray, would be ‘correct’ timing? When the EU stopped arrogating more and more power and authority? Or when it had arrogated so much that any and every popular vote could be safely disregarded? And why didn’t Labour Party Remainers chose a Remain leader, rather than a man who had been a Leaver for all his political life? Who, excepting Labour Party Members, should be expected to care tuppence about that?

Jerry Owen

27th December 2019 at 9:44 am

J E Shaw
You admit twice you lost .. that’s it then, you 48% that lost do not have the right to have your opinion heard like the 52% that won. That is how it works.
The problem we now have is a small but vociferous group of people who say they admit they lost but secretly don’t and never will.
For democracy to work we need the consent of the losers in a fair referendum, which we don’t have.
If labour had won the GE I wouldn’t expect my voice to be heard, I would be grown up about it and accept I was on the losing side.
I accept the democratic process, and you don’t.

James E Shaw

27th December 2019 at 1:45 pm

Jerry Owen, your point ‘if labour had won the GE I wouldn’t expect my voice to be heard, I would be grown up about it and accept I was on the losing side’ is a facile one.

Your voice would continue to be represented in Parliament if you voted Conservative, Liberal Democrat or SNP and you would have the chance to overturn the result five years later.

If you were a Conservative who supported leaving the European Union in 1997, and no doubt dismayed by the fact that a Labour government had been over-whelmingly elected on an manifesto which pledged to incorporate the Human Rights Act into British law you had the chance to overturn that verdict in 2001, 2005 and in 2010, and finally in 2015. That is not the case here; this is a verdict that cannot be over-turned which is why it hurts so badly if you are a Remainer. If we wish to re-join in the future it will be on nothing like as favourable a deal as we currently have.

bf bf

27th December 2019 at 1:51 pm

The reason why Labour MP’s voted against it is because they believe it should go back to the people, a perfectly honorable and democratic stance.
So not enacting one democratic vote is OK by you have as many subsequent re votes until YOU get the answer YOU want. How very democratic NOT

Ken Bowker

29th December 2019 at 5:24 pm

Childlike nonsense.

Stephen Daniels

30th December 2019 at 11:29 am

James I feel you are a little confused as to how democracy works in a civilised country.

After the result is declared, the losing side publicly, formally concedes. In the UK a losing PM visits the Palace to tender his/her resignation. In the US the losing Presidential Candidate gives a public speech accepting the result and calling on the nation to rally behind the new President.
This has happened in every US Presidential election for the last 200 years.

But this did not happen in 2016. The losing side openly challenged the result, declared that “this fight is not over”, and spent three years using every legal and quasi-legal trick in the book to overturn the verdict including public disturbance. In doing so they sharply departed from the accepted norms of representative democracy, even after A50 had been legally triggered. It was in fact a campaign bordering on insurrection.

The closest historical parallels are the campaigns of the Algerian pieds noirs against De Gaulle in the 60s

Ironically parliament could have quite legally rejected the referendum result. A two line bill declaring the referendum null and void would have sufficed. They chose not to.

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Puddy Cat

26th December 2019 at 10:47 am

Jonathon Meade’s averred that liberals want you to be like them, they want you to be like them. How much room does that leave for a contortion of facts and inclinations on the one hand to the assertions with which, in a social milieu, they are so adamant in pronouncing. If this is what works for them; it describes a creature of the tribe hiding in the jungle. Your strength is in numbers, your essence goes unchallenged, the sublime verging on ridiculousness of separation and its breeding of conformity.

This says so much about their opposition to those in leadership roles who choose to stand apart and who make them even more livid and vituperative by not coming to heel when traduced. While professing the inadequacy of social services, being a humane standpoint, they miss the point of the pragmatist who deduces that the problem to be one of funding and not some dire plot to sell the NHS to some other state or an act of inhumanity. Can there be such a dry, matter of fact, solution? What about the renting of ones clothing? Casting about in a mournful, tearful way in an illogical plays of understanding? Superstitious of algorithms. Likely to treat AI as another assault on mankind and not the freeing of individuals from arid toil, set free to discover sensibility.

In the EU we find the fifth biggest economy in the world suffering to pay for its obligations. The very people who can afford private medicine falling back on the inadequacies of the public system do little but supply a comparison measured against success, their success. If this was even the fourth richest country in the world what else would be at our command?

Yet, here we are, mired in German austerity and betrayed by Europe’s tariffs and what suits other economies. We are unsuited temperamentally to such a place as the EU. They with their arid republics or token monarchies when in this country we have a monarch and an inheritance of the grace and humanity of the crowned head as opposed to the procedural aridity of a President.

Gina Miller comes to represent sterility. She speaks of fear amongst those that are well placed. Will not brook those challenging her hegemony. She is the consummate liberal in one sense, that she sees herself apart and somehow has established her values as iconic.

The young are running scared. They believe that they are being robbed of some golden existence or other. They are scared by errant leaders and the criminal use of the planet for the personal gain of ‘others’. Likely trading in unsubstantiated rounds in the Twitterspehere they become prey to the latest scare story and propagate its woes in train. This fear is then substantiated by our politics that would rather correct a fault, be seen to be active in this misanthropy rather than in working on the refutation and illumination. Dressing up as knights in shining armour. Without the complete demobilisation of industry, without the huge amounts of money to find real world solutions we will eventually demobilise our science and invention and become mired in necromancy and windmills.

The idle perpetuation of our myths, an inability to circulate that which may seem contrary, is allowing liberalism to translate everything in terms of saints and sinners, an open goal for Chaucer but not for those that harbour thoughts of man’s continued rise. We need to get to grips with liberalism it is the world of the established and comfortable and spells doom in short order. Forgive them Lord, they know not what they do.

Chris Stapleton

26th December 2019 at 10:37 am

For me, the overriding lesson of Brexit is that there is an anti-democratic enemy entrenched within our political and wider establishment, and their loyalty is to the EU. Many of them are still in place and they will continue to subvert our democracy and sovereignty, if they can.

I hope that the Tories remain in office long enough to diverge so much from the EU (implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, joining the Euro etc) that it becomes impossible for the quislings to sensibly promote a return.

JP Edwards

26th December 2019 at 9:45 am

Yes, Boris’s large majority has finally shut them up. But the danger still remains. Maybe not with Brexit but some future event. When the dust settles and Brexit is consolidated, a long careful review of what the anti-democratic Establishment forces did should take place. If that review concludes they were wrong and the courts trod in places they should not have, then these processes should be boxed in so they cannot interfere or thwart any future demos. It wasn’t only Brexit that was at risk, it was democracy itself.

James Knight

26th December 2019 at 1:22 pm

Johnson is now the biggest potential threat to Brexit. We know that the EU and the UK have been caught in major bluffs. The EU was bluffing over the extensions. And May blinked first on the deadline to leave in March 19. Johnson has the advantage of a majority, a clear mandate and the EU does not yet know if he is a bluffer like May. But he has accepted the WA that May was rail-roaded into.

Andrew-Paul Shakespeare

26th December 2019 at 9:40 am

“talk among Remainer lawyers that for doing this the prime minister could be jailed”

For me, the single most shocking feature of the whole denial-of-democracy battle was the salivating enthusiasm of Remainers for hauling their political opponents. It’s what they do in Venezuela. It would have been unthinkable in Britain before the Brexit vote. But in the last year especially, against Boris, against Darren Grimes, again and again, they saw a vocal and influential Leaver, and they dreamed of putting them behind bars for their impudence.

Stephen J

26th December 2019 at 8:46 am

The position of people with money and their lawyers regarding bought influence in this country has not changed one iota. We have merely established that another out of control branch of the establishment has temporarily taken control.

The truth is that we have discovered that democracy is king, but the democracy that we actually have is rather a blunt instrument, too much can happen that is out of the control of the electorate.

We will arrive at a more equitable status when we have established a Swiss style, citizen triggered system of binding direct democracy.

My view is that we should leave the HOC to its own devices, carry on with first past the post elections, but perhaps hold the elections less frequently, at which point all MP’s will be required to retire in order to build a new parliament. It is fine to have just the two tendencies of conservatism and radicalism, since it would be the citizenry that would force major changes through DD.

I believe that would represent a gentle evolution of our system, rather than a revolution.

L Strange

26th December 2019 at 12:59 am

We mustn’t be complacent, we still need to be on our guard. I wouldn’t be surprised if, even now, the statute books and Boris’ Withdrawal Agreement and so on, aren’t being combed by lawyers searching for some minutiae to allow more legal challenges.

Gina Miller didn’t pay for the previous attempts to block Brexit in the courts and she is not a lawyer herself. She was always just the public front for others with deep pockets who clearly think that the electorate should have no say in the country’s running. They won’t give up if they can help it.

Philip Humphrey

26th December 2019 at 7:46 am

Yes, I agree. They didn’t give up after the 2016 referendum, they’re unlikely to be cowed by the 2019 election for long. They don’t respect democracy. I expect we’ll hear more of their nonsense and spurious legal challenges next year when the negotiations for the final trade deal are in progress. I’m sure they’ll make some sort of challenge to Boris Johnson’s act of parliament to limit negotiations to one year.

Linda Payne

26th December 2019 at 6:51 pm

Then we need to campaign for a bill of rights to keep the law out of politics

NEIL DATSON

26th December 2019 at 8:06 am

Wholeheartedly agree. And be aware that the anti-democrats have the unequivocal support of much of the media.

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