Sputnik: Do you think the British government’s calls for a new snap election will be rejected?
Marcus Stead: Boris Johnson may well attempt to put through an attempt to dissolve for a general election as soon as today. It was confirmed this morning that the prorogation of parliament will happen this evening and that means that it’s the end of term and parliament won’t sit again until the 14th of October regardless.
What Johnson wants is for parliament to be dissolved so he can call a general election, but he requires two-thirds of MPs to vote in favour of that and as with last week when he tried the same thing; he is unlikely to get it. The opposition parties feat that Boris Johnson’s Conservatives would win a majority and polls as they stand suggest that he may well do and if that happened parliament would reconvene within a matter of days of that election and repeal the legislation that was passed last week aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit.
Public opinion really hasn’t shifted that much since the 2016 referendum and the European Parliamentary elections from earlier this year kind of prove that. A good estimate of the 2016 referendum result is that of the seats Labour holds in the House of Commons, one hundred and forty-eight voted to leave and eighty-four voted remain, and of the Conservative seats, two hundred and forty-seven voted leave and eighty voted remain.
What I’m getting at is that in the Labour heartlands there was very strong leave vote, and that leave vote is still very much in place it seems, but Labour’s policy seems bizarre to say the least, they don’t seem to be able to settle on a policy.
Their official line at the moment is to negotiate a new withdrawal deal with the EU and then hold a second referendum in which they would campaign to remain and urge the public to reject the deal they’ve just rejected, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Sputnik: Has Boris Johnson undermined democracy in the UK?
Marcus Stead: Brexiteers should be very careful what they wish for in all this. We have a very delicately balanced constitution in this country; it is unwritten, which provides a degree of flexibility that other countries don’t have, but there are lots of conventions that can, in theory, be broken, but just because you can it doesn’t mean that you should.
The House of Commons speaker John Bercow has broken a number of such conventions in recent months, and the office of speaker has been undermined as a result and the speaker’s politically neutral status has been brought into question.
If the Prime Minister goes against the rule of law; it sets a very dangerous precedent. If a Jeremy Corbyn government that’s close to Marxist in character gets into power, what would be to stop them from flouting the law and seizing private property for example?
What would stop Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon from unilaterally declaring independence on the grounds that Scotland wishes to be governed by the rule of law?
All of these might sound very far-fetched at the moment, but if we were to have a Prime Minister and a government that are deciding which laws to obey and which laws not to obey; who knows where we might end up?
Sputnik: Have fears regarding a no-deal Brexit been overblown?
Marcus Stead: There are certain risks involved in a no-deal Brexit, in that there are so many things that happen in this country that would have no legal basis, for example; most of the world’s best Formula One teams are based near Silverstone and the agreement that allows racing cars to get in and out of the country would not be in place and there are many other examples like this.
The other side to the coin is that I cannot think of a single item of food or drink that couldn’t be sourced from elsewhere in the world if we had to, now that would mean in the short term that there could be disruption on the supermarket shelves as supply chains are rebalanced, but I don’t believe the apocalypse scenario at all.
We would be looking at short term disruption and a significant degree of inconvenience, would it be the end of the world? No, would everything eventually be sorted out? Yes, absolutely and most importantly of all if we made a clean break from the EU; we would be outside the customs union which is one of the most important points of all because if we are inside the customs union, we will not be able to form trade deals with the wider world.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.