Besides the serious economic losses stemming from Brexit, which we noted last week, the intensity of the conflict has reached a point where it is seems to be the sole debating point within UK’s judiciary.
After more than a month’s suspension of the House of Commons called by Prime Minister Boris Johnson — despite opposition party protests — the case was brought before the justices, upon which, the Supreme Court of England and Wales reaffirmed the legality of the Prime Minister’s decision.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Scotland judged the decision as illegal, while the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland, the fourth pillar of the United Kingdom, discarded it, so as not to take a decision and avoid further divisions. These positions are somewhat consistent with the stance taken by the leading political parties on this highly divisive issue.
Scots, for example, oppose leaving the EU, while Northern Ireland, which shares a land border with EU member-state Ireland, remains one of the thorniest issues that hinder Britain’s exit. In fact, the currently open borders provide Northern Ireland with significant opportunities to trade with EU countries, with UK exports through it estimated at $4 billion annually.
Making a case
Thus, the case was submitted to the Federal Supreme Court to decide the validity or invalidity of Prime Minister Johnson’s decision, and to call back the parliament to convene before October 14. This means disputes might be aggravated before the exit process scheduled, for to begin from October 31. There was a recent document suggesting solutions to any Brexit repercussions, including high prices for food and utility services, shortages of medicines, the shrinking of the business sector, and the liquidation of some commercial activities.
All of which if they come to pass will reflect negatively on living standards and raise inflation rates, causing further deterioration of the pound. This comes as the opposition parties accuse the prime minister of lying to the Queen when she was asked to suspend the parliament — a charge that Johnson has denied. The Queen, however, has remained silent about all this controversy, although she expressed an opinion without saying a word, much in the manner of regents of the past, when she attended one of the events related to the issue. She wore a beautiful blue dress studded with a number of yellow stars, with an uncanny similarity to the flag of the EU!
A ‘silent’ statement
While she approved the prime minister’s request to suspend parliament, she also adopted the House of Commons’ decision not to go out without an agreement as the prime minister wants. This means the queen’s public stance is completely neutral consistent with her position as head of state, although the constitution gives her much legal powers to intervene, dismiss the government, dissolve parliament, and even declaring war.
Therefore, things are going in two opposite directions. The government, according to the resigning ministers, is working hard and devoting its time to the complete the Brexit regardless of any obstructionist decisions or resolutions. Opposition party, however, works to stop the Brexit by all means and political and legal pressures.
Whether the suspension of parliament continued or cancelled in the coming days, the remaining time of this month and October will see more serious disputes among various parties. This will further deepen the crisis, which may necessitate new elections as the Prime Minister wishes, who thinks time is in his favour, especially since most citizens are tired and want to quickly get out of this Russian roulette, regardless of anything else, which could cause them to give him their votes to end such a spiral of uncertainty.
The other option, which the opposition supports, is to organise a new referendum to vote against the Brexit. In both cases, and whether the UK leaves or remains, the British economy will experience continuous depletion until further notice.
Dr Mohammad Al Asoomi is a UAE economic expert and specialist in economic and social development in the UAE and the GCC countries.