Friday, 13 Dec 2019

Nick Ferrari destroys Scottish barrister on stopping no deal – ‘frustrating the decision’

Scottish barrister Jolyon Maugham has granted a hearing to a group of about 70 MPs, who are ramping up their efforts to prevent Boris Johnson from proroguing Parliament and pushing through a no deal Brexit. Radio presenter Nick Ferrari confronted Mr Maugham over the decision, claiming it seems “everything has been done to frustrate” the decision to leave the EU. The LBC host asked: “So what were those people voting for three and a half years ago?”

The Scottish barrister and QC replied: “Well, good question, I don’t know and you don’t know.”

Mr Ferrari hit back: “I think a lot of them think they do. They were told it was a once in a generation opportunity, to define the relationship between the UK and the EU. It was made quite plain by the then Prime Minister David Cameron.

“So they take their decision, albeit I agree with you quite slim margin, and it seems everything’s being done to frustrate the decision. That’s how many of them would react.”

Mr Maugham said: “Well I know, I’m on social media and I have a very good understanding of what people on the Leave side feel. I understand that they feel very, very betrayed by what has happened since the vote in 2016.

“I feel a great and genuine sadness that people have not been treated properly and honestly by, in particular I think Theresa May, but now I think by Boris Johnson.

“That’s a source of great sadness to me as well.”

The radio presenter questioned: “And just lastly, where is the dishonest treatment then from Boris Johnson?”

The Good Law Project director explained: “Well, for example, he has told people when he was running his leadership campaign, that there was a one in a million chance of us leaving without a deal.

“That now seems to be the central aim of Government planning. I don’t think many of us, probably not many of your listeners, would think no deal is a one in a million chance.”

A group of MPs from opposition parties are backing a bid to have Scotland’s highest civil court rule that Mr Johnson cannot ask Queen Elizabeth to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament before the UK leaves the European Union on October 31.

The case was first heard this morning, where the Court of Session decided that a substantive hearing would take place on September 6. This is because English courts do not sit in August.

Mr Maugham said: “A man with no mandate seeks to cancel parliament for fear it will stop him inflicting on an unwilling public an outcome they did not vote for and do not want.That’s certainly not democracy and I expect our courts to say it’s not the law.”

Mr Johnson has said the UK will leave the bloc on October 31 whether it has a divorce agreement or not.


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But many MPs have previously said they will not allow a no-deal Brexit.

This includes Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and the Scottish National party MP Joanna Cherry.

They were among other MPs who won a ruling last year that the U can cancel Brexit without the permission of other EU countries.

Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, who is also backing the case, said: “When Boris Johnson unveiled his vacuous slogan ‘taking back control’, voters weren’t told that this could mean shutting down Parliament.

“The Prime Minister’s undemocratic proposal to hold Westminster in contempt simply can’t go unchallenged.”

In June, Speaker of the House John Bercow said it was “blindingly obvious” that the Prime Minister could not sideline Parliament.

He said: ”That is simply not going to happen.”

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