The British spirit of independent development aroused the feeling of going it alone in a complex world where opportunities could no longer be exploited to generate prosperity and welfare by being tied to the apron strings of the European Union. This spirit culminated in a national referendum in 2016 whereby the population were given a chance to voice their opinion on whether it was in the best interests of the nation to withdraw from this superstate arrangement that seemed to many to have outlived its usefulness in a globalised environment.
The recalcitrants of the Liberal Party with its subservience to European camaraderie and the divergent views of the Labour Party were stunned when the nation voted 52% to 48% for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The constitution of the United Kingdom was not fully apparent to the politicians and judges so that the disagreements in Parliament on the procedures that should be adopted to effect the withdrawal by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union were tested and are still being tested to their utmost limits.
The pressure to do something drastic to regnite national pride came to the fore with the development and support steadily acquired by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) which was formed by disgruntled Conservatives unhappy that the country should take dictations from the European Union on such fundamental matters as immigration and free movement, payment of large sums of money to the European Union, exploitation of sea resources in terms of fisheries, and being subject to the laws and regulations that would be administered by the European Court of Justice. The offshoot of UKIP under Nigel Farage is the Brexit Party that puts considerable pressure on the Conservatives to progress the strive to exitting the European Union.
David Cameron the Conservative Prime Minister had not foreseen the strength of feeling within the nation until voters compelled the Party to rethink his Remain predisposition. He resigned and Mrs Theresa May became the next Prime Minister. She believed that under the royal prerogative she had the power to not consult Parliament in drafting the withdrawal agreement with the European Union. This was challenged in the Courts and the Courts ruled that she would have to legislate through Parliamentary processes to invoke Article 50 and that her withdrawal agreement would itself have to be ratified by a vote of Members of Parliament and the House of Lords.
A date was set for United Kingdom leaving the European Union on 31 March 2019, but despite several attempts by Theresa May no single draft withdrawal agreement received ratification by Parliament. There was considerable soul searching among individual parliamentarians concerned that the withdrawal would damage economic prosperity, with the Liberal Party reinforcing its policy to campaign strongly to remain in the European Union. A substantial number of Labour Members of Parliament left the Party and formed the Change UK group that campained for a fresh new referendum to re-establish the voice of the people instead of honouring the 2016 referendum result.
Agreement could not be reached by 31 March 2019 and the United Kingdom had to seek an extension of time for the withdrawal from the European Union to be made effective. This date was set for 31 October 2019. Prime Minister Theresa May resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party when there was massive revolt against her detailed proposals and her failure to get it through Parliamentary procedures within the original deadline. There was a substantial number of Conservative Members of Parliament who wished to leave the European Union without a deal so that the country would be free to engage in trade deals on world trade terms instead of taking directives from arrangements agreed with the European Union.
The Conservative and Unionist Party elected Boris Johnson as its new leader and he became Prime Minister with a mission to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, do or die, by 31 October 2019 with a deal if possible but also without a deal if no agreement could be reached by this date. The Liberal Party and the Labour Party passed the Benn Act that would effectively force the Prime Minister to seeking a further extension on the date by which the United Kingdom would leave the Europen Union. There was considerable tussle in Parliament and Boris Johnson attempted to prorogue Parliament for a period of 5 weeks during which he said that a new Queens Speech would take place. The decision ot prorogue Parliament was challenged in the High Court which said that under the consitutional separation of powers it had no business to intervene. This was appealed by Gina Miller's team in the the Supreme Court, whose 11 Justices judged that the governments proroguing of Parliament was unlawful and never took place. This was because no reasonable justification was given to the Court for the proroguing of Parliament and the procedure prevented Parliament from performing its constituional functions of scrutinising the Prime Minister on his actions so that it stifled debate. The Parliament resumed amid chaotic scenes of accusations and recriminations. Boris Johnson did not resign on the verdict delivered by the Supreme Court and said that the decision was not right. He challenged the opposition to implement a vote of no confidence in him or to let there be a general election to sort out the crisis. The opposition parties would not do that because they were of the view that this was a ploy by the government to crash out of the European Union on 31 October 2019 without a deal that would be supported by the majority of MPs, and Labour and Liberals were hell bent on not supporting any deal negotiated by the Conservative Party. These opposition politicians also denied Boris Johnson an immediate general election that would have had the effect of securing a mandate from the electorate to govern to their manifestos and refused to call a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister that would have lead to it. Further the oppositon would not agree to a recess to allow the Conservative Party to have their annual conference in order to seek an extension of the Brexit exit deadline beyond 31 October 2019, possibly to the end of January 2020 in order that they would argue that the Conservatives failed to deliver Brexit in an orderly manner with a deal that the majority in Parliament supported. This was a manifestation of opposition for opposition sake and mired in party politics rather than having a government of national unity that would produce the will of the people currently.
That is the background as it stands on this day, the 27th of September 2019.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS ON BREXIT
The Prime Minister's negotiations with European Union continue to see if a deal can be struck by 18 October 2019.
31 October 2019 Update:
The new Prime Minister Boris Johson negotiated another deal with the European Union that required ratification by Parliament in the United Kingdom. He chose to go for a general election instead to obtain a fresh mandate from the population to see how Parliamentary democracy which has proven to be the lawful process in the constitution of the country plays out.
This general election will take place on 12 December 2019, and required an amendment to the Fixed Term Parliament Act that would have required a two-thirds majority for the Bill to hold a mid-term general election. This is because with Parliamentary democracy the Prime Minister would not risk his attainment of the withdrawal agreement that was approved through amendments being tabled by opposition Members of Parliament to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill because all parties are sick and tired of these Parliamentary machinations in the United Kingdom. The European Union has extended the deadline for the decision until 31 January 2019 to see what happens in the general election and determine the future association with the United Kingdom.
13 December 2019 Update:
The Conservative Party has secured a landslide majority in the general election and the Prime Minister Boris Johnsom has a fresh mandate for effective government over the next 5 years to get Brexit done as the new government sees fit. The dithering Labour Party secured only 203 seats in the new parliament with Conservatives gaining 363 seats. The Liberal Democrats with their pro-Remain agenda failed miserably with the Leader Jo Swinson losing her seat in her constituency to the ever stronger Scottish National Party. The near final state of Parliament is as follows:
UK GENERAL ELECTION 2019 LIVE RESULTS 650 / 650PARTY SEATS WON CONSERVATIVE 365 LABOUR 203 LIBERAL DEMOCRAT 11 SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY 48 GREEN PARTY 1 BREXIT PARTY 0 PLAID CYMRU 4 OTHERS 18
It therefore now looks certain that the deal negotiated by Boris Johnson for UK's withdrawal from the European Union by 31 January 2019 will be implemented as the Prime Minister sees fit. The State of the Union of United Kingdom therefore appears secure if Westminister does not yield to the demand of the Scottish National Party to administer a second referendum for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom.
27 January 2020 Update: