Two current legal/constitutional events - formally unconnected - go to why there are serious problems about the UK state

The first is the drama over the threatened breach of domestic and international law

What has been lost in much of thee drama is the exact nature of the threatened breach

The key clauses in the Bill are, in effect, enabling clauses

They enable a minister to make regulations, regardless of whether those regulations are in breach of domestic and international law

The Bill not only is in breach of UK's obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement but would provides the statutory basis for new regulations to be made by ministers also in breach

All supposedly law-proof and court-proof

The other legal/constitutional event is the ongoing casual use (misuse/abuse) by the government to make regulations under the Public Health Act

Last night new criminal offences were issued *twenty minutes* before they had effect

We are moving to a situation where the government rules by decree

No parliamentary scrutiny, no real judicial supervision (and judicial review constantly under threat as well)

Making the decrees law-proof and court-proof is natural next step

There is always some excuse - coronavirus here, pace process there - but the excuses are never sincere and only impress fools

In reality, it is an ongoing power-grab by the executive at the expense of the legislature and the judiciary

Slowly and surely the UK constitution is being disfigured so that all effective checks and balance to executive action are removed or weakened

We are moving steadily towards government by decree

8 & ends

There are limits to what can be done by law and policy commentary

(Commentators are, after all, just reply guys with pretensions and wider platforms)

This illiberal trend can be charted, explained, analysed, in real time

It is for others to try and stop this trend

And, no, this is not an especially Tory thing

One could imagine easily a government of Blair/Clarke/Straw/Blunkett going down exactly the same path

It is an Executive thing, regardless of party

But the UK's political tribalism hides this from view

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with david allen green

david allen green Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @davidallengreen

19 Sep
The UK’s constitution is not working

When there is no proper accountability and transparency, government policymaking becomes sloppy

New by me, at @FT… Image
@FT "The UK constitution is drifting into the arena of the unwell..."

Many thanks to my lovely editors at @FT for allowing that allusion to a certain film.
@FT I am on favour of a working constitution, codified or not

A codified constitution, in principle, is neither good nor bad - and in practice can be quite bad

My view is that the 'codified' debate is a distraction from seeing how things can be improved without codification
Read 7 tweets
16 Sep
Every so often a politician speaks of 'enshrining' a thing in law, and another will talk of placing 'locks' into legislation

Both are ugly phrases but they are significant

Laws are laws and statutes are statutes

They have the same effect regardless of whether they are about 'enshrined' things and 'locks'

They can be amended and repealed (and 'fudged')

And so even when words like 'enshrine' and 'lock' are used, nothing special is happening to the law

It is a rhetorical not a legal device - a misdirection

Read 5 tweets
14 Sep
Just reading around the 1933 Enabling Act for no particular reason

Some general observations follow

When we think of 'Enabling Act' and Germany, we think of the 1933 one

But in fact it was one of several in Germany after 1919 - ten or so had been made in Weimar Germany

All for very good reasons, of course

Hitler's Enabling Act was different in scale, not in principle

The 1933 Enabling Act was also expressly time-bound

It was to last only for a definite period of four years

Of course, it was just then renewed (and renewed)

Read 10 tweets
13 Sep
Once upon a time a government proposed breaking the law

The matter got to the first gatekeeper, the government's most senior legal official

'you cannot do that, I will resign'

But he government shrugged, and carried on its way

The government came to the next gatekeeper, the Attorney General

The Attorney General nodded and clapped and cheered, and the government carried on its way

The next gatekeeper was the Lord Chancellor, who had sworn to protect the Rule of Law

The Lord Chancellor said some threatened breaches of the law were acceptable, and the government carried on its way

Read 7 tweets
12 Sep
"Ha ha, you thought Article 50 would never be triggered" come the occasional taunt

Looks around at the increasing political, policy, legal and economic chaos

'And this is why,' is my response

'No sane government would have inflicted this on itself'
My view, which has been consistent since the referendum, is that Brexit should have been done by a single overall treaty between UK and EU

Dealing with both exit and relationship issues

The Article 50 process was never fit for purpose as a means of departure for a member state
I am not a Remainer and I have never had any objection to Brexit in principle

I want UK's future to be as having close Association Agreement with EU - and I think this will suit UK and EU in medium to longer term

But the rush to to exit via A50 without thought was not rational
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep
This morning it all still seems so bizarre

A Conservative government is risking a full-blown constitutional crisis and destroying its international reputation over...

...increasing the role of public sector in subsidising otherwise uncompetitive private sector businesses

'Conservative' in that last tweet to be said in exactly the same way Neil Kinnock said 'Labour' in his famous speech on Militant
Missing in all this - as conspicuous as a missing witness statement - is the failure of UK government to explain why it wants to depart from EU State aid rules

What exactly is the UK's alternative vision of State aid?

And why does it require this big departure?

This is the gap
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!