UK Politics

Forcing through no deal without an election would be a constitutional outrage

BY Allan Massie   /  12 August 2019

We all know that the British constitution is unwritten. Like much that we know this is not exactly true. It would be more accurate to say that the writings are scattered. There are a few fundamental documents. One is the 1707 Treaty of Union between England and Scotland. Others pre-date that Treaty and were carried over into the new United Kingdom. The 1689 Bill of Rights, for instance, provided for the independence of the judiciary; judges could no longer be removed at His Majesty’s pleasure. The Act of Settlement of 1701 ensured that the Monarch must be a Protestant. Recently we have had Jacob Rees-Mogg asserting – if I read him right – that membership of the European Union which grants primacy in certain areas to European Law, with matters to be determined by the European Court of Justice, is unlawful because it contravenes the 1533 Act for Restraint of Appeals, which prohibited appeals to any foreign jurisdiction (and especially to the Bishop of Rome).


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