THE Supreme Court in Scotland yesterday delayed its decision on whether it would be necessary for the courts to intervene and force PM Johnson to sign a letter requesting the EU for a Brexit delay beyond the date of October 31.
The court was hearing an appeal by businessman Dale Vince, SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC and Remainer lawyer Jolyon Maugham QC against an earlier decision by a lower court that ruled against forcing Boris Johnson to sign a Brexit extension letter to delay Article 50 – because it believed that he would obey the Benn Surrender Act and send the letter ‘in compliance with the law’.
This was not good enough for Remainers, who claimed that despite Johnson continually repeating that he would abide by the law, they were concerned he could still try and ‘frustrate’ the Benn Act in order to redeem his pledge to be ‘dead in a ditch’ rather than beg for an extension.
The Benn Act requires Johnson to write to the EU by asking for an extension until 31 January if he can’t get a Brexit deal agreed by parliament by October 19. In order to prevent any devious plots by Johnson to thwart the Benn Act, the court was asked to invoke a unique feature of Scottish law, ‘nobile officium’ (noble office), that gives the court power to sign the extension letter itself if Johnson refused.
The judges yesterday ruled that as Johnson had not actually broken the law at the moment it would be inappropriate to issue an injunction against him at the present time.
But the judges made clear that it was still a real option, saying that they could not rule on the matter until the political debate in parliament has ‘played out’.
They ruled that the court will sit again on 21 October to assess how events have played out, in other words, whether or not a deal has been agreed by parliament and, if not, whether Johnson has sent the surrender letter.
If Johnson breaks the Benn Act by still refusing to sign the surrender letter, then the Scottish court will take control out of his hands by either forcing him to do it, under the threat of jail, or by sending the letter themselves.
Both the courts and the Remainer claimants who brought this case are convinced that Johnson could well be pushed by the anger of the millions of workers who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum into carrying out his ‘do or die’ pledge.
With talks between the government and the EU over Johnson’s ‘deal’ dead in the water and no further negotiations scheduled, events are certainly moving fast towards a crunch point for Brexit.
In a dramatic move, Johnson yesterday announced an emergency sitting of parliament on Saturday 19 October, immediately after the EU summit, which will be the last chance for the UK and EU to agree a deal before the Brexit deadline.
In the likely event that Johnson has no agreed deal with the EU, speculation is rife in the bourgeois press about what will happen.
Will Johnson break the law and refuse to sign, handing responsibility for killing Brexit to the courts, or will he cave in and sign under the threat of a spell in jail or even resign as PM opening the way for some ‘unity’ government to carry out the Brexit betrayal?
What has become clearer and clearer since the 2016 referendum result is that only the power of the working class, and the working class using that power can secure Brexit, and take the UK out of the EU.
Meanwhile, the moneybag Remainers have called a national demonstration for Saturday 19th October in London to celebrate what they assume will be Johnson’s surrender to the EU.
The working class must now enter this fight, and use all of its huge strength. It must demand that the TUC leaders call a general strike to secure Brexit, and begin it with a massive ‘Leave Now’ demonstration outside the House of Commons on Saturday October 19th.
Britain must leave the EU now! The political revolution that began with the referendum result in 2016 must be transformed into a social revolution.
This means removing the Johnson government and replacing it with a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and bring in socialism and a socialist planned economy.