When I opened up my Twitter feed last morning and saw the BBC's report that the UK government would ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament, I was shocked. I retweeted it with a comment and then decided to wait for a little to see what would happen.
When the Queen signed off on the prorogation later in the day, I was disappointed. I understand that she did not have much choice, but it was still hard to see that the country I study in (and which I have always considered a sound democracy) to have its legislative system bend to the power of a prime minister who seems to not fully understand the risk of a no-deal Brexit. I am aware that the government has claimed that this prorogation would not impact MPs' ability to debate Brexit, but I think the fact that this is not true is rather obvious.
What bothers me the most about this is that undemocratic actions are used to bring about a scenario which the government claims has democratic legitimacy. The government always points back to the 2016 referendum to claim democratic legitimacy for Brexit. But, as I pointed out in an earlier video of mine, the referendum did not specify what kind of Brexit the people were voting for. Was it a vote for no-deal Brexit? For a soft Brexit? For a harder Brexit with a deal? For a Brexit that includes the backstop?
But let us put the vagueness of the referendum aside for a moment and let us instead accept the government's hypothesis that the referendum gives legitimacy to them doing Brexit - however they seem fit. If that hypothesis is true, why does the government have to hide from the democratically elected representatives of the people to follow through on their democratic mandate? The current members of Parliament were elected after the referendum and they should therefore also represent the people's opinions. Why do the people's opinions matter when they were voiced in the 2016 referendum, but not when they are voiced through their representatives in Parliament today?
I am genuinely worried about the developments from yesterday because I find it hard to believe that a democracy like the UK could be outsmarted by a prime minister who follows a policy which has been deemed unadvisable by political scientists. I will return to the UK in about a month to continue my studies at Cambridge and I am worried about what the country will be like by the end of my first term when the Brexit deadline comes around. I really hope that the Prime Minister will not push through a no-deal Brexit. I am sorry for my friends in the UK who grew up being told they live in a democracy where their opinions will be heard and who now have to worry about whether that is really true. But I am so proud of everyone who went out and protested the government's decision to prorogue Parliament yesterday. Thank you for making your voices heard.
This post is a more political post and I thought about whether it was appropriate or not for me to post it on this blog. I have decided to post it here because I usually describe this blog as a platform for anything that is on my mind, and this has been on my mind for the past 24 hours. If you would like to share your opinion on the topic with me, you can send me a message here.
Lots of Love,