It’s not that common, it doesn’t happen to every parliamentary democracy, and it is a big deal

I’m hearing people say “he’s only proroguing for a few days, it’s not a big deal”. No, it is a big deal, and this is why.

Johnson is not just “slightly extending the recess for conference”, as I have heard many of his supporters disingenuously say.

First, it was likely that Parliament would have voted not to go to conference at this important time. Now they will lose the option to do that, and five weeks will be lost.

But more importantly, proroguing is the end of the parliamentary session; it is not a recess. All bills in progress will be cut off. Parliamentary business cannot simply pick up when Parliament reconvenes, unlike when the MPs break for conference. Even if Johnson only prorogued for one day, it would put a spanner in the works.

Continue reading It’s not that common, it doesn’t happen to every parliamentary democracy, and it is a big deal

No, none of the List of Lies is laid down in the Lisbon Treaty

There’s a new and fun cut-and-paste list going round! This one recites some fundamental untruths about how the EU works, and if I were being kind I would say perhaps it stems from misunderstanding. However since the list veers so completely into ranting fantasy towards the end (number 18 is my personal favourite), it’s clear that the whole thing is a List of Lies designed to scare people into voting Leave again, should there be a second referendum.

By the way, putting “as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty” in a sentence doesn’t make it true. It does make the lie more obvious though. Continue reading No, none of the List of Lies is laid down in the Lisbon Treaty

I love the EU because it is democratic

Hang on, the EU is undemocratic, isn’t it? I’ve read that so often and in so many places that it must be true.

Well, let’s look at the facts. There’s the European Parliament, comprised of 751 MEPs. They vote on whether to approve new legislation or not. We have 73 of those MEPs, proportional to our size. So we have representatives that we vote for (and by proportional representation, not by our antiquated first-past-the-post system). That’s democratic.
Continue reading I love the EU because it is democratic