Brexit and the British State

Brexit and the British State

By Duncan Whitmore

Following the drama of the past two weeks which culminated in the embarrassing behaviour of opposition MPs blocking the Speaker’s chair in the moments of Parliament’s prorogation (pictured above), we can hope for some dying down of the recent hysteria now that they have been royally booted out for a month. At least, that is, until October 19th, when Boris Johnson must either pull a new Brexit deal with the EU out of his hat or ask for an extension to the October 31st deadline.

In the meantime, we can enjoy the comedy value of the Labour Party trying to square the circle with its Brexit policy. Trapped between a rock and a hard place by its support coming from both working class Leave voters on the one hand and middle class, liberal Remainers on the other, their aspiration is to negotiate a new deal with Brussels in order to show their Leave credentials. But they will then call a second referendum in which they will campaign against their own deal in favour of Remain. Such absurdity has driven even Remain-biased journalists to barely concealed sniggering. On Wednesday of this week, deputy leader Tom Watson chimed in by suggesting that Labour should campaign for a second referendum ahead of voting for an Autumn general election (the conditions for which Labour has already shifted several times since they backed the Brexit delay bill last week). Given that Labour is the official opposition and, by far, the second largest party in Parliament, whatever it chooses to do is likely to carry more weight than whatever the likes of Little Bo-Swinson and the disproportionately mega-mouthed Ian Blackford have to offer. So, amidst the hyperbolic outrage at the Scottish Court of Session’s finding that the prorogation of Parliament was “unlawful” (strange how there were no screaming headlines when the first instance judges drew the opposite conclusion) as well as at the release of the worst case scenario no-deal planning documents this will probably be the only thing to keep much of an eye on for now. Continue reading

Insofar as a powerful State has any meaning for libertarians, I would now make a request to the Queen to dissolve this Parliament.

David Davis

UPDATE1:- It seems that The Queen may “suggest” to Gordon Brown, some remedies, to his Parliament’s predicament. I can’t guess what those might be, but we live in hope.


Libertarians disagree in friendly ways all the time about the correct constitutional structure of a limited or minimal state.

Presently, here, we have what is increasingly inaccurately called a “Constitutional Monarchy”. I think most British libertarians are prepared to live with this arrangement, if it would merely deliver its supposed advantages. I have just been to The Last Ditch where I found an admirable call for The Queen to do what she is entitled under our constitution to do:

dissolve this Parliament, and call a General Election.

This particular Parliament, unprecented in nearly 400 years, has lost such meagre respect as it still retained after, among other sins, handing, entirely unauthorised and incidentally to the extreme detriment of The Queen’s own position as Head of State of the United Kingdom, nearly all its powers to a junta of unelected foreign potentates with which it has wished to make friends, for what are merely personal pecuniary reasons.

We here may quibble internally about whether the UK ought still to exist  – I know that Sean Gabb and I would not lose any sleep if it broke up tomorrow. But most libertarians would be on the same side about the modern inability of the people of these Islands – however they might wish to describe themselves – to arrive at their exiercise of their own sovereignty, by themselves.

(I have just hit “publish” by mistake, but have not finished….)

Mr Eugenides thinks (or perhaps his post implies that) the problem might be soluble merely by bringing about the resignation of the Speaker and his replacement by someone who believes in the idea of parliamentary authority based on the inherent morality of the individuals who (ought to be) in that institution. We here do not agree.  The rot has set in too far, and short of a Revolution, which might be destructive and would call down the ire of the present administration which is just _aching_ to invoke the CCA, the best solution is for The Queen to actually exercise the real powers that she has, designed for just this eventuality.

Afetr all, has not this government truly f*****d up? Has it not f****d up the Banking system (on purpose) so as to faux-nationalise it, and decide who gets money and who does not? Has it not f****d up British agricultural and fishery production, so as to hand over at least partial control of our food supply to others as a way of initiating rationing? Has it not f****d up “public education”, so as to deliberately create an uncurious race of compliant helots? Has it not f****d up the Armed Services, so as to eliminate – by calumny, depression and indignation –  from their ranks those who would not cheerfully agree to orders to fire upon their own people?

That lot is enough, for a start. Time the buggers went. I doubt very much that The Queen reads this blog, but perhaps someone who knows someone who speaks with her, does.

Please, Ma’am, just do what you were brought up to know how and when to be able to do.

Please also do it, sort of now. it can be combined with the trouser-ripping that’s already scheduled for 4th June. It’s also “Founders day” – David Cameron and Charles Moore will be pleased.

Prince Charles and the green sauce-bottle: I really think he believes what he’s saying.

David Davis

It’s very sad. Now even he, the Heir-Apparent, is calling us “deniers“. He should know better than to sunder his subjects-to-be into in-groups and out-groups.

We have already had occasion to have a pop at him the other day, for his poor, sad tormentedness. What a shame that such a decent, well-meaning, moderately intelligent and potentially useful individual, to whom people look up for inspiration, should go to the Dark Side like that.

I think it’s time we got rid of this lot of hereditary sovereigns, and appointed a new one – as is our custom when required, every two or three-hundred years. The Queen, as Sean Gabb points out increasingly these days, has clearly failed to keep her side of the bargain struck in her Coronation Oath, and ought really to go. Moreover, her lot has had 295 years, has done intermittently well in its heyday (1837 but erratic, 1901, 1911, 1937) but its skills are wearing thin.

There is nothing in Libertarian-Minimal-Statist doctrine (if there is even such a unitary thing as libertarian doctrine) which says that a “libertarian state” (minimalist) cannot have an hereditary figurehead such as the Queen, if people decide this is appropriate. It’s just that we can’t really allow ourselves to be dragged under by the negligence of this lot any more.

Libertarian Alliance Meetings

Sean Gabb

1) This is short notice, but there will be a Libertarian Alliance meeting on Monday the 9th March 2009, starting at 7:00pm. The meeting will be in the upstairs room at The Coach and Horses on Great Marlborough Street, Soho, London. To find out who the speaker will be, and to ask any further questions, send e-mail to David McDonagh

2) The Chris R. Tame Memorial Lecture will take place on Tuesday 17th March 2009 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at the National Liberal Club, One Whitehall Place, London SW1 (nearest tube Embankment). Professor Kevin Dowd will speak on “Lessons from the Financial Crisis: A Libertarian Perspective”. For further details, contact Tim Evans

3> Here is a video of my speech to the Marlborough Group on the 22nd February 2009. In this, I take issue with those who claim that British law and the British Constitution have been breached by New Labour. Constitutional lawyers like Michael Shrimpton are wholly correct that whatever goes through Parliament has the force of law. He is also right that the Queen cannot be held to have broken her coronation oath – any Act that conflicts with the words of her oath are taken to have altered the meaning of the oath. My reply is to ask “so what?” The law and Constitution exist to enable ordinary people to live in peace and freedom. They draw their legitimacy from the extent to which they achieve this purpose. When they stop achieving this purpose, or when they begin to frustrate this purpose, they become illegitimate, and can rightly then be overthrown and replaced. Where the Monarchy is concerned, I argue that, whatever the lawyers may claim, there is a contract with us. We agreed in 1688 to regard these people as the Lord’s Anointed, and they agreed to respect our rights, and also to protect them. Since the present Queen has broken her side of the bargain, she had no right to our deference. This speech was given in the heart of England to a meeting of rather elderly conservatives. There was barely a single person there who had not been made by circumstances into a fan of Oliver Cromwell. Here is the speech link:

4> My speech to the Oxford Union on the 26th February 2009 went very well. I will write a full report of this in the next week or so, but am very busy at present.

Best wishes,



mEUre abEUt the EU, and the position of hEUr mEUjesty the quEUn

I came across this letter earlier. it won’t make any difference of course, and i’m sure the writer and his blogosphere all knew that: it would just make them feel a little bit better for a day or two. The time for pointing out in a civilised manner to otherwise-civilised heads of state with no power, and the crazed Stalinist mountebanks which are currently manipulating them, is past.

David Davis

It’s quite good and to the point. Why indeed did the Queen (should she, perhaps, be a quEUn now?) have to assent the Lisbon Treaty into law so fast? Was she told something we were not? Or was a gun put to the head of William’s chances of “succession” (succession to…what?)

Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:15 AM

This is the letter I sent to the Queen yesterday.


I was surprised that Your Majesty gave your Royal Assent to the Lisbon treaty bill so hurriedly.

When Your Majesty swore the Coronation Oath in 1953 before God and nation, Your Majesty pledged to defend our laws and customs. This is because Your Majesty is a constitutional monarch and part of that constitution is the Coronation Oath. Consequently Your Majesty has a constitutional duty to defend our laws.

The Lisbon treaty is a very contentious issue. Your Majesty must know from all the letters and postcards and from reading the newspapers that there is informed and passionate opposition to it across the nation. Your Majesty must also be aware that all three political parties promised a referendum on the EU constitution, which is virtually identical to the Lisbon treaty. Furthermore, I am sure that Your Majesty was told that Stuart Wheeler had challenged Your Majesty’s government over not providing the promised referendum, and that High Court judgment had not yet been given.

No matter what Your Majesty may have been told, the Lisbon treaty will take away the last vestiges of Britain’s sovereignty. Many of us had thought that under these circumstances Your Majesty would have taken the Coronation Oath seriously and would have refused assent to the treaty, or at least have delayed giving assent. That is Your Majesty’s constitutional right and duty and would have defended the people’s constitutional liberties. That you have not done so sabotages not only our freedoms but Your Majesty’s right to serve us.

Hitherto I have been a loyal subject and a great admirer of Your
Majesty’s grace and fortitude. Your Majesty’s action has placed me in an untenable position. I cannot be either loyal to or a subject of a

constitutional monarch who has contributed to the destruction of the constitution which she swore to defend, and which is the Sovereign’s source of legitimacy and purpose.

I am sincerely yours,
David Abbott
Kingsmere Meadow
Winchester S021 2BL
HRH The Prince of Wales
HRH Prince William