Though the judges of the Supreme Court denied that Brexit was at issue; and though the litigious businesswoman Gina Miller claimed that the decision was about the sovereignty of Parliament, everyone knows the opposite to be the case. Brexit was the context, Brexit was the bone of contention and stopping Brexit was the motive behind the litigation.
The case turned, as the judgement made clear, on the PM’s motivation for proroguing Parliament. To establish, beyond reasonable doubt, a man’s motives for an action is a tricky business. But what is more remarkable – some might say unjust – is the failure of the Court to question and examine the motives of the plaintiff.
Boris Johnson, in justifying the prorogation, may (or may not) have concealed his real motive behind the pretence of desiring a Queen’s speech. Gina Miller is just as likely to have concealed the intention to thwart Brexit behind an affected concern for the authority of Parliament. Why, we must ask, were the PM’s motives the subject of learned scrutiny and Miller’s not?
The subsequent claim of the opposition parties that Johnson‘s action was ‘illegal’ demands further scrutiny. How could a man avoid transgressing a law which did not exist until defined by the Supreme Court after the event? One, moreover, which might (or might not) subsequently have been devised to outlaw the very action he was contemplating?
Contrary to its own posturings, the Supreme Court was plainly acting politically. Its motives – though clouded with verbiage – are apparent to the meanest observer.