Playing fast and loose
How should we assess Boris Johnson’s approach to the rule of law?
Ten days ago, in one of his last speeches as prime minister, Boris Johnson told MPs this:
With iron determination we saw off Brenda Hale and we got Brexit done.
My tweet at the time questioned his motives:
As David Allen Green has reminded us, Johnson’s remarks about Lady Hale are not true in a literal sense. She stood down, as planned, three weeks before reaching mandatory retirement age.
Nor is it true that Johnson “saw off” the decision taken by Hale and her fellow justices in the case known as Miller 2. His government complied with it.
Whether or not the government “got Brexit done” is a much bigger question which I won’t address here.
Stepping back, though, I think it’s fair to say that Johnson led a government that played fast and loose with the rule of law.
I explain why in the August/September edition of The Critic magazine, on sale now. You can also read my essay online by clicking here.
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