11 October 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for your e-mail.

    The recent Supreme Court ruling on the prorogation of Parliament went against the Government.  The full effect of that judgement will become clearer in time but the immediate consequence was that Parliament reconvened at the earliest opportunity – with the full support of the Government.  The Attorney General put it very well when addressing the House on that first day back:

    ‘This was a judgment of the Supreme Court of a kind that was clear and definitive. It often happens that Governments lose cases. We did not agree with it, because of course we argued against it, but we accept the ruling of the Supreme Court, and we are proud that we have a country that is capable of giving independent judgments of this kind…

    The judges do not exist immune from criticism. There is nothing wrong at all in any member of the public, be it a Member of Parliament or otherwise, criticising a court judgment, but what is wrong is that motives of an improper kind should be imputed to any judge in this country. We are defenders of the entire democratic constitution and we must be sure, in everything we say… that we do not impute improper motives. With the judgments, we can be robustly critical; with the motives, we cannot.’
    (Hansard, 25 September 2019, Volume 664, Col.s 655, 657).

    Nevertheless, it was perhaps to be expected that passions would run high when the House reassembled and I think that a number of MPs will be reflecting carefully on how they express themselves around Brexit - whichever side of the argument they are on.

    We are now approaching the EU summit on 17 October.  We do need to leave the EU and the best way to do so is with a deal.  A no-deal Brexit will be difficult and I will therefore support a deal if it is achieved.

    Should the negotiations fail, the Government has always said it would obey the law and it confirmed to the Court of Session that if Parliament has not approved a deal or no-deal by 19 October that the letter mandated under the Benn Act will be sent.  It is, though, far to be preferred that we leave the European Union with a deal on 31 October.

    Thank you again for writing to me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon