- The court said that Boris Johnson lied to the Queen! No, it didn’t. Its ruling said that “there is no need for the court to consider whether the Prime Minister’s motive or purpose was unlawful”.
- The Prime Minister’s plans are now in tatters! No, they’re not – at least, any more or less than previously. Parliament has already passed the Benn Act. The Commons can decide nothing of significance between its return today and the Queen’s Speech.
- Johnson and Cox should resign! Why? Because the Government has lost in court? But governments are always doing so. The Coalition lost a mass of court cases when Dominic Grieve was Attorney General. We don’t remember a clamour for him and Cameron to quit at the time. It’s not as though the Government had no case: were that so, it would have lost in the High Court.
- Cummings must go! Again, why? The fact is that this Parliament is determined to thwart a No Deal Brexit. So had the prorogation scheme not been tried, the Benn Act would still have been carried. No alternative gambit would have prevented this happening.
- Johnson is doomed! Maybe. But no more or less than he was before yesterday’s judgement. Parliament’s return for a few days makes no material difference to anything of significance.
The Prime Minister’s Parliamentary situation is very difficult. But as we have seen, that is a direct consequence of the Benn Act. It had nothing to do with yesterday’s court ruling.
If the polls are right, Johnson is doing better outside the Westminster Village than inside it, and it is not at all impossible that he could win a general election.
Conservative MPs returning to the Commons today should remember this – and keep their heads.