Analysis, Europe, Side Feature

Who is the Sovereign in Britain?

Journalist Peter Oborne wrote on Sunday, 26th August, “Make no mistake, too, Mr Johnson’s idea of suspending Parliament could mean constitutional and political chaos.

For centuries, as a beacon to other countries, Britain has run as a representative democracy. that means Parliament is ultimately sovereign.

By proroguing Parliament for several weeks to force through Brexit, Mr Johnson would be acting against the spirit of the British constitution.

Above all, such a move would require the assent of the Queen meaning the monarchy being dragged into party politics. Nobody wants that.”

When the idea of proroguing was first suggested it was widely viewed as a Johnson/Cummings tactic to scare European Union (EU) negotiators that the new British government is serious about leaving without a deal, if need be. Leaked news at the weekend, however, that the Attorney General’s advice had been sought on the legality of suspending the parliament, so that they could not vote on nor block Johnson’s “no deal” manoeuvre, changed the tone among political commentators in Britain.

European leaders have long viewed Mr Johnson as a dishonest, buffoon, driven by a personal desire to be Prime Minister above all else. They are now beginning to feel that he may actually be heartless enough to drive his country off a cliff without a deal, hoping for Trump to catch him on the way down, hence he is now primarily focused on laying the groundwork for the inevitable general election.

Boris was quoted at the weekend saying that the chances of concluding a deal with the EU were now “touch and go”, having previously reassured the British public that the chances of leaving without a deal are “a million to one.” The leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbin is quoted today saying that a “no deal Brexit means a Trump Brexit.”

It’s hardly news at all to say that the British politicians are in a state of chaos, as they have been since the referendum three years ago. However, there pervades an unwillingness to believe just how badly the elite political class are prepared to behave to conduct their bitter internal civil war on the issue of Europe, which has been raging for the past forty years. To believe that either side will put the interests of the British people first is simply naive, but it is a naivety akin to that of an ostrich that many prefer to the stark reality of betrayal.

Britain still likes to think of itself as the oldest parliament and a pioneer in solving the age old problem of sovereignty. Many British people believe that the will of the people is sovereign, just as Americans believe, while the monarch is officially the sovereign, yet parliament is practically treated as sovereign. There is no clarity on this critical issue, as democracies have only ever blurred the reality, so that all parties can believe the lie that their individual rights are important and will not be trampled on by the ruler.

This is all in complete contrast to the clarity that Islam gave the people fourteen centuries ago. The Shariah of Allah will always be sovereign, not subject to the whims of whoever happens to have power on any given day.

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:

(إِنْ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ يَقُصُّ الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْفَاصِلِينَ)

“The decision is only for Allah. He relates the truth, and He is the best of deciders.”
[Al-An’am: 57]

And He سبحانه وتعالى says:

(أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حُكْمًا لِقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ)

“Then is it the judgement of (the time of) ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain (in faith)”
[Al-Ma’ida: 50].

Written by Yahya Nisbet
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain