No Shock Doctrine for Britain. Don’t let Boris Johnson shut down parliament

Wednesday, 28 August, 2019

Britain’s political crisis just got much deeper. This morning, the Prime Minster announced he would suspend parliament for five weeks while he puts together a new programme for government. The day after MPs agreed a cross-party plan to avoid No Deal, it’s clear that Johnson’s real purpose is to prevent MPs stopping his dangerous vision for Brexit.

We always feared that Brexit would be used to push through a radical programme of deregulation and liberalisation, which is why we campaigned to remain in the EU during the referendum. It’s why we set out our red lines for any acceptable Brexit deal. And it’s why we opposed Theresa May’s deal.

Since Boris Johnson became prime minister, we have got a clearer idea of what this programme would look like: a toxic trade deal with the US, a hostile environment extended to millions more migrants, and free market policies extended into more and more aspects of our society. Now he is attempting to bypass our elected parliament to force this through.

It’s what Naomi Klein called ‘the shock doctrine’, creating a political crisis in order to restructure an economy in deeply unpopular ways. Johnson knows that he can’t get this vision through parliament, so he’s proposing to render our elected representatives powerless to stop it.      

This attack on democratic rights is part of a global trend which is being used by authoritarian leaders in the United States, India, Brazil, the Philippines and more. Donald Trump and his fellow populist leaders are attempting to subvert democracy so they can push through policies which will make the world a less fair, equal or sustainable place.     

We would never claim that our democracy is perfect. We urgently need to reform our political system, as well as radically change our economy and our relationship with our environment. But Johnson’s attack on our democratic rights will only make it harder. 

This is a very serious moment for this country, and a very dangerous moment for the world. Please help challenge this attack on our democratic rights, and using those rights to work for a better world.

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Photo: EU2018BG Bulgarian Presidency/Wikimedia

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