Maajid Nawaz Calls For Unity Over One Thing: Constitutional Reform

31 August 2019, 15:29 | Updated: 31 August 2019, 15:33

With Brexiters enraged at today's protests and Remainers furious about prorogation, Maajid Nawaz says both sides can unite over UK's need for constitutional reform.

Since the result of the 2016 referendum, the country has been split almost precisely down the middle and today's rallies are a microcosm of the wider Brexit arguments.

Demonstrators in London have been chanting "Boris Johnson, shame on you" in protest against the suspension of Parliament and leavers have been calling up LBC hosts calling them "Remoaners" who don't believe in democracy.

As Maajid Nawaz took to the microphone at midday he wanted to sow some seeds of solidarity, during what are tumultuous times.

Maajid Nawaz said that Brexit highlights the need for constitutional reform
Maajid Nawaz said that Brexit highlights the need for constitutional reform. Picture: PA

He began his monologue saying: "Parliament has been suspended by an unelected Prime Minister.

"It's an interesting one because if you were to tune in to the opening lines of this show and just take those words with which I've opened the show, they would sound rather alarming."

He continued: "People, especially people like me who voted Remain are rightfully angry, but allow me to say that it's not as bad as it sounds, though of course it's a problem.

Before he offered a solution, he asked listeners whether "an unelected Prime Minister" suspending Parliament was unconstitutional and if British democracy was in danger.

The country has been split down the middle over Brexit
The country has been split down the middle over Brexit. Picture: PA

He said: "In short, my answer to those two questions is as follows: is this unconstitutional? No. Is British democracy in danger? Yes. And that is rather peculiar.

"The move, as our constitution stands, is perfectly constitutional. Though it's a danger to our democracy that violates our constitutional conventions, it is not unlawful.

"And that's why I think we should stay a bit calmer than in the recent few days."

Maajid continued by saying how the rhetoric on both sides of the debate had been ramped up so much that it needed to have the chance to settle and words like 'coup' were unhelpful to political discourse.

He also suggested that Remainers and Brexiters who oppose No-Deal are not traitors, and likewise the suspension of Parliament is not "the end of democracy".

But the LBC presenter's overriding argument was that the whole Brexit saga is living proof that the UK's uncodified constitution was in desperate need for reform.

He said: "The only thing this entire affair raises or points to, rather precisely and urgently is the need for constitutional reform."