Talking on the aftermath of Brexit, human rights and constitutional dislocation, Grieve discussed the enormity of the change that was initiated by the referendum on 23 June.
“As a traditional conservative I had been brought up with the idea that we should try to aspire to quiet government. Brexit has blown that to smithereens,” he said
Grieve went on to focus on human rights, devolution, parliamentary sovereignty and the breakdown in economic consensus in a fascinating and lively presentation.
Looking to the future he said: “I don’t think we can disregard what the electorate said to us on 23 June – it was a very clear message that something in our political system is not working properly. I do think we need to be pragmatic, exercise common sense, avoid ideological positions, and listen and watch what’s going on around us, both in Europe and domestically if we are to keep options open as to how we get ourselves through this process without damaging the quality of life and economic well-being of British citizens and be willing to consider that the electorate might change its mind on this subject.”
He added: “If we are to find a way towards a better system of government we do need to start looking at whether we need some constitutional ground rules as to how we conduct our relationships.”
Warning of difficult times ahead he said: “The one thing that Brexit shows to me, particularly on the devolution angle, is how uncharted waters are going to lead to potentially catastrophic outcomes if we are not careful. But that requires some political will, and pulling the strands together in the current state of political turmoil is going to be enormously difficult. It is a challenge which politicians in previous generations have succeeded in facing up to so we must just hope that there are politicians in this generation, of whatever party, who are willing to try to do the same thing and who are capable of influencing the electorate and gaining their trust in order to do it."
Dominic Grieve was speaking at Wadham Human Rights Forum, a continuing series of lectures, seminars and discussions hosted by the Wadham College Law Society and open to all.
Click on the link below to watch the Dominic Grieve presentation
Biography - Dominic Grieve QC MP
The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP is a barrister and has been the MP for Beaconsfield since 1997. He was the Shadow Attorney General from 2003-09, Shadow Home Secretary from 2008-09 and Shadow Justice Secretary from 2009-10. Under the Coalition Government Dominic was the Attorney General for England and Wales and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland until July 2014.
Dominic was educated at Westminster School and went on to Magdalen College, Oxford where he studied Modern History. Then he studied Law. He was called to the Bar in 1980 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2008.
During the 1980s Dominic also served as a local councillor in Fulham and was Chairman of the Research Committee of the Society of Conservative Lawyers and Chairman of the Executive Council.
Dominic was elected Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee in September 2015. He is a Member of the Standards and Privileges Committee and is currently Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Society of Conservative Lawyers, President of the Franco-British Society and Vice-Chairman of the Franco-British Council. He is Honorary Recorder of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
Dominic is bilingual in French. Married to Caroline, a practising barrister. They have two sons: James and Hugo.