John Bercow: Executive fiat meaning – What does 'executive fiat' mean?

Posted on Sep 10 2019 - 4:30pm by admin

John Bercow, who announced he is to stand down on Speaker, faced a scuffle in the House of Commons late on Monday night as the prorogation process began. Opposition MPs tried to block him leaving his seat in protest at the suspension, seen by many as a means for the Prime Minister to push his Brexit agenda. While the House Speaker is officially impartial, Mr Bercow made his thoughts on the prorogation clear.

Speaking to the House, he said: “This is not a normal prorogation.

“It is not typical, it is not standard.

“It is one of the longest for decades and it represents – not just in the minds of many colleagues but huge numbers of people outside – an act of executive fiat.”

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So what does that term mean, “executive fiat”?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a fiat is an order given by a person in authority.

The word means a decree, an edict or an order.

The executive, of course, refers to those who have the power to put action in place.

An executive fiat, then, is a governmental decree.

However, there is the insinuation in the phrase that implies ruling by absolute authority.

The term was often used for kings – ‘the king ruled by fiat’.

Essentially, it is the enforcement of a rule by people who have absolute power to do so, regardless of democratic process.

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