This political crisis now goes far beyond Brexit – our very democracy is at stake | Jonathan Freedland

It’s about the fundamentals of our constitution. Is our elected parliament sovereign? Are our rulers bound by law? The sensation has become so rare, it took a moment to realise what it was. But following Wednesday’s ruling by Scotland’s highest civil court that Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament was unlawful , the feeling was unmistakable. It was optimism. Admittedly, it was optimism in its weakest form: not the confident certainty that all would turn out for the best, but rather a fragile flicker of hope that things might not be so bad after all. Coupled with MPs’ success in both outlawing a no-deal crash-out from the European Union on 31 October and forcing the release of the Yellowhammer papers outlining the government’s own assessment of the calamity such a Brexit would inflict on the country, a hopeful thought took root. Maybe, just maybe, the British constitution was working as the textbooks say it should. Here was an independent judiciary and independent legislature doing their jobs: acting as a