Parliament should vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday. John Van Reenen (MIT/LSE) writes that while the argument for remaining in the EU is fundamentally moral and political, and not economic, it is important for lawmakers to know that Brexit will make their constituents poorer. Ultimately, however, the nation deserves and demands a second chance to stay in Europe and to forge a new path with our allies and reject the crude nationalism and empty slogans of the Brexiters. The British people are better than this, he argues.
Members of Parliament’s vote on British Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s Brexit deal is due in the week starting January 14th. Without hesitation, they should vote it down.
More and more people have realised that Brexit was built on a fantasy that we could keep all the benefits of being in the European club without paying any of the membership fees – what leading Brexiter Boris Johnson called the ‘Have Your Cake and Eat It Strategy’. Well, it turns out that having a cake after you have already eaten it once is not so tasty after all. Theresa May has brought back an unpalatable deal that no one likes because it crystallises the reality of what leaving the European Union (EU) actually means. To get easy access to European markets you have to play by the rules of the club – and once a country leaves the club, it no longer gets a vote on what those rules are. So much for taking back control.
The argument for remaining in the EU is fundamentally moral and political, not economic. However, it is important for lawmakers to know that Brexit will make their constituents poorer. Whereas the wealthier can ride this out, it is families on middle incomes and the less well off who will feel the financial pain most sharply. The economics of Brexit are very simple. Being outside the EU inevitably means higher costs of doing business with our nearest neighbours – so there will be less trade, and less trade will make us poorer. The more distant a relationship we have with the EU, the bigger will be our pay cut. This will be hugely painful if there is a disorderly ‘No Deal’; it will hurt to a lesser degree with a softer approach. The formal amounts that the UK pays into the EU disappear in the rounding error compared with these economic losses. (The section at the end of this blog goes into the gory economic details for the truly dedicated reader).
Oh, why EU?
The EU was born from the carnage of the Second World War and has cemented together 28 fractious nations in our troubled part of the world. For thousands of years, European tribes were killing each other in war after war ending in the bloodbath of the first half of the twentieth century. Cooperation within the EU has meant that the fights are now over fishing quotas rather than in battlefields. The challenges facing the human race today require the same spirit of cooperation – on climate change, terrorism and mass migration. These are global problems that cannot be seriously tackled by the UK in glorious isolation – a nation with under 1% of the world’s population (and shrinking).
It has now been well over two years since the EU referendum and the political tectonic plates of the world have shifted. President Trump is the cheerleader of a crude nationalism that reflexively blames all ills on foreigners. His solution is to build higher walls and wreck international agreements. Political bosses in Brazil, Hungary, the Philippines and Russia are stomping their boots to the same beat. They and their cronies are actively undermining global cooperation on climate, trade and terror. This rising tsunami of bile manifests itself differently in different countries, but in the UK, its name is Brexit.
It is our duty to fight against it with all our might.
A plague on pragmatism
The British people are usually a pragmatic bunch. Many pro-Remain MPs may be tempted to support May’s paltry deal fearing that the alternative is a disruptive No Deal, which would be much worse. But the risk of this is low – if Parliament votes the current deal down, Article 50 can be put on hold. This will then create an opportunity for a coalition of MPs to pass legislation for a People’s Vote – a new referendum where the choice is May’s deal, No Deal or remaining in the EU.
I believe that Remain will win this vote. But even if it does not, it is the right democratic course of action. We do not hold an election and then have an eternal dictator. Leavers voted for Brexit because it meant a myriad of different things to different people. Now we have the concrete alternatives, it is right that citizens have the choice to decide whether this is really what they want to bequeath to their children and grandchildren.
Some say that another vote will create more anger and conflict. The reality is that we already have a lot of anger and conflict, which will persist for a long time to come. Many people voted for Brexit because of their fury that they had been failed by the status quo. And they were right to be angry – after inflation, wages are no higher than they were a decade ago. This is a worse performance than during the Great Depression, and radical things are needed to change this. Leaving the EU will do nothing to improve this situation: indeed, by depressing productivity, trade and investment, it will make things much worse.
Others worry that a narrow Remain victory will embolden the far right. But I have news – they are already emboldened. After a Brexit win, they will push for an ever-greater split from our European neighbours, ever-greater attacks on immigrants and ever more authoritarian laws. Throwing meat at a vicious dog does not make it go away. It whets the appetite for something closer to the marrow.
But isn’t it all worth it to reduce EU immigration? As she did when she was Home Secretary, Theresa May will promise immigration reforms to create a more hostile environment for those wanting to come here. Playing the migration card is Brexiters’ favourite tactic when all their other arguments have been debunked. But all this ‘taking back control of our borders’ is codswallop, as we never lost control. We allowed EU citizens to come here in return for the right of our citizens to go there – and also because free movement is the condition of being part of the largest single market on the planet. EU immigrants have not harmed average pay or jobs. In fact, since they are younger, healthier and better educated, they pay in more in tax than they take out in welfare, so they have been subsidising the schools, hospitals and police services enjoyed by us native Brits.
A radical future for rebels
The EU is not a perfect organisation. A commitment to our place within it also means we have a duty to reform European capitalism, which has failed many ordinary people. This requires radical measures to make markets work better for all people. The growth of mega-firms has pushed the balance of power too far away from working families and customers. And the growth of mega capital cities, such as London, has sucked up too much power compared with localities. Redressing this imbalance of power is helped, not hindered by being in the EU. Taking on the tech titans and insisting on protecting our data are better done with a single market of half a billion people than the less than 70 million inhabitants of the UK.
Populist anger can be cathartic. It reflects a hunger for change, especially among the young, and this makes politics more exciting, more febrile and more plastic than I have known in my lifetime. The movement for a People’s Vote has not come from the main political parties who remain timid. It has come from civil society, from social media and from the streets where 700,000 people marched only a few weeks ago to demand a say on the Brexit deal.
By really committing ourselves to Europe, we can reinvigorate our continent and ourselves. Let us fight for the cause of decency and fairness rather than succumb to this tawdry deal and slouch into a gradual and irreversible political, moral and economic decline. Dumping May’s deal is not without risks. But nothing in life ever is. It is clear that we are at a pivotal moment in history. The UK has a chance to forge a new path with our allies in Europe and reject the crude nationalism and empty slogans of the Brexiters. The British people are better than this.
The nation deserves and demands a second chance.
This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of LSE Brexit, nor of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
John Van Reenen is Professor at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
Now the economics bit
Even though the economic arguments for EU membership are less important than the political and ethical case, I am a professional economist, so here are a few notes for the interested.
It is abundantly clear that Brexit entails an economic loss. The only real question really is how big the loss will be under different forms of Brexit. The best discussion of this is here from the politically independent think-tank ‘UK in a Changing Europe’.
The conclusions are similar to my pre-referendum analysis as well as the recent Brexit assessments by the government, the Bank of England and NIESR. Indeed, all credible independent studies are in broad agreement that Brexit reduces average incomes, but the softer the Brexit; the lower will be the economic losses. This is why there is such a strong consensus among economists that leaving the EU will economically harm the UK.
The strength of this consensus is similar to that among medical experts about the harm caused by smoking or among meteorologists over the reality of climate change. This is why it is so ridiculous that the BBC and other broadcasters in the name of ‘balance’ give equal prominence to pro-Brexit economists as they do to those reflecting the profession’s opinion. The bulk of the UK press is virulently pro-Leave so also heavily promotes the motley Brexit crew, whose models have been thoroughly repeatedly debunked.
Often one hears the refrain that ‘economic forecasts are always wrong’ so should be ignored. A doctor cannot predict the age at which you will die if you start smoking two packets of cigarettes a day, but she is on firm grounds forecasting that your new smoking habit will be bad for your health.
Brexit economic analysis is generally not a forecast of what will be the exact size of the economy post-Brexit, but rather an analysis of the difference in economic outcomes if the UK leaves compared with if the UK remained. Brexit will not abolish the technological progress that the economy has managed to exploit over the last 250 years in order to grow. It will just mean that we are poorer given whatever the state of technology and world demand conditions that emerge over the next few decades.
A variant of the above Brexiter argument is that economists’ forecasts have all been proven wrong by how well the UK economy grew after the vote in 2016. For example, David Davis the former Secretary of State for Brexit said that ‘previous Treasury forecasts had been proved wrong and were based on ‘flawed assumptions’, citing in evidence that the UK economy had grown by over 2.8% in the 18 months since the referendum whereas the Treasury had forecast it would shrink.
This is an example of willful misunderstanding. The general prediction was that the economy in the short-term would grow by about 2% less than expected because of Brexit. And in fact, this is broadly what has happened since the vote – the UK economy has slipped from being at the top of the G7 growth league to the bottom. Moreover, observers reckon that GDP per capita is about 2% lower than expected due to the Brexit vote.
It is true that many economists thought that there would be a bigger immediate hit from the Brexit vote, whereas it took a few quarters before the economy started to slow down significantly relative to other countries. Therefore, although the forecasts got the overall hit about right, they got the timing wrong.
There are two reasons for this. First, modelling assumed that the negative immediate impact would come from the rational expectations of consumers of lower future real income growth. However, many people actually believed the propaganda on the Leave side that there would be no economic fallout from Brexit, so they continued spending much as before. It was only gradually when reality dawned that consumer confidence took a knock (for example, when the large fall in the value of sterling started to feed through into higher food prices and more expensive foreign holidays).
The second reason was that the Treasury analysis assumed that Article 50 would be activated immediately, whereas it was nine months later when Theresa May did this. The slowdown of the economy followed this as uncertainty started to spike.
Finally, it is worth pointing out Brexit has not yet happened. The majority of work, including my own, focuses on what happens after Brexit occurs, which is currently slated to be after the ‘transition period’ ends in 2020. Negative effects now are due to expectations about what might happen in the future, and these are notoriously hard to model.
The trouble will really start when true Brexit hits the fan.
As an economist, Mr van Reenen, what is your prognosis, or even just an analytical diagnosis, regarding the Euro Target2, OMT and QE systems? As an aside, does it not trouble you that since the euro was introduced, off-the-books Target2 debt was kept hidden from EU member states’ governments and their respective parliaments until it was accidentally divulged to a top German economist by an ex-Bundesbank director?
This is actually our third Brexit (if you include the Italians leaving around AD 400). We’ve survived before. Does one of the world’s largest economies need the EU or does it need us? As a net contributor
Plus if we vote again for the same question that destroys our democracy. No referendum has ever been “advisory” (a favourite of remainers – if they win this one do we claim that was also advisory then just leave?)
If you were putting this to the British public the question has to be “this deal or no deal”. Unless we are going to repeal the Withdrawal Act then time is running out for any deal.
To me, this whole Brexit mess is not about the economy any more, it is about democracy. If there were reason to believe that a substantial proportion of the electorate (say 70%) wanted to Remain, I think it would be reasonable to hold another referendum. As it is, I think a second referendum would be messy (the author suggests three options, not just two, meaning preliminary heated debates about voting systems), prolonged (if you want to do it right, with time for selecting the question, choosing the campaign groups, doing the actual campaign) and would probably end up with a narrow win, based on second preference votes, which wouldn’t satisfy anyone. There’s also the very real possibility that the EU27 won’t play ball. (They would all have to agree to prolong the Article 50 period. What will happen to the UK’s budget contributions in the period? Will the UK be electing MEPs next year??)
If it were just about economics, I would want the UK to stay in the EU. But as it is I’m reminded of Tony Benn’s famous five questions to people in power. If you don’t know them, Google them, as I think they are something everyone should know. I don’t agree with Tony Benn on most things, but he was one of the few politicians who really cared about democracy, and not just at election time. The last question was “How do we get rid of you”. If Brexit were reversed now, without a very clear public mandate (which you aren’t going to get), then the answer to that question, if addressed to the EU as having power over the UK, would have to be “You can’t”. That would be bad for democracy in the UK and bad for democracy in the whole EU.
The economy is important. But democracy even more. I am sorry for the people who will suffer, but I don’t think it can be helped.
I voted to leave because apart from immigration and effect on increasing population(unsustainable) we are continually being drawn into being just a state of a Union. Better to be a bit smaller and poorer, than small,poor and dictated to.
Most sensible people would agree we can still trade and liaise with the EU to equal advantage and security.
A minor quibble: “Others worry that a narrow Remain victory will embolden the far right. But I have news – they are already emboldened.” Er, UKIP is really booming right now, aren’t they? Any day I expect Gerard Batten to be so emboldened that he tells his members to go back to their constituencies and prepare for government 🙂
(I’m glad there’s something to be cheerful about.)
Luckily, for the UK there is no UKIP MP. Even in South Thanet where it was thought UKIP would have a chance. The reason is that th majority of people in this country and even Thanet do not like the facist element.in UKIP. Even Nigal Farage does not like this aspect to the party .I have an importsnt story about the General Election. Thanet was, and still is, fighting to retain the local airport of Manston, and our two Conservative MPs have been pushing for it’s aviation future.Even Boris Johnson came bounding down here to wave the Manston flag. UKIP jumped on the bandwagon to wave the Manston flag too. Labour did not. The Election here was won by the Conservatives on the promise of the airport.I think people in Thanet voted to Leave the EU because it is fed up with being used as a place where people unwanted in London are sent.Even people from Croatia living here have voted to leaver the EU. because they know what bullies run the EU.. There is little work here and Thanet although a lovely place to live, already poor. For years the airport was land banked and run down( It is called Lagos North), but I noted that when KLM started twice daily flights to Schiphol they were popular and were becoming more so. Labour wants the airport closed and is supporting the idea of a huge town for London overspill their likely voters.I think, such is Momentum’s hatred of the Tory party here.in Thanet,that Labour would stop the airport’s reopening for their own political ends.Our Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale, a Remainer is doing his best to support a DCO to reopen the airport for frieght.The airport will do wonders for the local economy.
The Election here was won by the Conservatives on the promise of the airport.
The jury is still out on that.
Both our Conservative MPs have worked hard to Lobby support for Manston airport. Sadly the useless Dpt for Transport and Paul Carter from KCC are in love with Mrs Gloag of Stagecoach. for some unknown to us reason, and quite likely unknown to our own MPs..Mrs Gloag is the real owner of the airport which was bought from Infratil which is , in New Zealand closely connected to Stagecoach. Nothing wrong in all this, but it makes one wonder about who little we know about Conservative inner circle policy towards Thanet.. My personal Mantra is that if you want economic prosperity for any area , you get the Transport connections right .Air, cheap Rail and good roads annd luckily for us here in wonderful Thanet a port in Ramsgate
Like everyone else the author is entitled to his point of view but please do not try to pass off this article off as anything other than one long rant against everyone who does not share your point of view and political leaders who are trying to do the best for their country and yes that does include Trump and Orban.
As for the proposed referendum referred to in the article, anyone with half a brain cell can see that it is intended to split the leave vote.
There will be no second Referendum. Cameron said it. May said it. Even if there were, why would it be any more valid than the first? If the result were reversed, Brexiteers could bleat “It was only advisory” – like the Remainers did. One and only one Referendum makes sense. The whole shebang has been corrupted intentionally to try to persuade the ‘weak hands’ to change their minds. Sorry, but it should not even be allowed to work. If we don’t have a clean break from the EU, then clearly democracy is finished – which, of course is exactly how the despicable EU works. Unacceptable. P.S. We DID know what we were voting for.
The November 2016 referendum was only advisory. Taking heed of the result the government set about organising an exit from the EU with its leading Brexiteers in charge of the process. The result is quite clearly pleasing to no one and so it’s high time Parliament recognised this by reversing the decision to leave by a vote in Parliament. After all, under our (largely unwritten) constitution only Parliament is sovereign; the so-called ‘Voice of the People’ doesn’t even get a look in!
Oh please, not that tired and discredited “it was only advisory” line again. We were told by the Prime Minister of the time that whatever we voted for would be implemented, end of.
If you don’t want the UK to leave the EU, fine, but please do not insult our intelligence.
“Oh please, not that tired and discredited “it was only advisory” line again. We were told by the Prime Minister of the time that whatever we voted for would be implemented, end of.”
In actual fact it was advisory because despite whatever a PM of that or any other time might say, an ‘implemented, end of’ outcome can only be arrived at in Parliament. If you want a governmental system where referendums play a larger part, move to Switzerland.
Sorry Karl, But if there had been an active Opposition the Labour Party would have been all over Cameron for Contempt of Parliament. He changed the status of the Referendum in the referendum Act/ Law If you are going to be grown up or join in Political debate you need to get up to speed.
Quite clearly his Deputy Liddington refused an Amendment request to include a Super Majority Clause and if you Google Hansard I am sure that you will see his reason why.
That is precisely why Cameron was in Contempt.
In Law it remains and advisory Referendum and has No Standing. Fact based on Court Case.
In case you missed it, to add to the ills of the referendum a month or so ago It became a Crime Scene.
The Electoral Commissions found the Vote_Leave had broken the Law. The fined some but they reported that there were other more serious offences which were outside of their Remit/Authority to investigate. On that basis they referred the Vote_Leave Criminals to the Met Police.
The Met Police did nothing for 5 months until after individuals making issue over a reply to a Freedom of Information Request,the Let Spokesperson stated “political sensitivities” Ben Bradshaw MP formed a cross party group to challenge the Met Police, who responded that the EC had not contacted them. Enter a fuming EC providing emails to Parliament. Met picked up Files and have reported investigation under way.
So Referendum became a Crime Scene and there are two very important issues that you belittle;
a) Before the election Steve Baker MP msg the Vote_Leave group that they could get around the spending cap be forming other companies”. As a Group they acted on this and formed other companies and sure enough close the the day of the referendum the spent £625,000 channeled through Be.Leave making out that it was Be.Leave spending, to Aggregate IQ a Canadian company with direct links to Cambridge Analytica/ where SCL Elections was the parent Company of both Owned mainly by a US Billionaire Mercer and at an early point run by Bannon Mercer owned breitbart News and Bannon was in charge there also.
it was clear that
i) this money did not go through Be.Leave bank account there was nothing to
indicate what this was used for. It was discovered that it paid for the same ads that Vote_Leave had
been invoiced for.
ii) When Darren Grimes CEO the responsible person under the Ref Law was asked how he got to know about Agg IQ he said he found their website on the internet. One majoor issue at that time Aggregate IQ did not have Internet presence.
All of this was brought into the open by Shamir Sanni and Chris Wylie
Shamir was Finance officer of Be.Leave a Volunteer with Vote_Leave.and he realised he had been set up by these Big Names So he Blew the whistle.
Chris Wylie is a Computer whizz who was employed by Cambridge Analytica and he found that he was working on a Psyops program. He was asked about a psyops program to take ads to people and suggested that some of his Canadian pals would, they were invited but declined to come the UK so the sister company was set up in Canada.
Again Chris Wylie did not like what happened and decided he would blow the whistle.
Two major issues here for your democratic Referendum.
Vote_Leave as a groups actioned the “the get around the Ref spending Cap” a deliberate act Breaking the Law. This is an exceptionally serious crime, “two or more persons agreeing to commit a crime” = Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of the Referendum.
As an example Chris Huhne Lib Dem got his wife to take his speeding points Conspiracy to Pervert the course of Justice Both got Jail sentences.
Vote_Leave is something far Greater their actions were an attempt to Undermine Democracy !!!!
Their use of Psyops using individuals own data to target them individually with computer chosen ads specifically to them to work on their likes and dislikes.
The people targeted, will not have any idea that they were specifically targeted with different ads. Propaganda material.
Sorry, but if Psyops is allowed to be used in the Referendum then holding Democratic Elections come to an end.because there is it is No longer Free and Fair for the Voter being attack.
A Computer whizz, found a secret cache of Aggregate IQ data. He was amazed when he worked out that this was programes which were to picked out individuals who were likeiy not to vote, they were then targeted with ads to put them off from going to Vote.
The two programs and ads used together, makes it easier to get the required numbers e.g. Need 1 million votes, get 600,000 to Vote for by showing adds to wind them up and get 500,000 not to Vote by showing them fake news about their chosen candidate so they do not vote. = 100,000 majority
Referendum was a Spectacular episode in Elections history for the UK. just on the part of Vote_Leave being made up of Senior Tory MPs (1 Labour MP) and top activists.Activist Parkinson is now the PMs person secretary.
There is a possibility that May was involved but it is certain that she became aware, there is a photograph of the CEO and the Chair of Aggregate IQ visiting No 10. These were two guys from Canada unknown to most of the world and yet PM May Invites them to No 10
I know that this is lengthy But there is more, I just hope that this is a clear indication that People of the UK might not be happy in the Future.
There is a good chance that there will be a General Election, anyone watching BBC Election Night will know that there are just a few constituency with just a few swing voters who actual decide the election outcome. I am in little doubt that the Tories will use these Psyops to win and unless we get another whistle Blower No one will know.
Every passing day it becomes clearer that there must be a referendum with the following two options
Option 1: Remain in the EU
Option 2: Another Referendum with the same choices
Such a referendum has not been held before – so no one can object to it as a repeat of the last one.
And were it to be held repeatedly … well, that’s because people voted for it!
The country has already to voted to leave. The only valid referendum would be how to leave. so it can only be no deal leave vs deal leave.
What a load of unmitigated bollocks.
When Britannia ceased to be a province of the Roman Empire (not a voluntary sovereign state member) there ensued the Dark Ages when might crushed right.
We will not be voting for the same question. We will be voting for a reasoned decision by the full electorate including those voters unlawfully excluded in 2016 on May’s disastrous cobbled together mess which in no way compares to the current membership terms vs the benefits of retaining current membership with all its highly advantageous terms.
The High/Supreme Courts have ruled that the exercise on 23rd June 2016 was a purely advisory opinion poll and not a legitimate definitive plebiscite. It conferred no legitimate mandate whatsoever.
Now that we know what the alternatives are in some factual detail it is up to Parliament to frame the terms of a legally binding referendum which fully conforms to the UK’s constitutional requirements, starting from the basis that the UK is a full member of the EU, and that any change to the status quo will require a 65% vote in favour of accepting May’s “deal”.
This first legally binding referendum since the 67% in favour of remaining referendum of 1975 should follow on from revocation (which has been clarified is fully legal) of the prematurely tendered Art. 50 notice.
@Ian: “it is up to Parliament to frame the terms of a legally binding referendum which fully conforms to the UK’s constitutional requirements, starting from the basis that the UK is a full member of the EU, and that any change to the status quo will require a 65% vote in favour of accepting May’s “deal”.” Ian, the status quo is that Article 50 has been invoked and that the UK is scheduled to leave in March 2019.
The Art.50 matter is not the status quo. It is a flawed and vitiated process attempting to change the status quo, which is sub-iudice both criminal and civil.
@Ian: “The Art.50 matter is not the status quo. It is a flawed and vitiated process attempting to change the status quo, which is sub-iudice both criminal and civil.” Since invoking Article 50 was explicitly authorised by the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act, I can only assume you think the Act itself moot, for example because you question the conduct of the EU referendum. But if Acts of Parliament are to be rendered invalid in this way, this would be seriously dangerous to the whole democratic process, since it would mean (for example) that a judge could override primary legislation if it could be shown that a politician promoting that legislation had been in some way dishonest.
My argument centres upon the Common Law principle that all that emanates from a fraudulent act is equally fraudulent and thus, since it it is highly probable that the 2016 opinion poll will on the steadily emerging evidence be found to be null and void, it follows that the Acts authorising both the invocation of the notice and the detail of withdrawal are equally fraudulent. However, it would not be the Court cancelling/overriding either/both Acts, rather simply fulfilling its electoral adjudication function.
The PM is a public servant and bound by a strict duty of probity. If the decision which she stated that she had made based upon the result of an opinion poll subsequently found to be criminally and/or in civil law to be null and void, she is bound to revisit that decision and take corrective action to avoid placing herself at the very least in jeopardy of indictment for malfeasance in a public office. No MP including the PM is above the Law.
Further, since at 08:00 today the CJEU has confirmed its A-G’s learned opinion that it is lawful for the UK to revoke the notice unilaterally the matter is easily remedied by Parliament ordering the revocation of the notice, following from which the repeal of both Acts will follow as logical process and can be accomplished in a very few hours of parliamentary time.
@Ian: ” it follows that the Acts authorising both the invocation of the notice and the detail of withdrawal are equally fraudulent.” You surely don’t mean to suggest that the Queen acting in concert with parliament could have been responsible for a fraudulent act, do you? Send that traitor to the Tower!
Seriously, the idea of every Act of Parliament being open to judicial examination and revision on the grounds that, in the process leading to passing the act, some individuals acted dishonestly is one that fills me with dread. The Notification of Withdrawal derives none of its force legally from the EU referendum (as we keep being told the referendum was “only advisory”) but from the fact that Parliament (and the Monarch) consented to it.
You are absolutely correct that the process derives no legitimacy from the advisory opinion poll itself which had no mandatory effect in Law, but solely upon the adoption of its result by the PM as government policy.
However, your final sentence Ignores completely my point that the vitiation of the process stems from the total reliance of the PM on the result of the consultative opinion poll, irrespective of the fact that it had no mandatory effect in law.
As a public servant the PM could not safely take a decision based upon fundamentally flawed and fraudulently procured information, as such a decision would per se be Wednesbury unreasonable.
The withdrawal act derives its”legitimacy” from being the next logical step in the process initiated by the authorisation of the PM to give the notice with the implication which that act contained that the authorisation also conferred the power to make the decision. If Parliament was fraudulently procured to pass an Act then it is bound to repeal it.
@Ian, OK, so I understand rather better what you are arguing. I am not a lawyer but your mentioning Wednesbury gave me something to Google. I found the following links which go into considerably more detail than this blog has space for.
As a mere layman I think that a judicial reversal of Brexit would be at least extremely unwise, for the reasons I have already given in this thread. You talk about various parties being “bound”, for example Parliament is “bound” to repeal legislation. In what sense “bound”? And while the PM is under the law, I think I would find it at least unfortunate if actions the PM was explicitly empowered by parliament to take, like invoking Article 50, were to be subject to judicial review.
What happened in the oral hearing for Susan Wilson v. The Prime Minister on the 7th December anyway?
A judicial reversal of the process of leaving (ie: quashing the PM’s decision) is extremely unlikely. However, the Court could stop short of quashing the PM’s decision and simply make a declaration that the decision was unsafe and order her to re-visit the decision: again unlikely, and probably unnecessary in political terms anyway now that the CJEU has confirmed that the UK may unilaterally withdraw its notice under Art. 50, so the matter is firmly back in Parliament, which could exercise its sovereign power to order the PM to withdraw her notice.
Parliament would be bound by its duty under the constitutional settlement to uphold the Common Law, unless it enacts a statute to change the Common Law. It is difficult to imagine Parliament enacting a statute to permit electoral fraud.
Susan Wilson and The Prime Minister can be found here https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/ukineuchallenge/ . I would expect (not least in view of the war chest) that an appeal will be lodged. The refusal of permission for JR by Ousley J on the untimeousness ground simply kicks the can down the road.
Legally, the status quo now is the same as before the UK joined the then EEC. Joining and subsequently putting a false seal on it by means of the criminally flawed 1975 referendum was against Common Law and made a mockery of parliamentary democracy, civil law and the rule of law. Brexit is only a recognition of that fact. All the palaver about the sexond referendum, in June 2016, being only advisory, when Cameron had made it absolutely clear the result would be honoured, it’s all nieter here nore there. The UK false EU membership was illegal from the start.
When the EEC morphed into the EU, again under false pretenses, another criminal and illegal act was perpetrated by these traitors in charge. Never mind, it will work itself out. It took 44 years for the matter to become an issue of such note as to warrant a proper referendum. It will take some time to unravel, but unravel it will.
Sorry, I have a life to lead. I will not respond to garbage.
Christopher Booker, in 2001, detailed the 1972 fraud committed to get the UK into the then EEC and the fraud that was the 1975 referendum. Does the Bruges Group eing any bells?
It is quite shocking that the Bank of England analysis deliberately confused population growth with economic growth. Population growth delivers higher GDP but does not deliver higher wealth for the individual.
When you examine the Bank figures for the effects of a WTO Brexit with a transition period the fall in population growth due to 200,000 fewer migrants a year almost entirely accounts for the alleged negative effects of Brexit.
When you consider the Bank figures for a no deal Brexit the 380,0000 fall in migrants actually results in higher productivity after 2020 – yes, according to the Bank’s own figures.
There are good analyses of this data online – try searching for “Bank of England gives green light to WTO Brexit”