It’s time to revoke Article 50, writes Phil Syrpis (University of Bristol). Westminster has yet to see it, but it will not be long before the reality becomes impossible to avoid. Unless something is agreed, the UK will leave the EU on 29 March with no deal.
While attention was focused on the travails of Theresa May – who on 12 December survived a vote of no confidence from her own MPs by an uncomfortable margin of 200 to 117 – the most important developments have come from the European Union: the ruling of the European Court of Justice on the revocability of Article 50, and the EU’s ever clearer political statements that it will not countenance renegotiation.
First came the judgment of the CJEU in Wightman. The CJEU ruled on the unilateral revocability of Article 50. In a judgment which emphasised the sovereignty of the withdrawing Member State, the Court held that unilateral revocation is possible ‘in an unconditional and unequivocal manner’, after the State has taken the revocation decision ‘in accordance with its constitutional requirements’. It confirmed that ‘the purpose of that revocation is to confirm the EU membership of the Member State concerned under terms that are unchanged as regards its status as a Member State’. For fuller analysis of the judgment, see here, and, with added Taylor Swift, here.
Second, the Withdrawal Agreement and the accompanying Political Declaration on the Future Relationship have now been agreed. I, with Clair Gammage, have analysed the Agreement here. In brief, we argue that the Agreement should be rejected by leavers and remainers alike. The deal has in some quarters been presented as the way to get Brexit over the line, or to put the issue to bed. It does nothing of the sort. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, we would be locked into a further cycle of negotiations with the EU, seeking to determine the nature of our future relationship. The difference is that the default would not be EU membership, or indeed no deal, but the backstop provisions.
The key point for now is that, after what were at times acrimonious negotiations, the withdrawal agreement has been reached. As far as the EU side is concerned, the deal is done. There will, according to the consistent messaging from the Council, the Commission, and the Governments of other Member States, be no renegotiation. As Donald Tusk put it, ‘we will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification’. The Agreement is the end product of long negotiations by the EU, who have worked hard to reach a deal which accommodates, as far as possible, the UK government’s red lines. Of course, the EU accepts that much of the work relating to the future relationship is still to be done, but it has found a way to ensure orderly withdrawal: that the divorce bill will be paid, that the rights of citizens will be protected, and that there will be no hard border in Ireland.
The state of play in Westminster
The combination of the Court’s ruling, and the EU’s political decision not to countenance renegotiations, should focus the minds of MPs. There is little sign of that so far. What I term ‘renegotiation fantasies’ abound. Many of those who, with good reason, find fault with May’s deal, are suggesting that they are capable of articulating a better deal. One is entitled, indeed bound, to express some scepticism about these claims.
Take for example the Labour Party. To the extent that it is possible to discern its policy, it wants to negotiate a better ‘jobs first’ Brexit, with participation in ‘a’ customs union, ‘access to’ the single market and the ability to escape from EU state aid rules. There is no evidence that this is workable, that it commands strong popular support, or that the EU will agree to reopen negotiations at this time.
The same is true for some of those advocating for a ‘pivot’ to ‘Norway plus’. Among the advocates for ‘Norway plus’, many accept that it is only possible as a future relationship destination. They are therefore prepared to accept the Withdrawal Agreement (and the backstop), and are seeking a more definitive path to ‘Norway plus’ in the Political Declaration. Others though, want to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, and ‘escape’ from the backstop via a commitment for the UK as a whole to align with EU single market (and customs union) rules. While this proposal may ultimately be workable, there is no evidence that it commands strong popular support, and, once again, no indication that there is the appetite on the EU side to renegotiate at this time.
Some argue that substantive renegotiation is possible, on the basis that the UK can buy time by extending Article 50. First, while the revocation of the notification is possible unilaterally, extension requires the unanimous agreement of the EU-27. Back in the summer, the indications were that the EU would only agree to extend Article 50 in the event of a substantial shift in UK politics. Now that there is a Withdrawal Agreement, the EU’s position has hardened. There is little sign that the EU will, and little reason why the EU should agree to extend Article 50, and reopen the negotiations, in order to allow the UK to refashion its Brexit offering.
The choice facing the UK is one between the Withdrawal Agreement (perhaps with a tweaked Political Declaration signalling a clearer path to a particular future relationship, and/or fresh ‘assurances’ about the temporary nature of the backstop), no deal, and revocation of the Article 50 notification.
The efforts of Remainers have been focused on trying to engineer a people’s vote to enable the people to break the Parliamentary logjam. I wrote in August explaining that while I had no democratic objection to putting the Brexit question to the people for a second time, I could not foresee the circumstances in which Parliament would choose to legislate for a people’s vote. I also gave an indication of the problems which there may be in framing the question. The people’s vote campaigners have done a lot to breathe life into ‘remain’, and deserve huge credit for that. But the focus on the people’s vote has also, for example within the Labour Party, acted as distraction, shifting attention away from the case for remain.
The mechanics of a people’s vote are complex and controversial. The CJEU judgment confirms that Remain can readily be an option. But what about Leave? Is Parliament willing to put the Withdrawal Agreement up against Remain in a people’s vote? Would there not be a case, given overwhelming Brexiter opposition to the Withdrawal Agreement, for including a no deal option? And of course, any people’s vote would require an extension to Article 50. While it seems likely that the EU would be prepared to grant an extension in order to enable a people’s vote to occur, it may impose some conditions (perhaps, for example, insisting that no deal is not on the ballot). Any extension beyond (at the latest) July would have implications for the elections to the European Parliament. These difficulties aside, there are also political obstacles. What incentive is there for supporters of Norway plus, or for the Labour Party, to campaign for, or even to endorse, a people’s vote in which the various possible outcomes are each a long way from their preferred solutions?
Once again, we come back to the stark choices. If the deal is to be rejected, the options are no deal, and revocation of the notification. No deal, variously badged as ‘managed no deal’ or a ‘WTO Brexit’, has strong support among Brexiters in Parliament, but no chance of commanding majority support. It would lead to a hard border in Ireland, and is widely predicted to result in economic chaos.
Revoke and reconsider
The final option is one which is, as yet, little discussed. There is, following the Court’s judgment, no doubt that it is legally possible. Parliament could simply pass legislation which instructs the Government to revoke Article 50. This would, of course, appeal to remainers. I argue that it may also appeal to those leavers disenchanted by the available leave options.
The Government has, quite simply, not managed to come up with a vision of Brexit which is able to command sufficient support. Brexiters have disowned the Withdrawal Agreement. Support for no deal is also very low. Parliament, in triggering Article 50 in March 2017, allowed the Government to pursue and deliver Brexit. The Government has not proved up to the task. It interpreted the will of the people in a very particular way. It did not reach out and try to build a consensus, either in Westminster, or in the devolved assemblies, or among the public at large. Instead it has sought to marginalise Parliament. It has demonised opposition.
Parliament should feel under no obligation to accept the Withdrawal Agreement. It can legitimately vote to revoke Article 50, and retain the UK’s status as an EU Member State. The result of revocation is that the UK will be able to reconsider its position on Brexit. The Court’s judgment insists that revocation is unconditional and unequivocal. The Court emphasised the ability of a Member State to change its mind. My view is that were the UK to revoke the notice, there would be no appetite to restart the process. It would, I believe, be far better to focus on rebuilding its relations with the EU, and on seeking to mend the divided UK. But, it is entirely possible that, for example after the next General Election a case will be made for a particular form of Brexit. Labour may seek to argue for its own ‘better Brexit’. Others may coalesce around ‘Norway plus’. Were any particular option to command sufficient democratic support, it would be possible for the UK to trigger Article 50 again and, having learned the lessons of the last years, begin to negotiate again.
The country finds itself in an extremely difficult situation. This Government believes that its duty is to deliver on the will of the people. But the results of its efforts fall far short of the claims made for Brexit in 2016. Parliament is not prepared to endorse either the Agreement, or no deal. There is no time, or appetite on the EU side, for renegotiation. A people’s vote is fraught with difficulty. Might it be that the simplest option – Parliamentary revocation of the Article 50 notification – is, from a range of different perspectives, also the best?
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor the LSE.
Phil Syrpis is Professor of EU Law at the University of Bristol. He researches EU social and internal market law, and, since 2016, Brexit. His inaugural lecture, delivered in May 2018, discusses the impact which Brexit has had on EU law scholarship. It is available here.
What absolute rubbish.
Written by people who cannot accept U.K. democracy.
To cancel article 50 will be to betray the ordinary people of the U.K.
There will be much much more serious consequences of ignoring the referendum just because the disrupters most of whom are remainers have achieved deadlock in parliament.
The EU watch with glee,
They play hard ball, so we say we stay, in fact we should do the opposite, people who think we will remain with the same influence are dreaming, people who think the EU will reform are not in the real world.
Heir Macron is on record as saying that he will not vote to allow the UK to remain, mainly because this row will not be over, he says that Brexit arguement will continue for years and the U.K. must re apply.
(Btw it required all 27 to vote in favour of rescinding.)
I agree with him,
Does anyone know the average tarrifs imposed by Brussels to counties outside the EU?
Average is 2.3 percent.
How can that be an economic disaster???
remoaners, gloomsters, disrupters, loosers referendumers and inept parliamentarians are
To blame for where we are.
What will be the questions?
Not should we stay in EU, that has already been answered.
If we leavers were to thick to take a two question referendum according to the elite, how can we possibly work out a 580+ page document?
Be careful what you wish for, you could loose again, even I thought leave wasnt going to win.
If you do is it all over?
I think not, that will not unlock Parliament!
If the vote is to stay,
Is that one all?
Will it unlock Parliament? I think not!
What will unlock Parliament, just revoking article 50?
It will require an act of Parliament to revoke.
That simply will not happen. Disruption can occur by any following.
Only solution is to call Europe’s bluff, it is a bluff.
Walk away, walk away now.
We will get our deal before 31st March.
Hold your nerve.
From an experienced business negotiator!
The problem is the brexit supporters, 30 months after the referendum, have no coherent plan for making brexit work. Ending freedom of movement is a policy totally isolated from what it needs to be connected with, namely a sensible management of the labour market. There are no plans for a different approach to farming. There is nothing on industry beyond the hope that big car manufacturers will stay. I’ve news for you: they won’t. May’s deal involves a transition period which will enable them all to relocate to the EU in an orderly way (for them).
We have a representative democracy for a reason.
The so called ordinary people have been conned by multi millionaires who’ve been feeding them anti-EU propaganda via newspapers for the last 40 years and more recently people who saw the referendum as a way to short the pound.
Threatening much more serious consequences if the referendum was ignored is just project fear, the consequences will be far greater when the so called ordinary people start loosing their jobs, their homes, and quite possibly their lives.
What part of ‘ we are leaving’ don’t you understand?
No amount of euro spiel or waffle from ‘ learned’ EU funded LSE and its proponents is going to change it..
If you can’t understand that if the vote is rerun, cancelled, no vote in the future will have any value. Democracy ends.
Its so simple, no phd needed, a 12 year old could understand.
If we could agree on a way to leave, then we would do so. If there is (and there still might be) a majority in Parliament for the Withdrawal Agreement (or indeed for no deal) we would leave the EU on that basis. The problem comes precisely because the Government has not built strong enough support for its version of leave. Parliament, or the people, could choose between the WA and no deal. Is your view that leaving via the WA would be honouring the result of the referendum? Many Brexiters seem to disagree. Is your view that we should leave even though no version of leave commands Parliamentary support? What vision of democracy is that?
I fully accept that the Parliament and the Government have done a very bad job of delivering Brexit. That suggests to me that we should try to do it better; not that we should plough on regardless of the consequences.
Excellent summation (with one error- see * below) and entirely logical deduction of the best solution available both within the timeframe and in absolute terms.
Frankly, I have been banging on about this for months now, especially since the CJEU confirmed that Art. 50 can be unilaterally revoked without any repercussions.
A first step in this direction has now been taken in the HoC by Geraint Davies MP in his Bill which received its first reading on Tuesday, which could be guillotined into law in a very few days:
European Union (Revocation of Notification of Withdrawal)
A Bill to require the Prime Minister to revoke the notification, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union unless two conditions are met; to establish as the first condition for non-revocation that a withdrawal agreement has been approved by Parliament by 21 January 2019 or during an extension period agreed by that date under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union; to establish as the second condition for non-revocation that a majority of participating voters have voted in favour of that agreement in a referendum in which the United Kingdom remaining as a member of the European Union was the other option; and for connected purposes.
The following link will allow you to view a copy of the updated information.
Obviously his wording is not ideal as it stands, and I have humbly suggested an alternative wording which would resolve this:
1 Retention of membership
(1) The Prime Minister must within one day of the passing of this Act submit to the European Commission the United Kingdom’s letter revoking the notice of intention to leave dated 29th March 2017 under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union and confirming the United Kingdom’s commitment to remain a full member of the European Union on the terms currently in place.
2 Further actions
(1) The Prime Minister must within one week of the passing of this Act introduce to Parliament a Bill to repeal all legislation emanating from the implementation of the notice of intention to leave dated 29th March 2017.
(2) The Prime Minister must within one week of the passing of this Act make an oral statement to the House of Commons of the intentions of the Government in respect of a referendum.
Assuming the HoC rejects May’s turd when it is submitted for a vote, which on the face of it seems almost certain, Parliament must then hold a debate as to whether to hold ASAP (for the first time since the 1975 referendum which resulted in a 67% majority in favour of remaining) a legally watertight definitive plebiscite on which of the 2 available alternatives the electorate prefers, namely
(a) May’s “Let’s Swap Full Voting Rights EU Membership for a handful of mouldy beans Indefinite Vassal-State Status” unpolished turd, or
(b) Remain with full voting rights on current terms; or
alternatively, to declare that the question of a binding plebicite referendum fully conforming to the UK’s constitutional requirements will be postponed until after the next election (whenever that may be), so that parties may choose to make it a manifesto matter.
* I take issue with your blithe assertion that “Parliament, in triggering Article 50 in March 2017, allowed the Government to pursue and deliver Brexit”. Parliament did not trigger anything.
May I respectfully suggest that you read the Act. It is a simple enabling act which simply confers the authority to serve notice under Art. 50 on the PM, by implication fully subject to her strict duty in law to act with the utmost probity and at all time in the best interests of the country.
As the High/Supreme Courts clarified in Miller the PM’s statutory duty prior to sending the notice was to allow Parliament to debate and vote on whether to accept the advice rendered to Parliament (not the govt) in the opinion poll of 23rd June 2016. As the Hansard record shows, no such debate has ever been held, and the PM proceeded to serve the notice purely on her own decision (presumably with cabinet approval).
WHO CVARES WHAT THE EU COURT SAID AND THERE WOULD BE BIG CONSEQUENCES WE THE WORKING CLASS WILL RISE AND CRUSH THE MIDDLE CLASS AND ACADEMICS FOR STOPPING BREXIT WE NO WHAT WE VOTED FOR TO LEAAVE WE DONT WANT A DEAL WE WANT THE MIDDLE CLASS TO SUFFER AS WE HAVE SUFFERED UNDER THE EUSSR
An interesting argument, though it would require a level of bravery and public spiritiedness on the part of MPs which they have not been showing recently!. The latest YouGov poll sheds interesting light on the question of renegotiation. Respondents say, by a 2:1 majority, that neither a new Tory leader, nor Jeremy Coybyn could get a better deal. Only 20% of Tories think this of a Tory leader, and only 30% of Labour voters believe it of Corbyn. It seems that the electorate may no longer be fooled by the fantasies which both parties are peddling.
The problem with all the so called ‘deals’ is that the Good Friday Agreement and any trade arrangement that would create any tariff differences between the UK and the EU are not compatible. The compatibility of the ‘backstop’ is a fiction. Suggesting that a potential trade deal in the future that could reconcile these incompatibles is also a fiction. As suggested here, the only sensible solution is to revoke Article 50 and then present the lied to (from both sides) UK electorate, the real facts about Brexit and allow them a ‘meaning’ ‘informed’ vote.
“My view is that were the UK to revoke the notice, there would be no appetite to restart the process. It would, I believe, be far better to focus on rebuilding its relations with the EU, and on seeking to mend the divided UK. But, it is entirely possible that, for example after the next General Election a case will be made for a particular form of Brexit. Labour may seek to argue for its own ‘better Brexit’. “
You lost me here. If Article 50 is rescinded then Labour and Tories will see MPs defecting to a new Brexit Party. That party will call an election at a time of its choosing, by calling a vote of no confidence. It will attract all the Leave vote whereas the Remain vote will split between the old parties. If the new party achieves a majority of MPs then it will invoke Article 50 on the basis of a planned hard Brexit. No need for a referendum or support from a majority of voters. If one set of MPs can rescind Article 50 of its own violation another can invoke it by the same principle.
By “new Brexit party”, do you mean UKIP?
@Jennie: “By “new Brexit party”, do you mean UKIP” I think the new party would be called the “Conservative Party”. When Theresa May stands down there will be a leadership election. The Brexiteers would almost certainly succeed in getting one of them on the final shortlist voted on by the party membership, who tend to be pro-Brexit. The membership would also want to ensure that new candidates would be pro-Brexit. Then Article 50 would be invoked again.
At the same time we would see a resurgence of UKIP. Since they seem to be engaged in ramping up the racist anti-Muslim rhetoric this is something I would find extremely worrying.
Of course this is all speculation but it seems plausible enough to me, certainly not in the unicorn category. I would prefer a no-deal Brexit and, if that doesn’t work out, a reapplication to join the EU. I expect many of the EU27 would too.
The operative word here is “if”. A New Bwrecksit party is an extremely unlikely beast, and the possibility of it gaining an overall majority is a unicorn of mythical proportions.
“That party will call an election at a time of its choosing, by calling a vote of no confidence. It will attract all the Leave vote whereas the Remain vote will split between the old parties.”
Sounds like the fairies have got you here. There is already a party committed to leaving at all costs, it’s called UKIP. Maximum vote share achieved at any GE: 12.6% in 2015. Currently polling between 4 and 6 %. Is that the mythical party you refer to? Even if there were to be an influx of defecting MPs and some increase in support, I don’t see them acquiring anything like the kind of influence you’re describing, not under the current electoral system (but that’s a whole different discussion).
My reading is that the majority of people didn’t actually care all that much about the EU before this cursed referendum was held. Nor indeed did they know very much about it – certainly not the benefits. That was the problem. So there was a vacuum, into which all kinds of fairy stories were poured by a rather skillful Leave campaign and helped by the likes of the Mail, Sun and Telegraph. I think even at this point, those in the UK who care deeply about leaving or remaining are a small minority. You’re are clearly part of that minority (and so am I, but on the opposite side). As such, revoking Article 50 could be quite a viable option. I don’t think there’d be rioting in the streets or mass defections in parliament. More fairy stories. At the end of the day, MPs know which side their bread is buttered.
“Sounds like the fairies have got you here.”
May 2019: We have a new Brexit Party they are garnishing the largest vote. Welcome to fairyland.
Funding for a new party to deliver brexit is already under discussion. Farage resigning UKIP is not an accident. The need for a new party is not confirmed until the current government revokes article 50. If/when that happens I suspect you will see movement quite quickly. 52% voted to leave, it only takes thirty something percent of the vote to form a majority government. Make no mistake, when you campaign for revoking article 50 you are also campaigning for Farage in number 10.
“A New Bwrecksit party is an extremely unlikely beast, and the possibility of it gaining an overall majority is a unicorn of mythical proportions.”
Keep telling yourself that (but spare us the Brietbart-Trump childishness prose). If the Conservative and Labour MPs decide to thwart Brexit no Leaver will vote for those parties but they will vote nevertheless.
“A New Bwrecksit party is an extremely unlikely beast, and the possibility of it gaining an overall majority is a unicorn of mythical proportions.”
May 2019. You couldn’t be more wrong.
We had a Brexit Party – UKIP. It did not make significant inroads into actual seats, and hence power, in Westminster, because it was, essentially a one policy party. Any new ‘Brexit Party’ would have the same limitations in the eyes of the electorate’s perception. The reality is that people vote for what is in it for themselves. Despite what has been said there is very little to suggest that any Brexit which leans towards a WTO break with the EU would increase funding for the NHS, put more money into the pockets of the average UK worker, or help sort out growing demands for social care, housing, etc, etc.
… As opposed to the existing parties?
Good to see that people have accepted my proposition.
“If one set of MPs can rescind Article 50 of its own violation another can invoke it by the same principle. No need for a referendum or support from a majority of voters.”
As for the rest, no point in debating the future of a would-be Brexit party, time will tell. Either way if Article 50 is rescinded, then every General Election from now on will be a surrogate referendum on the EU and we will eventually leave just on the basis of ongoing attrition.
Excellent article and totally rational, unfortunately I don’t hold much hope given the low quality of politicians that we currently have to endure.
I agree with you. We had an advisory referendum that said people 2.5 years ago wanted to leave by a small majority after a leave campaign marked by lies and overspending and the polls show it’s no longer the case that people want to leave. We are a parliamentary democracy with MPs elected to represent their constituents. I think it would be fine within the ECJ’s wording of a decision made according to our own democratic processes, for MPs to vote according to their consciences that the best thing now is to revoke. As you say, it doesn’t mean it would be impossible to trigger article 50 again one day if a clearer consensus on a plan emerged. No one seems to think the current deal will benefit the UK – but at the same time it’s hard to see what other deal would have worked with all the parameters and red lines (ending free movement, no hard border in Northern Ireland etc). And no sensible people want to crash out with no deal with the economic chaos foe the UK and many Britons overseas probably forced to uproot themselves and come to the UK where they will need homes and benefits and hospital beds.
Well written article, prefect sense, the only and right solution to what we have got into. The 2016 referendum was only an expression of preference, not a binding instruction to get us out at all costs. It was illegally funded and based on lies and undeliverable promises. The government needs to recognise that it is impossible to “deliver the Brexit that people voted for” because that simply does not exist. Our membership of the EU as we have it now is immeasurably preferable to the mess that we would find ourselves in with either The deal or No deal.
Come what May, 31 March will from now on always be Independence Day.
One thing you don’t consider that could become critical is what the UK needs to do in order to Revoke A50. Is s it:
– sufficient for government to revoke without Parliamentary appreciation val
– sufficient for Parliament to revoke without government approval
– something that requires primary legislation?
The recent Brexit debates have at last shown that democracy in this country is merely an illusion. With a majority of the people voting to leave and a majority of MP’s and most of the establishment wishing to remain there will only be one winner, and it won’t be the people. Freedom always comes at a cost, is difficult to achieve, and requires a lot of effort. Maybe leave voters were not thick or misled and are prepared to pay the price. Change can not be brought about while those in power stand to lose the most by doing so. When you have nothing you have nothing to lose. At least we now know the mediocrity and ineptitude of the majority of MP’s we elected to represent us. Why vote? It’s pointless.
My sentiments precisely.
Our useless leader constantly spouts “the will of the people” and she refuses point blank to ask the people what their will is! What she claims the will of the people to be is, in reality, what the will of the people WAS two and a half years ago! She is leading the country to its ruin and not consulting the people all in the name of democracy; it is more like a dictactorship.
As for any informed person (as everybody should be now!) who still wants to lose all thei european rights and be “free” to be impoverished and believes that losing our rights is called “gaining freedom” is so stubbornly deluded that they just deserve to lose their money and freedom and rights. It is howver shameful that they want to drag everybody else down with them.
Just one practical question for such people. How do you resolve the Irish border question if you propose to leave the EU?
The present border has freedom of movement of goods, services and people. The only way to maintain this border is for us to remain IN the EU. It is so simple and our politicians are trying to con us into believing the impossible is possible. EU politicians are more honest and make it clear that we cannot keep an open border if we are not in the EU (or practice the same freedoms as if we were in the EU but with no voting rights).
I still hope and pray that our politicians will come to their senses and, now haing left it so late do the only thing remaining
1) Unilaterally revoke article 50
2) Ask the people what the really want NOW
3) Act on it
Of course, if they were extreemly efficient, they would find a way of having a an emergency referendum on whether to and accept May’s deal or reamin in the EU. After all, if we were about to be attacked by an enemy, would it take us weeks or months to decide whether to defend our country. Yet now, our county could be ruined because of a lack of prompt action.
Prior to the 2016 Referendum the Government issued a leaflet to all households explaining the dire outcomes that would ensue following a vote to leave, and their recommendation was to vote remain. Despite all this the majority vote was to leave the EU. The leaflet also stated,
“This is a once in a generation decision.”
“This is your decision.”
“The Government will implement what you decide.”
Note the last sentence, it does not mention Parliament.
Now we hear calls for, Delaying Article 50, Revoking Article 50, A Peoples Vote (aka Second Referendum), etc. All thinly disguised devices to thwart the majority decision.
We are told things have changed in the last two years. True, but things are also changing in the EU. Consider the current situation in France. The EU is beset with problems, political, economic and social.
Maybe remaining is the easy, comfortable option in the short term, but, long term the best option
must be to leave the creaking edifice that is the United States of Europe, before it falls apart.
The problem is that only 17.4 million lied-to voted Leave. One third of the electorate, 25% of the population. How many of them because of the lies and broken promises? How many of them now wish to change their minds and stay in the EU? In the remaining 75% of the population no voter voted to leave. Many didn’t vote, thus ‘accepting’ the status quo. This was not an election. It was an advisory referendum. Parliament should have had the gumption to explain all the above, to look at the flight of tens of thousands of EU health workers, and service sector workers, and the relocation of businesses and likely relocations if we left the EU, and the economic happenings and forecasts.Parliament could have talked to the electorate and suggested Remaing in the EU or accepting the people’s request for a second referendum. The steal that Brexiteers now have isn’t truly democratic, and legal proceedings are still on the way questioning the legality of the referendum and the unfair advantage of lies, illegal overspend and funding. Who knows why but the government and the Met are still sitting on their hands over these.
The idea of Revoking A50 and staying in limbo to relook at triggering again is all a bit sneaky, and reminiscent of the Government’s handling of everything to do with challenges and petitions and the withdrawal bill. Let Parliament ditch
their neurosis over ‘respecting ‘ and ‘honouring ‘ the result of the dishonourable referendum, and either vote No Brexit/Remain as had been promised to be on a ballot , or agree a second referendum .If Brexiteers continue to fear one they need to be ready to see what the majority of the electorate want, and accept the democratic wish of the people they falsely lay claim to.
If you compare the number of votes cast for any ruling party following a General Election it is always lower than the total number of people eligible to vote. The situation is generally accepted by people who voted for other parties, and also, by those who didn’t vote at all. In this country it’s called democracy. Why should the Referendum result be treated differently? Also, you can not make the assumption that people who didn’t vote prefer the status quo. Maybe, they are so disillusioned with politics and politicians that they think whatever they vote for will not bring about change, so why bother. Considering the current attempts to thwart the Referendum result perhaps they are right.
Could we not revoke Article 50 before March 29 and invoke it again on April 1.
This should appeal to everyone but the EU.
For true leavers, this would give all concerned another 2 years to prepare for hard Brexit, but from a much better position than the WA transition terms provide for.
This 2 years should also appeal to those who favour a second referendum, or believe May will suddenly learn how to negotiate, or that the EU will realise the WA need to be reasonable.
What is your legal advice on this approach?
At last, someone saying that revoking A50 is not synonymous with Remain! Revocation of the Article does not revoke the referendum, but gives time, and clean slate, to look again at how to deal with it.
The May deal is effectively to stay in the EU for almost two more years, but with no voice, vote, or veto.
Revocation is seen by the ECJ as permanent, but that can’t be the case. If EU membership is resumed with no change in the UK’s member status, that must include the right to invoke Article 50 if and when we choose. If we so choose, then surely the process could still be completed by December 2020.
In the meantime , we can
a) get rid of Theresa May: she has shown herself to be totally lacking in vision and flexibility
b) get Stormont up and running, so as to get a proper range of NI views, not just those of the DUP
c) revisit the Good Friday Agreement, to proof “no-hard-border” against either side leaving the EU, which seems to have been omitted in the original agreement. The UK and Ireland can have bilateral talks if both are in the EU (as the GFA shows), but not if the UK is outside.
d) establish a Speaker’s Conference or the like to seriously consider Brexit options, taking views and input from all sides at Westminster, from devolved parliaments, and wherever. This would allow …
e) … the Government to get on with governing, which has been badly neglected since 2016.
Why has no member of the “failing pedlars of chaos” we call a Parliament tabled a motion to revoke Article 50? Is it because this will reveal that we have a Democracy In Name Only (DINO)? If the UK is now so weak and feeble that we can no longer survive as an independent nation then we should “go the whole hog” and go for Direct Rule by the EU, happy to be a vassal state. Then there would be no need for a costly UK Parliament at all.
Far bettr to honour the referendum result and leave without a deal. In the next general election, any party manifesto can then include the promise of a referendum to rejoin the EU. Let the people decide.
The EU will not lay down stringent terms for new membership. The UK will be joining as a contributing member, bringing billions to the table. Money talks.
“The EU will not lay down stringent terms for new membership.”
I think you’ll find there’s a very good chance that the terms of new membership would include:
1) Changing currency to use the Euro
2) Not reinstating the EUR6bn rebate that Margaret Thatcher negotiated
Hence the UK would more than likely be substantially worse off by leaving then attempting to rejoin especially since, IMO, by that time, we will be on the way out of the trough from leaving in the first place.
Stated in The Bill of Rights 1689,
“That no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath, or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm: So help me God.”
Why then are we subject to the European Court of Justice and European Council ?
…..because we now live in the 21st, not the 17th century…
No…because we sold our rights and sovereignty to the EU.