A FLOCK OF REMAINIST LAWYERS INDULGE IN ANTI-BREXIT GESTURE LETTER WRITING!
My attention was caught by the report of this letter in the Independent. It is instructive to look at the list of the thousand or so lawyers who have signed a letter addressed to the Prime Minister (saying that the EU referendum result is merely “Advisory” and not “legally binding”). The list includes all the usual suspects: internationalists, social justice campaigners and globalist Remain camp lawyers, etc., who are to a “person” anti-English.
Those who read the letter carefully, certainly those with legal training, will have noted that the letter writers are careful not to overstate their case whilst appearing to suggest that the result is “Advisory”.
In fact it is constitutionally obvious that the referendum is “Advisory” in the British Governmental system. This is a system in which the democratic vote of the People in a General Election and the election of Members of Parliament is technically largely “Advisory”. The basis of the appointment system for Ministers is technically that of the Royal Prerogative. They are technically Royal Appointments to deal with matters of the Royal Government.
Since Sir Robert Walpole, it has been necessary for the Prime Minister to retain the confidence of the House of Commons as well as the Monarch. As the balance of initiative has tipped toward the House of Commons and away from the Monarch, political power has come more into the hands of an “Executive” based, as it is in our current constitutional arrangements, within the legislature.
Whilst Democracy generally therefore has been “Advisory” to the British constitutional construct of the “Crown in Parliament”, nevertheless it has been so long since a Monarch or Government thought it could ignore such “Advisory” democracy that many commentators have forgotten that it is constitutionally possible.
It is therefore “deceptive”, to say the least, for these “Lawyers” to even imply that the referendum’s result could be treated as not being politically, morally or constitutionally in effect binding.
I was also amused to read their comment that “there is evidence that the referendum result was influenced by mis-representations of fact and promises that could not be delivered”. Many of those misrepresentations and promises were those of the Remain side!
The idea that the result was “only narrowly in favour of Brexit” is also a ridiculous proposition especially in England where, if you remove Gibraltar from its inclusion in the English figures (in most of the published results), the majority in England was almost 2 million voters. In any case more people voted for Brexit than have ever voted for any British Government!
It is equally fanciful for these “Lawyers” to claim that the positions of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar require “special consideration” since their populations did not vote to leave the EU. The only special consideration that they should get is that they will either have to leave the EU as the English have voted to do so, or Leave the UK. They will not be able to Remain in both Unions.
The silliest point of all of course is the idea that the activation of Article 50 requires a parliamentary vote. The constitutional position is simple. The Prime Minister, on behalf of the Queen and in exercise of the royal prerogative has an unfettered ability to trigger the kind of Notice that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty requires. The only fora in which there could be any argument about the validity of the Article 50 Notice is within the EU institutions. Provided the Council of Europe are happy that a proper Article 50 Notice has been given, then the process of Exit will commence. That is whatever a relatively small proportion of the total number of lawyers in the UK may think!
For information, I would suggest that the number of barristers, solicitors, in-house lawyers and advocates in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales would probably exceed 300,000. As the word of “Lawyer” is rather a vague term, the total number of “Lawyers” may well exceed 500,000, of which it would appear that only approximately 1,000 were sufficiently ideologically committed Remainers to sign this letter!
Here is the text of the “Lawyers” letter:-
9 July 2016
Dear Prime Minister and Members of Parliament
We are all individual members of the Bars of England and Wales, Scotland
and Northern Ireland. We are writing to propose a way forward which
reconciles the legal, constitutional and political issues which arise
following the Brexit referendum.
The result of the referendum must be acknowledged. Our legal opinion is
that the referendum is advisory.
The European Referendum Act does not make it legally binding. We believe
that in order to trigger Article 50, there must first be primary
legislation. It is of the utmost importance that the legislative process
is informed by an objective understanding as to the benefits, costs and
risks of triggering Article 50.
The reasons for this include the following: There is evidence that the
referendum result was influenced by misrepresentations of fact and
promises that could not be delivered.
Since the result was only narrowly in favour of Brexit, it cannot be
discounted that the misrepresentations and promises were a decisive or
contributory factor in the result.
The parliamentary vote must not be similarly affected. The referendum
did not set a threshold necessary to leave the EU, commonly adopted in
polls of national importance, e.g. 60% of those voting or 40% of the
This is presumably because the result was only advisory. The outcome of
the exit process will affect a generation of people who were not old
enough to vote in the referendum.
The positions of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar require
special consideration, since their populations did not vote to leave the EU.
The referendum did not concern the negotiating position of the UK
following the triggering of Article 50, nor the possibility that no
agreement could be reached within the stipulated two year period for
negotiation, nor the emerging reality that the Article 50 negotiations
will concern only the manner of exit from the EU and not future economic
All of these matters need to be fully explored and understood prior to
the Parliamentary vote. The Parliamentary vote should take place with a
greater understanding as to the economic consequences of Brexit, as
businesses and investors in the UK start to react to the outcome of the
For all of these reasons, it is proposed that the Government
establishes, as a matter of urgency, a Royal Commission or an equivalent
independent body to receive evidence and report, within a short, fixed
timescale, on the benefits, costs and risks of triggering Article 50 to
the UK as a whole, and to all of its constituent populations.
The Parliamentary vote should not take place until the Commission has
reported. In view of the extremely serious constitutional, economic and
legal importance of the vote either way, we believe that there should be
a free vote in Parliament.
PHILIP KOLVIN QC
And 1053 others
(Here is a link to the original in the Independent>>>