I was recently asked to do an article for the Solicitors Journal which is a highly respected Legal magazine. The brief was to set out my views on Article 50 and on the situation. Also as George Osborne had just said the UK can invoke Article 50 when it feels it is best placed to, to comment on that suggestion and the Brexit situation overall.
Here is my article. What do you think?
BREXIT – THE EU AND UK LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURES
There are two constitutional legal procedures required to put into effect the democratically expressed Will of the People to Brexit.
One is the external requirement, under EU constitutional law, of activating Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Article 50 is simple to activate and it is entirely in the hands of the UK as a Member State to do so in accordance with UK constitutional arrangements. The “Royal Prerogative” gives that power to the Prime Minister.
Once Article 50 has been activated there is a compulsory 2 year period of negotiation managed by the EU Commission but if no agreement is reached, then the UK’s membership of the EU lapses automatically. (Bad luck Scotland, but nice try Nicola Sturgeon!).
The other constitutional procedure is internal. There must be a substantial repeal by the UK’s Westminster Parliament of the European Communities Act 1972 (perhaps with some saving provisions).
If Scotland held the threatened second Independence Referendum and voted to go, a third possibility would arise because if the UK, which is the EU Member State was dissolved then all parts of the former UK State would be automatically outside of the EU.
Over the course of the next few months up until mid-September we will witness the pattern of events revolve again around the machinations of the British Political elite. The critical political challenge for Brexit to actually occur is the Conservative Parliamentary Party’s decision as to which two contenders for leader will go onto the ballot for all Conservative Party members to vote on.
If Boris Johnson is on the ballot then it is a racing certainty that he will win the leadership and become the next Prime Minister.
If the plotters against him succeed in keeping him off the ballot paper, then it becomes doubtful as to who would win and it will then be still more doubtful as to what happens about Brexit. The future of the Conservative Party would then also have been put in doubt because all its Brexit voters will be absolutely furious and electorally unforgiving.
In the meanwhile, legislation based upon the EU has lost the privileged status which Lord Justice Laws gave it in his judgment against the Metric Martyrs in 2002. Laws LJ held that the Referendum in 1975 gave the People's democratic consent to the European Communities Act 1972 and thus conferred special status upon it as a constitutional statute. That consent has now been removed and with it the special status of all that strand of law!
Here is a link to the article which the Solicitors Journal wrote partly based upon my comments >>> http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/news/public/administrative-and-constitutional/26932/uk-decides-when-trigger-article-50-not-eu-say-le