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Invoking Art 50 without an Act of Parliament will be illegal.

(28 Posts)
morningrunner Thu 30-Jun-16 06:57:53

Under our constitution parliament is the supreme law maker. The various Acts of Parliament (EEC 1973 etc) are still on the statute books. The Tories will need parliamentary approval before they can constitutionally invoke Art 50.
All remainders should stop signing petitions and seriously think how to point out this basic fact of constitutional law to the Govt and take steps to prevent them from acting unlawfully .

Don't Write to your mp asking for a vote in Parliament - DEMAND it.

Mistigri Thu 30-Jun-16 07:10:18

Legal opinions appear to differ on whether a vote in parliament is necessary or not, or whether the PM alone can invoke A50 ...

morningrunner Thu 30-Jun-16 07:12:55

Really? I'm surprised - it's basic constitutional law.

morningrunner Thu 30-Jun-16 07:14:51

Anyway - lawyers debate; courts decide.

Watch this space

Thegirlinthefireplace Thu 30-Jun-16 07:20:00

I think the point is moot in that enough MPs would approve it, despite their personal views, in order to avoid appearing undemocratic to Joe public.

Kimononono Thu 30-Jun-16 07:23:09

Give it up ffs!

UnmentionedElephantDildo Thu 30-Jun-16 07:26:02

If we don't invoke article 50, because there is an obstacle to turning referendum result into action, then the EU could sanction us anyway under A7. And that could be even worse.

The referendum was correctly conducted, the result clear and outcome needs to be implemented.

(It's not like Blair going to war when legal advice was divided, because there was no referendum on that).

MigGril Thu 30-Jun-16 07:27:12

I hurd that in order for it to get through they would have to vito all Scottish MP, this is something that would need a big majority and Scotland aren't going to let it through. Unless they break of first, it's just a total mess really.

redhat Thu 30-Jun-16 07:27:42

I do actually think these steps could make a difference.

Everyone knows we are screwed if we leave (or else we end up in pretty much the same position in terms of immigration but without any of our EU powers to veto etc). The referendum isn't binding but the politicians are scared to say they won't implement since they want to be re-elected. What they need is to realise that there would be massive public support for them if they stood up and said "actually we're going to take a longer term view and we are not going to implement. If we are no longer the party in power then so be it." That in itself may well get them re-elected anyway.

InShockReally Thu 30-Jun-16 07:27:47

You give it up Kimonono! (...see how pointless that kind of statement is?)

GloriaGaynor Thu 30-Jun-16 07:30:55

According to Geoffrey Robertson Parliament would first have to repeal the 1972 Communities Act which took us into the EU.

The fundamental constitutional requirement is that Brexit has approval of Parliament.

The law that was passed last year to set up the referendum said nothing about it having any legal force.

chantico Thu 30-Jun-16 07:32:11

Even though "everyone" knows we are "screwed" people still voted for this, despite lengthy campaigning (which was dirty on both sides).

So it has to be done. It's just wrong, and screws us worse, if it has to be redone or loopholes found until the right answer is returned.

Partybagger Thu 30-Jun-16 07:33:39

Keen remainer here, happy to take action to argue for remain but not quite following the gist here- what should we be asking our MP to do?

Surferjet Thu 30-Jun-16 07:33:42

I'm sure you're right op, the vote could be overturned in exceptional circumstances. But it's highly unlikely.

I think all the talking is done now really, have to wait until we get a new PM & then see what happens. But from what I've seen, EU leaders want us out sooner rather than later.

VikingVolva Thu 30-Jun-16 07:34:33

Correct, no referendum is legally binding.

What it does is ask a question, the answer to which then needs to be implemented.

Which includes all necessary legislative steps. Repealing one Act is a fairly small step in the work that needs to be done to achieve a mp smooth exit.

It's wishful thinking to assume it will be a show stopping obstacle.

GloriaGaynor Thu 30-Jun-16 07:37:33

The referendum was correctly conducted, the result clear and outcome needs to be implemented.

UK democracy doesn't allow let alone require, decision making by referendum. That role belongs to the elected representatives of the people and not to the people themselves.

snowy508601 Thu 30-Jun-16 07:38:49

There will be civil unrest on an unprecedented scale if the government goes back on this!
MPs will not vote for a decision which effectively ends democracy.

Surferjet Thu 30-Jun-16 07:39:23

What was the point of the referendum then?

Mistigri Thu 30-Jun-16 07:41:49

morningrunner I'm not a constitutional lawyer but I've read a number of views suggesting otherwise, eg

www.headoflegal.com/2016/06/27/article-50-and-uk-constitutional-law/

It may be that you're right, in the sense that if serious legal minds are arguing that an act of Parliament is necessary, then the government won't risk moving without one.

What would parliament do? Tough decision for leave MPs representing remain areas, and vice versa...

Mistigri Thu 30-Jun-16 07:44:55

Regarding democracy, we have a parliamentary democracy. It would be perfectly democratic for MPs to vote to remain. Their electors might well punish them at the next election, though. That's how British parliamentary democracy works.

Lighteningirll Thu 30-Jun-16 07:48:09

A very thin veneer of civilisation is becoming apparent in this urge to overthrow democracy so quickly when the majority vote doesn't suit. Shameful if you just step back and think. What system of government would you like?

GloriaGaynor Thu 30-Jun-16 07:52:12

The circumstances are exceptional. First the vote was very close, second many regret voting leave, although it's impossible to quantify how many, third as there was no clear Brexit strategy leave voters didn't know what they were voting for. They still don't know.

Most importantly this referendum was set up without the normal safeguards that other countries referenda have - that it must pass by a clear majority - usually two thirds.

In Australia, a vote must pass in a majority of the 6 states and the whole country, which would exclude Brexit as it failed in Scotland and NI. The US had similar safeguards. In the UK (except under a 2011 act in aase of an EU expansion of power), referendums are just guidance - in this case letting MPs know the country is spilt 50:50 on Brexit.

VikingVolva Thu 30-Jun-16 07:53:57

"UK democracy doesn't allow let alone require, decision making by referendum"

Yes it does.

The decision is made by the referendum, and then it needs to be implemented. There is no point whatsoever in having referenda if the result is to be ignored.

After all, had the PR referendum been won, and then the FPPT-elected MPs refused to implement it, there would have been a similar crisis. It is plain wrong for the government to go against the views expressed in a properly consituted referendum.

InShockReally Thu 30-Jun-16 07:56:16

If you want to be philosophical about it though, it's not democracy Lightning. If I give you a vote between X and Z and lie through my teeth to make you choose X, and you do, then I say oh that was all lies - that's not democracy in action. That's manipulation of a democratic system.

It's never enough to give people a vote, they have to know what they're really voting for.

Many people did buy into the lies of £350m per week for the NHS - it was practically a campaign slogan. And for the end of free movement too.

The principles of democracy say that if umpteen million people are racist for example, they still deserve a vote. Many (not all) voted to get rid of immigrants, and that's extremely unlikely to happen. That's not democracy either is it?

morningrunner Thu 30-Jun-16 08:12:01

Thanks Misti that was interesting.

I think the contrary argument is that while it would be lawful for the uk govt. to pull the trigger as a matter of public international law ; its contrary to domestic constitutional law.

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