How to write a letter using Article 50

There is a debate amongst Brexiteers over the quickest way out of the EU. Most are agreed that exit is secured by repeal of the 1972 Act, with the passage of all EU law into UK law coupled with a new border regime and cancellation of our subscriptions.Some also think that we will need to notify them under Article 50 in accordance with the procedures of the Treaty, even though the whole point is we have just voted to renounce the Treaty. With this in mind, the following is a suggested compromise for an early passage of the Bill and an immediate Article 50 notice:

Dear Sirs

The Uk following a referendum has decided to withdraw from the European Union. In accordance with Article 50 we hereby notify the Council of our intention to leave.

Article 50 of the Treaty states clearly that “any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” In the case of the UK this means passing an Act of Parliament. The UK government has always confirmed when asked about the loss of sovereignty involved in EU membership that the UK Parliament remains sovereign because it can repeal the 1972 Act. The government is introducing a Bill to effect this change, and to transfer all EU law into UK law to provide immediate continuity.

The UK has voted to withdraw from the Treaty. It does so under the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties by invoking a “fundamental change of circumstances” compared to those when the UK consented to the Treaty.

Yours faithfully

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140 Comments

  1. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Bit short for an EU bureaucrat. He’ll think its a Chinese Fortune Cookie message. Maybe it is.

  2. Caterpillar
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    … But as we can guess from the emergency debate on Article 50, MPs are not going to let the UK leave the EU, afterall 1000 (underpaid, struggling) lawyers cannot be wrong.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      That is precisely why they should not be asked. Between 2007 and 2016 they, and the unelected legislators-for-life in the other place, had multiple opportunities to assert a claim to control the activation of Article 50 but couldn’t be bothered to do so. It is intolerable that they now seek a retroactive power to overturn the will of the people as directly expressed in a referendum just because they don’t like the result. I hope every MP who takes that view gets chucked out at the next election.

      • Hope
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Remind me why Teresa May has any more electoral right to be PM than unelected Junker? This is another reason why we voted out because we did not want to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats, JR supported this view as well. Therefore I find it difficult why May is now accepted! 17 million voted for Brexit about 200 Tory MPs declared, not voted, for May! Where is the democracy claimed by Hunt and others?

        • Richard1
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 4:15 am | Permalink

          Because she commands a majority in the House of Commons

          • Hope
            Posted July 14, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            She is heading a government where she does not agree with what the public voted for. She is in the same position as Cameron, he might have well stayed in place. She is opposed to the single most important issue facing the country.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 16, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

            @Hope; Says who? Anyway, anyone who thinks that a government, any government, should be slaves to their manifesto is a political fool. Even UKIP found no problem in altering their ‘position’ once elected to the EP or local councils.

            As for your last sentence, are you talking about the economy or Brexit, which ever you do mean both seem to be in good hands, and if Brexit fails it will be the fault of Brexiteers – Mrs May has been very astute in protecting herself against that by way of her appointments!

        • Jerry
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 5:03 am | Permalink

          @Hope; “Where is the democracy claimed by Hunt and others?”

          Because Mrs May is the leader of the majority party, as elected in 2015. How many times does it need to be pointed out that in the UK we do not have an elected President and Representatives but a party based Government, under our electoral system it is even possible that a party leader might lead their party to election victory and majority government but loose their own seat in the process, one of the reasons why leaders always tend to come from very safe constituencies!

          Hope, all your rants do is show up just how little you actually understand about what democracy is and its whys and wherefores. Beware of untended consequences, change the system to PR (as UKIP wished) and it is doubtful that between the eurosceptic Tories and UKIP in parliament they would have been able to defeat the europhile LDs, Labour, nationalist and Greens etc, to even have had the Brexit referendum never mind anything else.

          • Hope
            Posted July 14, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

            Drivel Jerry. May herself announced in 2007 that a GE was required rather than just apoint Brown. The EU leaders also pointed out how was the transfer from Blaire to Brown was not any more democratic than their process. Do keep up and remember facts.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; OK have it your way, lets have that snap GE, but the Tories will loose because people like you will huff, puff and vote UKIP. Result, either a Labour majority government (even with Corbyn) or a Labour lead coalition government made up of the europhile LDs and nationalists, thus Brexit will not happen. Just what do you want, a cheap ‘drivel’ based rant or to actually secure a Brexit, I suspect the former as the latter blows the UKIP boat out of the water and the bases of your rants…

            I will agree though, I suspect that Mrs May is now regretting her own 2007 anti Gordon Brown comments that are now snapping at her own ankles, but the fact is Mr Brown was the legitimate PM of the UK back then just as Mrs May is today.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Well we shall see how T May plays it. Will it be death by endless delays and invented legal difficulties instead? Rather worrying that the BBC seems to think she is going to have lots of women in the Cabinet perhaps more than ever. This would not matter but for the fact that non of the female Tory MPs are competent, and they were nearly all remain people too, Rudd, Soubry, Morgan, Greening, Stowel, Warsi …….. They even touted Rudd for Chancellor!

    Allister Heath had a good article yesterday suggesting Gove or Javid. I would suggest JR or Fox – Rudd would be a dreadful choice, but at least it would get her away from energy where he has not got a clue either. We certainly need someone who understands that IHT ratter Osborne was travelling in completely the wrong direction.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Much talk of Cameron’s great legacy. As I see it he had an open goal for a large majority at the first election against sitting duck Brown. This due to his non Conservative, green crap, cast iron ratting, lefty, modernising agenda. The country was crying out for a new Lady Thatcher type.

      He nearly repeated this at the next election, but scraped home due to the uselessness of Ed Milliband and the fact that almost no one in England wanted a labour dog wagged by an SNP tail.

      Almost his only “achievement” is to have got us a pro Brexit vote by giving us a referendum and failing to get any sensible deal from the EU.

      A capable man with two open goals but lacking a working compass. Another dire Heath, Major, Blairite. And it seems we are stitched up with yet another in Theresa May, unless she can reinvent herself. So far she has put forwards a hugely left wing agenda. But saying trite left wing things is not too bad, so long as she is not daft enough to do them. This as they clearly will not work. We have had far too much tax borrrow and waste, red tape and other lefty insanities from the dire Osborne and Cameron already.

      Get out of the EU, get lower simpler taxes, abolish IHT, cheap reliable energy, free trade, a bonfire of red tape, cancel HS2, run competent, lean & efficient public services, get some new runways and roads and get government out of the b***** way.

    • ken moore
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May and the majority ‘modernisers’ are stuck in a 1990’s time warp in which Blair was popular and his policies considered ‘progressive’.May foolishly decided that since she couldnt beat blairism she would copy it…The trouble is it doesnt work….blair has left a legacy of debt and social decay…
      Interested to hear John Redwoods view …

      • Hope
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps she could have Miller and a few of the MPs who should have been recalled by their constituents. Right to recall is the biggest say the public wants and needs, not the sham produced by Cameron.

    • hefner
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Another one from the unreformed MCP?

    • Bob
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      May says she will make control of immigration her top demand in her Brexit negotiations with the EU.

      If we’re an independent country why would we need to “negotiate” to control immigration?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 14, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, anyway as home Secretary she just pretended to be controlling it but failed hugely even with no EU migration so why trust her now.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 14, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      I think Theresa May has accepted the verdict of the people. She was pro-EU but not fanatically so, now she has changed tack and she will take us out of the EU. In fact I think that increasingly the bulk of the elites here and across the world are accepting that this is what is going to happen and it’s better to go along with it and make the best of it, it will only be the diehards who will continue to resist it.

  4. Mark B
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Fair enough ! Shame your name was not on the ballot paper for leadership of the Conservative Party.

    I am quite content to wait on what the lawyers have to say on the matter. If they agree with you, fine we leave. If they don’t, you are going to look very silly, but we still leave.

    Win-win

    Any chance of having this post up before tomorrow ?

    Thanks

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Actually I’m seriously thinking that there is little point in commenting until the various legal cases have been resolved one way or the other. July 19th for a preliminary hearing in the divisional court, then probably a delay for the judgement, then either way it’s a point of constitutional importance and so goes to appeal and then after that goes to the Supreme Court, it could be getting on for Christmas before those judges decide one way or another and also decide whether to refer it on to the EU’s Court of Justice for a final decision, give that another six months or a year, and if after all that the government has won and can put in the Article 50 notice there may be the possibility of a complaint to the ECHR … or maybe it will all be over by the end of July, case dismissed, it has no merit and permission to appeal is refused.

      Reply This is all international politics, so Parliament just needs to get on with it

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 14, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        I’m hoping that the legal cases will end on July 19th.

    • scottspeig
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      JR should be in treasury if not chancellor, JRM could have stood for PM. Thats my preferred ticket anyway!

  5. stred
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    You could add:
    We will continue to apply zero tarrifs on EU produce, as we see no benefit in profiting from the much larger imports that we buy from you. If you wish to apply tariffs please let us know as soon as possible, in which case WTO or matching tariffs will apply.

    Regards and good luck with your current crises.

    Copy to VW, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo,IKEA, Danone, Allianz, Axa, Santander, French Farmers Union , Dutch Farmers Union ………………….

    PS. I caught the end of your interview with Ian Dale and then heard Matty Parris telling us how we should be very nice and send Mrs May to see Mrs Merkel and they would sort it all out, as they were both similar very nice quiet ladies and wouldn’t it be so much better and he didn’t ‘know what that nasty John Redwood was on’. What is it- steroids? Some big commercial firm ought to headhunt him to make sure they come out on top.

  6. Newmania
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Not hard to see why you would see the need for haste given the catastrophe that is engulfingthe country and the poltical chaosethat would inevitably follow . Not even subtle is it .
    It may be that we are stuck with leaving the EU but no-one voted to leave the single market and most of the Brexit voters couldn`t spell it so there is certainly no mandatre other than in yourn mind
    It is certainly not democracy that the country should be ignored entirely especially when so man jobs home and families depend on the single market

    • graham1946
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Why don’t you accept the referendum result, stop fighting a lost war and concentrate on trying to make it a success? Sour grapes seems to be the diet of Remainers and talking the country down will do no-one any good. Remainers main problem seems to be that you cannot accept being wrong and want to prove you are right, even at the cost of a recession. You’d rather do the country down than see it a success.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 14, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Spot on.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      They have to treat us with respect.

      If we go down they all all go down.

    • Hoggy
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Brexit voters can’t spell ?
      I can count 7 mistakes in your comments !
      But you needn’t overly worry, the House of Commons has it in hand to ensure we don’t leave, and thus deny the democratic right of the majority of the British electorate who voted to leave.
      The question on the ballot paper was ‘Leave or remain’, not ‘leave but keep the single market ‘!

  7. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    “There is a debate amongst Brexiteers over the quickest way out of the EU”

    Well, very interesting, but about as relevant as me debating it down the pub. The Remainers will decide what to do and “quickest” is absolutely NOT one of their priorities as we have seen with the 6-year claim from May’s camp.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      That was Hammond. He’s Foreign Secretary (still) and yet he claims it takes a minimum of four years after signature for an EU treaty to come into force.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lisbon

      “The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009.”

      Two years, and it would have been just one year if the Irish hadn’t voted against it in their first referendum.

      I hope and pray that May decides that Hammond should have nothing more to do with foreign affairs and especially our dealings with the EU.

      • graham1946
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Denis,

        Brown was not wishing to be seen to sign it so he didn’t attend the official signing. Didn’t he , after what he considered a suitable length of time creep into the room by a back door to sign it and describe it, not as a Treaty but as a ‘tidying up exercise’?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          He skulked in later in the day after all the other leaders had signed it, and, yes, at one time it was just a “tidying up exercise”.

      • Know-dice
        Posted July 14, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        DC be careful for what you wish for 👿

    • Tedgo
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Unless Brexit is well underway by the next general election Mrs May and the Conservatives will be finished. UKIP are not going away, nor are the 17 million leavers.

      Equally dangerous is a reformed Labour party, who will approach the election on a leave ticket to reclaim their traditional working class voters, particularly in the Midlands and the North.

  8. Richard1
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I don’t see this approach flying. 48% voted to remain in the EU anyway, and a good many Leave voters wish to ensure an orderly exit with agreed single market access, and agreements on various other cooperations (Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, residency rights etc etc). Your approach would presumably be regarded by the EU as hostile and therefore negative for business & economic sentiment. Bear in mind it seems, unfortunately,that Mrs May does not apparently see a need for radical supply side measures to ensure competitiveness, is reportedly opposed to Heathrow expansion, in favour of social democrat gesture politics etc. If we are going to play hardball with the EU we need policies which will ensure UK competitiveness.

  9. John Bracewell
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Given the approximate 4 to 1 ratio in the House of Commons of MPs who declared for Remain as opposed to Leave, how confident can the general public be that any EU exit legislation such as the repeal of the 1972 Act can be voted through Parliament? The voting situation in the House of Lords is even more in favour of Remain than Leave. Will the MPs and Lords in regions which voted Leave vote in accordance with the clear majority of Leave voters in their region or will they claim it is a matter of conscience and the referendum vote was not binding and so vote along their own personal Remain lines? What happens if this or any of the detailed votes on the substance of the UK exit from the EU is voted down in either House?

    • John Bracewell
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      The EU exit situation is similar to the Labour leadership issue, the MPs think one thing and the majority of voters, either Labour members in the leadership issue or the Referendum electorate, think the opposite. If the MPs’ collective view is upheld in both situations there is a clear democratic deficiency.

      • John Bracewell
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Last reply to myself, honest! but ‘both situations’, of course, should have read ‘either situation’.

  10. Jerry
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Mention of A50 seems somewhat redundant!

    Surely the above ‘letter’ amounts to a unilateral exit, not an A50 exit, and thus it will matter not one jot what we choose to do with EU laws, we will be out of the single market, the transfer of all EU law into UK law is simply to provide the UK with immediate continuity of (now) domestic affairs.

    I’m not saying such an approach is wrong, just that in effect it will dump UK out of the EU’s single market etc and into WTO and UN rules upon repeal of the 1972 Act.

  11. Caterpillar
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Dumb question, but why “transfer all EU law into UK law”? I appreciate the ‘ease’ of continuity, but is there a fundamental reason why repealing the act is not sufficient?

    • Kenneth
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Caterpillar, I believe this is simply so that it can be done quickly with a minimum of bureaucracy.

      Once we have ‘copy & pasted’ the regulations onto our statute book we can repeal or amend them one by one in an orderly manner.

      • stred
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Another sentence for JR’s letter.

        We intend to continue to adopt EU regulations into our own law and manufacturers and service providers will ensure, as at present, that they comply with these. However, we will amend UK regulations, for example, to make slow kettles and vacuum cleaners unnecessary in the UK. EU manufacturers will, of course, be able to sell sensible kettles, which use the same amount of energy, to the UK and other countries. Please let us know if you have any objection.

  12. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    JR, firstly, you might like our first news item overnight. We chose you as one of four Parliamentarians who aren’t being talked about in the media for a ministerial position, but who we think should be.
    http://facts4eu.org/news.shtml

    Secondly, and in response to your morning article, an Act of Parliament is not required to comply with the Article 50 provision that “any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

    This can be done under Royal Prerogative without the need for an Act, as confirmed by Martin Howe QC. This is covered on our site, the 9th article down on the news page, titled “Legally and constitutionally, the Referendum is binding”. There’s a link to the full legal position backing up this assertion.

    Best wishes, the Facts4EU.org team

    Reply We do need an Act of Parliament to control our borders, cancel the subscriptions and make the other necessary legal changes to confirm our exit!

    • Brexit Facts4EU.org
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Ah, we see what you meant. We thought you were saying that an Act was required merely to submit an Article 50 notification.

      • sjb
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        An Act of Parliament would appear to be necessary because otherwise the executive’s act, after the two-year period, would result in rights conferred by our UK parliament (ECA 1972) being removed without the UK parliament’s consent.

        I think the matter is before Cranston J (former Labour MP) next week.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          Parliamentarians had many opportunities to assert a claim to control the service of an Article 50 notice and didn’t bother to do so.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      But we don’t need it to invoke Article 50.

    • Chris S
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Reply To Reply

      If Mrs May submits the notification to leave via Article 50, which we all agree she is entitled to do without reference to Parliament, surely MPs will then be willing to vote for the transfer of all existing EU law into UK law ?

      To fail to do so would leave Parliament unable to govern after the two year notice period expires.

      The government can then decide, after careful consideration, to modify or remove individual areas of the law as they wish and put each and every change to the House for consideration. Among the first changes will need to be to revise our border controls and rights of residency.

      That’s where the trouble will start, especially with the SNP committed to making as much mischief as they can.

      To build confidence in the markets, we need to negotiate some rapid trade deals to show we are open for business and can be successful.

      I would start with trade deals with Canada, Australia and New Zealand which we should be able to wrap up very quickly.

      We could probably accept the stalled EU/Canadian deal with very few, if any, changes. That would teach Brussels an immediate lesson and demonstrate to the remaining EU member states that being a sovereign country is so much better than being just one of 28. It would put Juncker and Co on the back foot.

      Having these early trade deals in place and ready to go would strengthen our negotiating position no end.

      We could also start talking to China sooner rather than later because that deal is likely to take some time to negotiate.

      Ditto the US, but only after Obama is out of office, obviously.

  13. Sean
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Then send that letter Tomorrow and get on with it.
    I don’t want to read rubbish like Hammond came out with yesterday. He said that Brexit could take six years.
    Six months is far to long for me.

  14. Antisthenes
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    On the face of it it appears an eminently sensible approach. It simplifies the procedures negates the need for protracted negotiations. The UK parliament can make changes to the inherited EU laws as when it wishes and the EU can at it’s usual snails pace negotiate what they want the UK to do on trade and cooperation. The EU no doubt will fume at the arrogance of it but they are in a weak position. Without going into detail the EU needs the UK far more than the UK needs it.

    The caveat being that Brussels being the bully boys they are and fearing others will face them down may cut their noses off to spite their face and will take draconian action (which is very much their way of doing things) to discourage others from following the UK’s example.

  15. Antisthenes
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    For good or bad we now have Theresa May as PM. They say to know a person is to know her friends. Well who she picks for her cabinet will tell us whether it is for good or bad.

  16. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    John I am going to save these blogs and wager that absolutely no advance on leaving will be noticed before Christmas possibly even 2017.
    There is much that could be done.
    Suspend the Large Combustion Directive and give the power companies a 10 year extension for the coal fired plant.
    Scrap Gideons stupid carbon tax and encourage ccgt plants to be built and guarantee Base Load payment rather than priority to wind.
    Issue all new National Insurance numbers with a time limit.
    Stop paying benefits to foreigners after 23rd June and stop councils giving social housing to foreigners.
    What’s the betting nothing is done.
    If immigration is above 200,000 next year expect trouble.

  17. Pete
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Why on Earth do we want the passage of EU law into British law? There are mountains of EU regulations that do untold harm to UK business and freedoms. The whole reason for leaving the EU is to get rid of the cloying, choking mass of EU law not make it ours.
    Repeal the 1972 Act, press the Article 50 button, repeal all EU laws and make our own- or better still don’t. Let’s try freedom uncluttered with 50 rules about toothbrushes, 200 about the shape of baths and 500 about vacuum cleaners. Maybe we could actually live our lives without being dictated to by bureaucrats- we could even try using our brains instead.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Yes that is one worrying fact of Mr Redwoods proposal. Probably he means those laws would only apply to business directly related EU UK and would not when UK conducted business with the rest of the world. Alternatively he could mean as a stop gap measure whilst negotiations with the EU take place. The only problem with that is once legislation and regulations are on the statute books they are very hard to get them off again. Perhaps Mr Redwood can elucidate.

  18. eeyore
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The last sentence of Mr Redwood’s proposed letter is delightful. I’m no legal expert (where’s Denis Cooper?), but you don’t have to be one to imagine the joy of lawyers at seeing those wonderfully profitable words.

    So much for merriment. The English have a habit of conducting their revolutions under cover of strict legality. When other nations take to the streets and rip up the cobbles, we buffet dusty law books and learnedly dissect precedents from the fourteenth century. One of the examples we set to lesser nations is this pedantic respect for legal forms. I hope our latest revolution – most seem to agree it is one but no one knows quite why – will continue this grave and proud tradition.

    • Margaret
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      So that is why you call yourself eeyore and I thought it was concerned with the days of.

  19. Graham Wood
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Fully agree that this is the route to take, and an excellent letter of intent.
    Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is a time wasting, expensive, and uncertain route in which the UK would be hostage to fortune, and it is entirely an EU construct which is not necessary for a legal Brexit.
    Once committed to this course it would be very difficult for the UK to extricate itself from the complex politics involved, and at the end of the process any negotiation being subject to QMV by 27 other member states.
    The “fundamental change” in the UK’s position from the economic case presented in 1972 to the highly politicised law making machine which is the present EU fully justifies the clear “fundamental change of circumstances” set out in Article 62 of the Vienna Convention.
    Our next Foreign Secretary should be instructed by the PM to follow this course without delay

  20. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    John, sorry to be so cynical but I really can’t believe any of this will happen and many people are talking about us getting stitched up in the future. I don’t know about the future, I think we have been stitched up now with the way Mrs May has been allowed to take over. We will take ages if ever to leave and then it will be some shambolic agreement which the Brexiteers will be unhappy with.

    I hope UKIP are ready for the fight of their lives. If we thought politics was exciting now – we ain’t seen nothing yet!!

  21. Old Albion
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The big problem with that is, Westminster has no desire to leave and is busy seeking a fudge.

  22. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    OK So we send the letter. Then what?
    Well, in two years we are chucked out. The EU does not want anyone in the way as it morphs into one vast Eurozone run directly from Germany/Paris. The Elite has Associate Membership (as yet undefined but which could well mean colonial status) lined up for us along with Ukraine, Turkey, Norway and Sweden. MM Juncker and Schmidt could easily be enraged. All the Project Fear stuff comes to pass. then what? A grovelling submission to please let us back in?
    We need a safety net. That is the EFTA/EEA. Obviously, after we have left, the safety net can be put away. Without that, we are taking awful risks.

    • Tedgo
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      As to EFTA the Norwegian Prime Minister has already said that our enonomy is too big for their little club, so they do not want us.

      Equally the Norwegian model would require another referendum under the European Union Act 2011 as there would be a further transfer of sovereignty to the EU.

      With the Norwegian model the EU can introduce new or modified diktats, which are binding on us, without the UK having any input or any need for our agreement.

      That referendum could then have a tricky question, do we accept the Norwegian model as that is the best on offer, or do we abandon Brexit.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 14, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        We were a founder member of that club!

    • Mark B
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      It never ever ceases to amaze me that people so well educated and connected, with a broad and thorough view of the world cannot grasp the ‘basic’ concept of FLEXCIT.

      Rather than one big giant leap, all we have to do is take a series of side steps and shuffles. Time here is not the issue. It is getting the EU Commission and the Aquis off our backs and returning to being an independent sovereign nation once more.

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Further to yesterday’s post it seems we were correct when Voteleave won official title. They were indeed the establishment Trojan Horse and we won in spite of them.
    Who is going to have a word with Hammond.
    Does he realise that if we aren’t out of the EU by the 2020 election there will be 17 million seriously pi..ed off voters

    • John Bracewell
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      How true, and many of them will be current Conservative voters. Also with the Labour Party situation as it is or the now seemingly inevitable split, then if UKIP can organise itself reasonably they will get a huge boost on top of the 4 million they got in 2015.

  24. Deborah
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    In contrast to the wall to wall coronation propaganda in the MSM it is refreshing to see that someone is actually keeping an eye on the task ahead and providing solid information on the practical steps required.
    Keep up the good work, John.

  25. Tedgo
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Precisely, kills two birds with one stone.

    Issuing such a letter does not mean we have to start negotiating straightaway, we can still take our time until we are ready. Indeed if two years pass we are out anyway.

    It does signal to the world we are open to business and can start negotiating new trade deals.

    As to the EU they will try to entrap us with complicated new treaties, we have to be prepared to walk away and go the WTO route.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    “In the case of the UK this means passing an Act of Parliament.”

    No! No! No!

    For God’s sake, this plays straight into the hands of those who want to block Brexit.

    https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2016/06/27/nick-barber-tom-hickman-and-jeff-king-pulling-the-article-50-trigger-parliaments-indispensable-role/

    http://2hnci.r.a.d.sendibm1.com/r9z0uvzale3f.html

    Opposed by Lawyers For Britain, supporting the government position:

    http://www.lawyersforbritain.org/brexit-referendum-binding.shtml

    “The legal power to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is in law a prerogative power vested in the Crown, which may be exercised by government ministers without the need for authorisation or consent from Parliament. There is no credible legal argument supporting the legal challenge being advertised by law firm Mishcon de Reya.”

  27. Chris S
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Hopefully we will have some idea how serious Mrs May is when we know the make up of the cabinet.

    If she puts John Redwood, Andrea Leadsom or Michael Gove in as minister for Brexit negotiations, we can be very assured that we will get the very best deal.

    Anyone else I’m afraid we need to start worrying. Those concerns will be on a sliding scale starting with alarm bells ringing very loudly if it were to be Osbourne or Boris (on grounds of competence ) reducing in volume through Hammond and others.

    As for the ladies, I would welcome Teresa Villiers and Andrea Leadsom getting big jobs but Rudd and especially Soubrey definitely not !

    • Horatio
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Rudd , Soubury, greening, Morgan in that order perhaps. It is variously astonishing and infuriating the country that those charged to make brexit happen will be remainers. That T May was supported by the remain campaign. The more I hear brexit means brexit the more I know that brexit means fudge.

  28. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    It may happen, sometime, never. Listening to the likes of Grayling who was a leading Brexiteer doesn’t inspire confidence. Listening to Hammond is worse – leaving won’t happen until 2022! Just enough time for it to never happen. which I beklieve is the intention. There are forces at work amongst Remainers and their many allies in the media to thwart the will of the British people as expressed in the referendum. We are given a daily feed of all the negatives about leaving the EU. Any good news is ignored in just the same way as the numerous public demonstrations and migration problems in the EU were conveniently taken off our screens during and since the campaign.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      No. Just in time for the new treaty the EU is preparing. A treaty that, will hand the UK, Norway and others an ultimatum. Either you accept EU-Lite or, nothing at all.

      EU-Lite being full members of the EU, minus the commitment to EVER CLOSER UNION, joining the Euro and other EU institutions. But we will be expected to pay our full wack ! Honestly, do you really think that the German’s have the cash ?

  29. Dioclese
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Far too simple. Works for me though.

    Notice you’re not commenting on our new PM, John…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Well we shall see how good or dire she will be with her choice of ministers very shortly indeed.

      I am very pessimistic that she can reinvent herself into a proper conservative. So far all we have heard is lefty drivel, more wage control laws, workers & customers on company boards, PC equality drivel and a threat that we will have to suffer more of the rather second rate Tory women MPs we have.

      We have seen more than enough of Rudd, Morgan, Warsi and Soubry types already thanks.

      • zorro
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Rudd in charge of MI5 ??

        zorro

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Ruddy h***.

    • DaveM
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Mr R rarely comments on any of his colleagues – a professional approach in my opinion.

      She wouldn’t have been my choice for PM, but maybe like me he thinks we should give the woman a chance.

  30. Glen Wilson
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Letter

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Please, please, please JR, remove that sentence from your article or you may have Mishcon de Reya et al citing it in support of their attempts to keep us in the EU.

    That’s quite apart from the fact that as far as I can see the kind of Bill you describe would merely be another way of ensuring that our domestic legislation was compatible with our continuing EU obligations.

    And I’m not sure that you can tell the European Council that the notice is “in accordance with Article 50” of the EU treaties and at the same time say that the UK is withdrawing from the EU “under the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties”. I can see that you could invoke the specific Article 50 in the EU treaties, and then later after a period of fruitless negotiations give up on it in despair and fall back on the general provisions in the Convention, but if you do both from the start are you not in effect saying that you reject the EU treaties in their entirety but still wish to make use of that particular part?

    • hefner
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Denis for all of your messages and the precision so they include.
      Either JR keeps being deluded, or even worse, he does not know! Absolutely depressing.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        It is much more likely that it is JR who knows what he is talking about.

        The question I would have over his approach of repealing the EC Act 72 and just stopping contributions is the EU would see it as hostile and there would be no clear market access agreement. It might come by grudging default anyway after a few years and other crises have overtaken Brexit for the zeal. In the meantime uncertainty will cloud the business and investment outlook and cost jobs and living standards. This might be OK if we had a radical reforming free market government which would move the UK to a European Hong Kong or Singapore, or even Switzerland. But Mrs May has said enough already to make it clear we do not. So we need a more cautious, consensual approach which doesn’t frighten the horses.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Typo: for the EU not ‘zeal’ sorry

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          As I said a couple of days ago:

          “If you are not prepared to believe me on this perhaps you will believe Martin Howe QC and his colleagues at Lawyers For Britain:

          http://www.lawyersforbritain.org/brexit-referendum-binding.shtml

          “It is sometimes loosely said that Parliament has “ratified” a treaty when it passes an Act which gives effect to a treaty in the UK’s internal law. But this is inaccurate – Parliament enacts the necessary changes in the law and the Crown then ratifies the treaty under its prerogative powers. They are separate acts, one by Parliament the law-maker, and the other by the Crown exercising its international treaty powers.”

          Or perhaps you will accept these FCO internal guidelines on treaties:

          https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/293976/Treaties_and_MoU_Guidance.pdf

          If you look in the glossary on page 26 you’ll find:

          “Ratification: follows signature and signifies the consent of a state to be bound by the treaty.”

          You’ll also find on page 6: “Ratification of treaties”

          “It is important to note that from the date a treaty enters into force for the UK, it places international obligations on the UK vis-a-vis the other party or parties. It is essential therefore that the UK is in a position to fulfil its obligations as from that date, and does not become legally bound until it has the necessary domestic powers to give effect to the provisions of the treaty; otherwise it will be in breach of its international obligations.”

  32. cosmic
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    A teensy weensy snag is that you have to get parliament to vote for the repeal of the ECA. Note the attempts to have invoking Art 50 only by parliamentary approval, rather than done by royal prerogative. This is clearly in the hope that the mainly europhile parliament would effectively overthrow the result of the referendum.

    The ECA has to be repealed or amended eventually, which will involve parliament, however, far better to have used Art 50 by royal prerogative, gone through the process and at the end of it leave no sensible alternative but to repeal or amend the ECA.

  33. acorn
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties under Article 62 (Fundamental Change of Circumstance). Clausula rebus sic stantibus.

    If the parties to a treaty had contemplated for the occurrence of the changed circumstance the doctrine does not apply and the provision remains in effect. Clausula rebus sic stantibus only relates to changed circumstances that were never contemplated by the parties. This principle is clarified in the Fisheries Jurisdiction Case (United Kingdom v. Iceland, 1973). Although it is clear that a fundamental change of circumstances might justify terminating or modifying a treaty, unilateral denunciation of a treaty is prohibited; a party does not have the right to denounce a treaty unilaterally.” (Wiki)

  34. JoolsB
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    If only we might now see sensible people like you John in May’s cabinet, experienced politicians who we can trust to implement Brexit in it’s entirety but I fear it’s going to be very much the same old same old. We need a total re-shuffle with a mixture of remainers and leavers rather than just those who backed her. I don’t trust any of the remainers to implement Brexit, not one of them.

    May has said she wants an equal number of women in the cabinet so it looks like we will probably probably have to suffer the likes of Soubry & Rudd again, not because they have talent, which they don’t, but because they were May’s main cheerleaders.

    Still gutted Andrea pulled out, she would have won the membership vote easily. Instead we have a coronation thanks to the votes of 199 self serving MPs who are now no doubt waiting for the ‘phone call from Theresa as their reward!!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      It is a tragedy Gove murders Boris then the Times and the remain hyenas got to Leadsom over nothing at all.

      Certainly lots of the very nasty indeed party are supporting Theresa May.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    “Most are agreed that exit is secured by repeal of the 1972 Act … ”

    I certainly don’t agree; as I explained at great length yesterday:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2016/07/12/brexit-means-brexit/#comments

    that is not the case.

    http://www.lawyersforbritain.org/brexit-referendum-binding.shtml

    “Under the UK’s constitution, it is the Crown (the Queen acting under the Royal Prerogative in practice on the advice of government ministers) which has the power to enter into and withdraw from international treaties.”

    “Although the Crown has extensive powers over international treaties which as a matter of law can be exercised without reference to Parliament, it has no power to alter the internal laws of the United Kingdom. This can only be done by Parliament, or under specific powers granted by Parliament. This means that the Crown is in practice unable to ratify international treaties which contain obligations to alter the internal law of the United Kingdom without Parliament first having made the necessary changes in the law, or at least being very confident that Parliament will make the required changes, or it would end up in breach of its international treaty obligations.

    It is sometimes loosely said that Parliament has “ratified” a treaty when it passes an Act which gives effect to a treaty in the UK’s internal law. But this is inaccurate – Parliament enacts the necessary changes in the law and the Crown then ratifies the treaty under its prerogative powers. They are separate acts, one by Parliament the law-maker, and the other by the Crown exercising its international treaty powers.

    Parliament has made the necessary changes in the UK’s internal laws to give effect to the European Union treaties, mainly through the European Communities Act 1972 …”

    The UK is in the EU by virtue of its instruments to ratify the EU treaties, not by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972, and so repeal of the 1972 Act alone would leave us still in the EU but potentially in breach of our EU treaty obligations.

    Reply I do not agree.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Then I suggest you consult Martin Howe QC.

      We are a dualist not a monist state, so for example the Act to approve the Lisbon Treaty changed our domestic law and thus made it possible for the UK government to ratify the treaty, but that ratification was a separate diplomatic action.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7465665.stm

      “THE RATIFICATION PROCESS”

      “Parliament approves bill to ratify treaty
      The Queen gives Royal assent
      The”instruments of ratification” are drawn up by the Foreign Office
      These documents – three pages of goatskin parchment – are sent to the Queen
      The Queen signs the front page and a warrant authorising them
      The documents return to the Foreign Office and are signed by the foreign secretary
      They are sent to the Crown Office in the House of Lords who affix the great seal
      The documents return to the Foreign Office, are tied in a blue ribbon and bound in blue leather
      They are sent to the British Embassy in Rome and then to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
      Only then is ratification complete.”

      (It’s always the Italian government because since the beginning Italy has always been designated as the depositary state for EU treaties.)

    • Mark B
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      It matters not who is right or wrong on this issue. It is up to the Government based on advice from its lawyers. I am content to leave it in their hands, as now the matter post referendum is for them.

      We the people have done our bit. We here have debated and tried to convince our kind host via argument the folly of his ways. He chooses to ignore us. But does he have the confidence of the new PM and of Parliament ? I think not. Ergo, this argument is mute.

      • hefner
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Why should JR be convinced by people on this blog? He is responsible to the people in his constituency, not to people all over the UK and overseas, and how these people will react will only be seen at the next GE.

        • acorn
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          “… responsible to the people in his constituency,”

          Wokingham Constituency voted Remain (by some margin). MPs are representatives of their Constituency, not delegates. In a referendum, you vote for a “thing” not a “person” as you would in a election.

          A Constituency referendum result, should delegate an MP to follow the wishes of that Constituency in parliament.

          Reply No-ne knows how Wokingham constituency voted. You are citing the figures for the Wokingham Council area which includes 4 bits of 4 constituencies including my own. I also have parts of West Berkshire which voted overall more for Leave than Wokingham Council area. None of the Remain MPs in seats where it appears far higher percentages voted for Leave are planning to resign or change their minds, though they will now be speaking and voting against the national result.

    • acorn
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Denis, I agree with you. A supra national agreement (Treaty) is disconnected from any domestic legislation. Repealing domestic legislation, does not disconnect you from an international Treaty. I thought previously that repealing the 1972 act did the disconnection job. The international legal lady (now retired) in my old EU number crunching group says, it does not!

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Dear Donald

    As you know the British people voted to leave the European Union in the referendum held on June 23rd. In accordance with the promise made by the government before the vote I must now inform you that the United Kingdom intends to leave the Union.

    This letter may be taken as the formal notification required by Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, without prejudice to the general right of withdrawal under the 1968 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties … “

    • Chris
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I think this is what is required, Denis.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink
      • sjb
        Posted July 14, 2016 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        I think the last few words of Article 5 would preclude application of the Convention: ‘The present Convention applies to any treaty […] without prejudice to any relevant rules [Art 50 TEU] of the organization [EU].’

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          The “relevant rules” extend beyond Article 50; the EU is supposed to be based on the rule of law and part of that is performing the agreed treaties in good faith.

          Actually France is not a party to the Convention, but then the US has also signed it but never ratified it.

  37. Lifelogic
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Carney had no sensible answers to give to the excellent Jacob Rees Mogg. He even tried to question Mogg’s motives. Carney must be dismissed. He has been hopeless anyway but what he did in the referendum campaign was an outrage.

    As of course was what Cameron, Osborne, the treasury, the BBC and Theresa May did. Theresa especially with her blatant lies to the voters about “having control of our borders through Schengen within the EU”.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic,

      Also a nice Ashoka Mody (Princeton, also has researched at IMF) article on Bloomberg website ‘Stop being so gloomy about Brexit’ , basically suggests Carney should do nothing to best restore confidence and normalcy. Well worth the quick read, to realise that we are not alone at being taken a back by Carney’s presentations.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I do not know if it was lies or just an opinion based on ignorance. Come on LL, think about it ? What sensible policies have any of these people actually come up with ?

      Calm down dear.

  38. Kenneth
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood I think your letter is spot on.

    There are plenty of people out there who want to muddy the waters and spin this out either because they want to remain in the eu or because they want to create as much needless work as possible and create yet more non-real jobs.

  39. Lifelogic
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Why do the BBC endlessly have Vince Cable on as some kind of “expert” on economic affairs plus all the rest of the lefty (John Major & Baron Finkelstein types endlessly too)?

    Yet very rarely do we see the sorts of people who have been proved consistently right on the economy and indeed the EU. People like JR, Prof. Patrick Minford and the likes.

  40. Pauline Moirhouse
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Reading all the responses I get the feeling that there isn’t anyone in this country who has any idea what to do. The majority of the people in this country voted to leave the EU. The ability to protect our borders, keep laws already in place which are ethical and environmentally necessary for the wellbeing of us all and get rid of those which strangulate business opportunities. To be able to use the £350 billion we pay for the benefit of this country. Energised business negotiations with Countries in Europe and the rest of the world. I don’t for one minute think that you believe things will be simple but there has been so much huffing, puffing, feet dragging and negativity that what you suggest probably is the best way forward as the rest of them can’t see the wood for the trees.

  41. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood – you omit one thing from your recommended way forward … how are you going to get parliament to vote for it?

    I am not interested in, or taken in by, comments by our future PM that ‘Brexit is Brexit’. I can hear the words now ‘To leave the EU we need to repeal the 1972 act – but MPs will not allow that. I can do no more. Despite the people voting to leave the EU, parliament will not allow it.’

    What then? Suck it up?

  42. graham1946
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Good luck with trying to get your leader to send it.

  43. Mark
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    We already passed an Act that gives the Government the necessary constitutional authority to invoke Article 50 – the 2015 Referendum Act, with the authority being established through the Leave vote.

    As I pointed out yesterday, the timing of an Article 50 notice is a tactical matter, trying to secure a moment when the Council might appoint a more favourable negotiating team under 218 (3). There are a lot of EU elections and several referenda coming up in the course of the next two years, including Romania and Bulgaria, referenda in Hungary and Italy this year, and next year we have Netherlands in March, France in May/June, Germany and Czech Republic in October. Periods of elections in major countries at least may prove to be unlikely to produce any progress in actual agreement, although it can usefully serve as a period to table items in any negotiation.

    We will need to keep an eagle eye on public and government opinion across the EU. Embassies in all EU capitals should report directly to the Brexit minister on these matters.

  44. adams
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Is it not impossible to get the 1972 Act repealed given the Liebour /SNP and Tory remainiacs would have the majority in the HoC ??
    Commiserations on your new PM .

  45. adams
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    John , your clock is one 1 hour out . I posted my comment at 11.37 !

    • hefner
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Could it be that being a website open internationally, it is on Universal Time?

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I increasingly feel that:

    “This letter may be taken as the formal notification required by Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, without prejudice to any general right recognised in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties … “

    may be the way to go.

    It says “We agreed that if any member state wanted to leave the EU then it should use the procedure laid down in Article 50 TEU, so that is what we propose to do”, but adds the implied rider “However if you do not negotiate in good faith, if we are mucked about, we will break off the negotiations and suspend the operation of the EU treaties”.

    The grounds which could then be presented to the world at large to justify our unilateral suspension of the EU treaties being Articles 26 and 60 in the Vienna Convention:

    http://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/1_1_1969.pdf

    Article 26:

    “Pacta sunt servanda”

    “Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.”

    Article 60:

    “Termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty as a consequence of its breach”.

    “2. A material breach of a multilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles …

    … (b) a party specially affected by the breach to invoke it as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty in whole or in part in the relations between itself and the defaulting State …

    … 3. A material breach of a treaty, for the purposes of this article, consists in …

    (b) the violation of a provision essential to the accomplishment of the object or purpose of the treaty.”

    Specifically, Articles 2, 3 and 8 TEU.

  47. John O'Leary
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    JR, Could you please explain why the principle of “lex specialis derogat legi generali” does not apply to our legal commitment to leave the EU only via Article 50 vis-a-vis the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties?

  48. Chris
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I fear that May will just try to negotiate a better deal for the UK still attached to the EU and thus be repeating what Cameron tried to do and failed. We, the electorate, rejected that renegotiation, and we voted to Leave, full stop. So, we have been there and done that. We should not now be attempting to get a different type of membership package. We want to be free from the EU. We can still trade with it without having to join the single market and be burdened with less than optimal on conditions for that privilege. We do not have to compromise. We are in the winning position/driving seat. It is a complete myth that we have to grovel and take part in a Merkel type endless negotiation into the early hours, such as we had with Greece. That was because Greece was in the EU and wanted to stay. We have voted Leave, and are not having to beg for anything.

    I fully agree with what Roger Helmer has just stated, and this should be the starting point for our leaving the EU, at the same time as invoking swift Article 50 without delay:

    “Brexit means Brexit”, says Theresa May. But does she actually know what Brexit means? A story in today’s Express suggests not. May says she will make control of immigration her top demand in her Brexit negotiations with the EU. But Theresa, Brexit means we’ll be an independent country again. We don’t have to go cap-in-hand to Brussels to request permission (Please Sir can we have our ball back?) to control immigration. As an independent nation, we just do it. That’s what independence – and Brexit – mean …more>…”

    • Chris
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      NB Correction to my comment above: I stated “We should now be trying to get a different type of membership package”. That is incorrect. What I should have said is “We should now be focusing on getting out of the EU and disentangling ourselves from it and all the membership commitments”.

  49. Stuart Saint
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Re: Sharing Your Posts
    I want to share your posts to my Twitter feed, I’m not particularly tech savvie and can’t se how to do this as your site is configured, so can you add a “share” icon for Twitter, Facebook or any other SM site your readers would like please?

  50. Chris S
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    While many of us have profound disagreements with David Cameron on some areas of policy, few would dispute his consummate skills at the Dispatch Box and his ability to operate on the World Stage.

    We could have no better demonstration of that than today’s PMQs. Cameron had full control over the house and his humour and professionalism made Corbyn look like a rank amateur. How Labour MPs must wish they had someone in their ranks that could match him ! No wonder many were magnanimous enough to join in the standing ovation.

    We cannot expect Mrs May to do anything like as well. The humour will be toned down but she will, at least, be more than a match for Corbyn.

    Whether Mrs May would do as well against another opposition leader is open to doubt. After all, even the unelectable Ms Eagle was able to make Osbourne look distinctly average.

    It is often easy to overlook the value to the Country of having such a consummate politician to represent us on the World Stage.

    Many from all sides may question their policies but it is what made Thatcher, Blair and Cameron so respected on the wider world stage. Contrast them with Brown or Corbyn.

    In many respects he will be missed.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      PMQ’s does not matter, it is just bread and circuses. The majority of the population have no interest in it, nothing much is ever answered, it just provides a weekly jolly of the Parliamentarians to pretend they are earning their money and to be seen. Most days the green benches are virtually empty as are a lot of the politicians. They won’t turn up for serious debate, but it’s standing room only for this weekly charade.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Good at presentation, poor judgement.
      I think that latter to be more important in a Prime Minister.

  51. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Before Mr Cameron’s speeds off to an unknown destination with a sharp eye on the rear-view mirror, can someone ask him for the receipt of the arms sent to Syria? Those arms first mentioned by his then Foreign Secretary The Rt Hon Hague as being discussed/considered. Then silence for a week or so. Then denied by Mr Hague that there was ever any idea of it. Then 3 weeks later BBC news behaving as though arms being sent to Syria was a continual-known.
    They were pictured in news broadcasts with some smiling bearded Islamic extremist guerrilla group in Syria—- 3 or 4 of them stroking brand new British guns in some bombed-out building. Did they pay for them? Has the money been received? Are they being returned to the UK so they can be re-sold to some other liberation and freedom-giving exercise by the next Foreign Secretary?

  52. Hoggy
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    As I read the above comments and see that even here no one seems to agree as to how we leave the EU – whether by A50, repeal of ECA72 or Vienna A62, or a combination of them all. So there is not much hope that Government can find a way given the majority of MP’s don’t want to leave the EU anyway. It seems any attempt to get any legislation through the HoC or worse ‘the other place’ will be blocked without question thus causing a constitutional crisis – vis-a viz – the people v Parliament – and didn’t we once cut off a King’s head to establish our democracy. I sincerely hope Parliament does not try to overturn/overrule the sovereignty of the British people as it would be a dangerous direction to follow.

    Ona lighter note the EU reminds me of the last line in ‘Hotel California’
    ‘You can check out any time you like – but you can never leave !’

  53. ken moore
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Excellent clear and thoughtfull……unfortunately as mr redwood doesnt have a womb or ovaries he is unlikely to get the chance to send such a letter…

    It seems that having what is called a ‘gay’ lifestyle also helps the modern politician /journalist achieve power but i suspect many voters prefer their decision makers to be sombre and serious not carefree and light-hearted. …so no diversity boxes ticked

    Mrs May thanked her staff for helping the home office become a ‘champion of the vulnerable ‘…..ie she is a politically correct zealot who will continue the work of blair with his bus lanes, the making of kings of the criminal and lazy and ridicule of the wealthy and succesful..
    Ukip could not have a better recruiting sargeant…

  54. hefner
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to JR for his promotion as (head?)writer in the typists’pool at Mrs May’s Ministry for Brexit!

  55. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been watching the Treasury Select Committee here:

    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/edd13153-7ed7-48b3-9643-472e6be0462e

    and I was particularly interested to hear a chap advising that the two year deadline in Article 50 should not be taken as a strict deadline, in his experience while there are still interests to be sorted out trade negotiations will normally continue despite any nominal deadline set at the beginning.

    For more than a decade I viewed the prescription of a two year negotiating period in Article 50 not as a cunning means to open up the withdrawing state to duress, but rather as a guarantee to the withdrawing state that it would not be compelled to stay in the EU for longer than that period after saying that it intended to leave.

    It is only comparatively recently that it has been turned round to be presented as a potentially huge built-in disadvantage for the withdrawing state during the process of negotiation. Along with that, the idea that the whole of the two years would be taken up with coming to agreements on minor issues such as pensions for MEPs and officials rather than getting down to the crucially important issue of trade.

    • Mark
      Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      The two year deadline doesn’t apply to negotiations at all. It only applies to the time for which we remain bound to EU treaties. The negotiations in principle have no time limit, until they are successfully concluded – and the EU is obligated to negotiate, not stone wall. I find it shocking that so-called experts miss the simple implications of simple words.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 14, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        It only applies to the time for which we remain bound to EU treaties, unless we agree that it should be extended and the others concur.

  56. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Bank of Canada , two hours ago, says it’s holding rates steady. We can expect the BoE saying the same and taking one hour to say it along with indicating the UK economy will soon have a zombie currency with werewolves prowling the London Stock Exchange.

  57. Margaret
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I spent many years with people over the phone, and I don’t know who they were to this day ,to tell me to keep things simple .( I always suspected that my vocabulary was not understood or seen as derogatory by others reading into a possible ambiguity incorrectly ..not so ) I see you have achieved the simple in this letter. Surely we don’t need a brexiteer department to write this educating Rita summary, although I am sure it is more effective than the long winded drivel which goes on in academia. A* for this letter.

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Ms May in a BMW trying to send a signal?

  59. Nigel
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Send the letter, stop all payments, and wait for them to negotiate.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 14, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      They want to negotiate! They are saying “Get on and put in your formal notice so that we can start to negotiate, why are you holding up negotiations?”.

  60. graham1946
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    If Brexit is not done and dusted by 2020, it never will be. After the next election, whoever wins, they will say it is a new Parliament and is not bound by the previous one. That’s why Hammond is hoping to keep us in for 6 more years and why the Remainers will do all they can to delay. It must not be allowed to happen, but with Parliament the way it is, I have little faith in it or May to represent what the people want.

  61. James Rodgers
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    The link does not seem to have transposed properly . Here it is again: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125333

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 14, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      That’s barmy.

  62. Chris S
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I’ll take back all the doubts I expressed earlier about Teresa May and Brexit.

    Slightly uneasy about Boris at the F&CO but he can sell Britain like few others can, especially in his second home, the USA. Ditto our new International Trade Secretary who also has superb contacts in the US and other NATO countries from his time at Defence.

    Then we have David Davies as Secretary for Brexit. An excellent feet-to-the-fire appointment. All we need now is an important Brexit role for our host.

    Glad Fallon stays at defence. Hated the suggestion that his job might go to Soubre.

    Could the PM put Michael Gove back at education to finish off what he so cleverly started ?

  63. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 14, 2016 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Off Topic:

    Boris:
    That I can mention someone simply by a Christian name in the UK and every man and his dog knowing immediately just to whom I refer says much.
    Listening to people in the media, journalists and politicians, I feel they dwell on the planet Dummkopf.

    I thought I was quite alone on this planet Earth until I saw Boris on a BBC Question Time panel. They were discussing “Satanic Verses” and Salmon Rushdie. Boris remarked :-
    “The real question is whether it is literature.”

    Also he has been mayor of a capital city for some years which is several times the size of most EU nations.Should he be Foreign Secretary they laugh, those from Dummkopf.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 14, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Not everyone is scoffing Christopher, we were happy, everyone at work this morning is quite excited by his appointment, Labour and Conservative people.

      Let them mock for now, he is a man of learning, educated by some of the best establishments in our Country on scholarships not by family wealth, people warm to Boris and I honestly believe he would have been re-elected in London if he chose to run for another term.

  64. Colin Iles
    Posted July 14, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    John, I wondered what your reaction would be to the response I’ve just received from the government to my signing a recent petition. (They seemed very keen for me to unsubscribe from the petition!) :-

    “The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Repeal the 1972 European Communities Act immediately on EU Referendum OUT vote.”.

    Government responded:

    The rules for exit are set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. As the Prime Minister said on 27 June, this is the only legal way that has been set out to leave the EU.

    The rules for exit are set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The Government set out the process for Article 50 in the policy paper, ‘The process for withdrawing from the European Union’, published on 29 February 2016. Paragraph 3.2 in the paper states that:

    The UK’s membership of the EU is established by the EU Treaties, and Article 50 is the process set out in the Treaties for Member States to follow when leaving. It is the only lawful way to withdraw from the EU. It would be a breach of international and EU law to withdraw unilaterally from the EU (for example, by simply repealing the domestic legislation that gives the EU law effect in the UK). Such a breach would create a hostile environment in which to negotiate either a new relationship with the remaining EU Member States, or new trade agreements with non-EU countries.

    The House of Lords EU Committee report on ‘The process of withdrawing from the European Union’ of 4 May has also said that “If a Member State decides to withdraw from the EU, the process described in Article 50 is the only way of doing so consistent with EU and international law.”

    The Prime Minister said on 27 June in his statement to the House of Commons on the referendum that “the only legal way that has been set out to leave the EU is by triggering Article 50”.

    The Prime Minister has been clear that the decision to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU will be for the next British Prime Minister and the next Cabinet.

    Foreign and Commonwealth Office”

    Best regards
    Colin

    Reply If the government bothered to read Article 50 they will see its first sentence says we can withdraw using our own arrangements!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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