The government says it will respect the law

Yesterday the government rightly said it would respect the law. It also hinted at a major problem with the European Withdrawal Number 2 Act recently passed by both Houses. It is by no means clear how the government could comply with it, especially given the Kinnock amendment incorporated into it. The rule of law is an important concept. It usually includes the propositions that law has to be clear, reasonable and enforceable. Statute law carries the authority of being passed by Parliament but still needs to meet these tests for the court to enforce it. Quite often the courts and Parliament have exchanges about what the law means and how it should be applied.

This European Withdrawal Act of Parliament says the government “must seek to obtain from the European Council an extension” to UK membership for three months, if no agreement has been reached which Parliament approves . It goes on to give a reason – “to debate and pass a Bill to implement the Agreement between the UK and the EU (The Mrs May Withdrawal Treaty)…including provisions reflecting the outcome of the interparty talks as announced by the Prime Minister on 21 May 2019, and in particular the need for the UK to secure changes to the Political Declaration to reflect the outcome of those inter party talks”.

So the government is asked to pass a major piece of constitutional legislation which the Parliament has three times rejected, with no promises or guarantees from the official Opposition they will change their mind and now vote for it in a Parliament where the government has no majority and has numerous government supporting MPs who do not  agree with the Agreement. In addition it is asked to negotiate a new Political Declaration to include unspecified outcomes from talks which both sides said ended without agreement . Who will share with us what were the outcomes of the talks that now have to be negotiated into the Political declaration and what if he EU will not consent to those changes?

The draft letter laid down in the Act for the PM to send requesting an extension does not offer any reasons to the EU why an extension should be granted because it was drafted on the assumption the Kinnock amendment would not pass. The EU has previously said it would grant more time to secure the passage of the draft Withdrawal Treaty agreed with Mrs May, but later concluded the UK Parliament was not going to pass it given the long and acrimonious debates and the three votes against. The EU has also said it might grant an extension for an election or second referendum, but Parliament has expressly voted against an early election to resolve matters, and has not supported a second referendum on the various occasions it has considered this idea. There cannot now be an election prior to the exit date currently enshrined in UK and EU law.

How could anyone  enforce a law of this kind on an unwilling government when Parliament is asking the government to do something which cannot be done or is based on a false assumption? The evidence is Parliament does not want to vote for the Withdrawal Treaty unamended, and there is no agreed set of changes to the Political declaration emerging from the inter party talks to take up with the EU. This law is a mess. It does not mention a so called “No Deal” Brexit, and does not take it off the table. It seeks to exit the EU based on the current Withdrawal Treaty which has thrice been rejected by the very same Parliament passing this Act. Government lawyers need to analyse this Act carefully.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Sir J0hn,

    The whole situation just does not ‘smell right’. Britain’s future must not be decided by something which would never pass the pub test. Suggests the ‘ignorant plebs’ have more common sense than the ‘intellectuals’ representing them.

    • Simeon
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      This legislation is a first, faltering, unnecessary step in an attempt by this Parliament to find something it agrees on. I would suggest that if this Parliament succeeds in agreeing on something other than ‘let the people decide’, with the people having a choice between no deal or remain, the only two coherent options, then there will be a reckoning. The question is, will BJ side with the people or Parliament? He must choose between no deal or remain himself. Any kind of fudge or third way won’t cut it.

      • rose
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Remain should not be on the ballot paper. The electorate has already rejected it.

      • Peter
        Posted September 13, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        It is all part of the plan to thwart Brexit while claiming to respect the referendum result.
        Box in a minority government. Deny them a General Election. Hopefully damage them at the same time as destroying Brexit.

        At the same time push the idea of another referendum with a choice between Remain and Brexit in Name Only.

        All aided and abetted by Continuity Remain in the Houses of Parliament and the judiciary and media and presided over by a blatantly biased Remain Speaker.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Very little English law, especially property law would probably pass the “pub test”.

      I agree with John to a degree that this is an unusual position, but it is not unduly complex, it seems to me.

      I have not read the Act, but my understanding is that it specifies the wording of a letter which should be sent to the European Union under the relevant conditions.

      If so then that would appear to be pretty clear and simple.

      If the UK had a fully codified constitution, then John could make a claim in the courts that this law breached it in some way, but the UK doesn’t have one.

      Perhaps you should be campaigning for just that, John?

      • rose
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        A fully codified constitution would land us with more well intentioned idiocies like the FTPA.

    • Bob
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink


      “the ‘ignorant plebs’ have more common sense than the ‘intellectuals’ representing them.”

      Being intellectual doesn’t appear to be a prerequisite to becoming an MP.

      I’ll name no names.

    • bigneil
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      It is the “ignorant plebs” that have to live with the results that the “intellectuals” come up with. Mass immigration is shoved onto the working class areas, not the high class expensive areas. It is the worst off that have to pay for them, not the live abroad, tax avoiding rich.

  2. Newmania
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Basically its simple; you cannot force No Deal on the country by default. There is no mandate no Parliamentary support and the clear majority in the country do not want it.
    This verdant farce has grown for the original seed, the great lie which was that we could leave the EU and retain the economic advantages of staying in it.
    We all know the problem, but how to fix it ? I think it should go back to the people.
    Remain v No Deal – Those are the real life options

    • Shirley
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Stop the lies. Parliament knew, when it voted for A50, that we would leave, with or without a deal. They also knew that the legal default was ‘no deal’ when they voted for the EU Withdrawal Act.

      There is an extremely good video on Raheem Kassans facebook page, showing many high profile Remainers ‘warning’ that we would leave on WTO terms if necessary, and that no deal is better than a bad deal.

      • Carrie in Norwich
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        So you want Brexit to happen on the terms claimed by the Remain campaign, which lost the referendum!! You are joking, I presume

      • Newmania
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Clearly the majority in Parliament do not feel that by voting through A 50 they were assenting to no deal

        • libertarian
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink


          Then they should have read A50 before they voted for it

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          As described in detail here:

          the Second Reading vote on February 1st 2017 was preceded by a vote on an SNP amendment which would have stopped the Second Reading on any one of five grounds, the last being:

          “… as withdrawal from the European Union follows two years after the invoking of Article 50 if agreement is not reached in the forthcoming negotiations, unless they are prolonged by unanimity.”

          So even if some MPs had forgotten that aspect of Article 50 before the SNP highlighted it they were given a timely reminder.

    • eeyore
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      No sir, you frame the question falsely in the hope of seizing an advantage. By your own argument the real choice is between Ever Closer Union and Independence.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      But we have Hard Remain instead. Because no way can we get Remain – as was – back. It must be made clear that a new Remain will be a mandate to drop all opt outs and take us fully into the EU.

      I disagree that a referendum is the solution because the same result as 2016 will give us the same problem as we have now – a Parliament out of kilter with the voters. A general election please.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        We know full well what leader and what manifesto would utterly destroy Labour in a general election. Clue. It’s not yours, Newmania.

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        We’ve had a general election since the referendum. The voters have had a say about Brexit already! You people keep moaning about a remainer parliament…but that was the one voted in in 2017!

        • Edward2
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

          Not if you believed the manifestos of the Labour and Conservatives and believed the PM who said on over 100 occasions that no deal was better than a bad deal.
          My MP, who represents a leave voting constituency, said just that, but once elected tried every way possible to stop us leaving.
          Imagine Simon your MP had done that to you.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

          Most candidates said they would support Brexit !

    • Amanda
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Repeating the Remainers mantra in your post does not make it true it just reinforces your own misconceptions. It will then be harded for you to accept the truth when the UK leaves the EU on 31st October followed by a General Election which Boris will win. Give up my Friend you are only hurting yourself the country has moved on and the antics of the last week have moved it on further. The country is doing well the EU is failing, we are heading for the open seas of Independence, may God bless all who sail with us. .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      The “great lie” is that Brexit, especially a no deal Brexit, would be a disaster.

    • sm
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Newmania, for the sake of brevity, let’s accept your hypothesis that there was a Great Economic Lie, and that no Leaver had considered for many years the concept of ever-greater political and legal union, as manifested in the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties.

      And let’s accept your proposal for a 2nd Referendum:

      if the outcome were ‘No Deal’, what percentage of the electorate do you suppose would trust the current HoC to respect the result?

      • what tiler
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        No problem sm. There is no way in hell that the forces of anti-democracy would permit “no deal” to be on the ballot. That’s how the EU second referendum shuffle works.

        • rose
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

          It has to be “a credible Leave option”. That is to say, BRINO.

    • dixie
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      The country isn’t being forced, Parliament agreed that we should leave on a particular date absent any withdrawal agreement and deal, that is the law that applies.

      The EU rule is quite simple, there can be no deal until we have actually left the EU and they have decided outside Article 50 that a deal can only be negotiated if we have signed the Withdrawal Agreement and paid them money.

      BTW The remainiac parliament does not want to test the true desire of the country.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      The default position which a majority of MPs signed up to when they agreed to trigger article 50 is NO DEAL.

    • clive lester
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      An election would have sorted that , however when asked twice , the opposition and others said no. Clearly the Conservatives want to leave the others ,well who knows this morning .

    • Woody
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      The 2016 referendum result was clearly and loudly based on the remain promoting propaganda pamphlet from Cameron, sent to every household, that spelt out in no uncertain terms that we were voting to leave the single market and the customs union. There can be no reasonable doubt that that meant “no deal” was the backstop if the eu was not prepared to agree an alternative trading arrangement differing from WTO rules, which the world generally traded by competitively already. What can seriously be different from the basis of the 2016 referendum result and your idea. You and the remain establishment are treating us like plebs and idiots … the public is not a bunch of idiots as I am confident you will find out when the opposition to democracy finally finds it cannot avoid a general election.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink


      Totally wrong Parliament VOTED on it, passed it by a large margin and now leaving with no deal is actually the law

      Just so you know THERE ARE NO ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES to staying in the EU

      You still haven’t got back to me on your rampant assertions that all the city jobs were moving to Frankfurt, Paris and Brussels. They are leaving it a bit late, oh and Goldman Sachs just opened their new £1 billion European HQ …. in London

      • Pominoz
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 2:26 am | Permalink

        ” oh and Goldman Sachs just opened their new £1 billion European HQ …. in London”

        With SIR Olly on board !!! Thought he was supposed to go to Brussels.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      A clear majority in the country don’t want to remain in the EU, so why have you got Remain as an option in your new referendum question ?

    • dennisambler
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      “The clear majority in the country do not want it.”

      Not from my conversations and observations.

    • Andy
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      ‘No Deal’ is the Law and Parliament did not seek to amend that Law.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Parliament has legislated for no deal and that law is on the Statute Book.

    • Dr Evil
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      We already voted Remain vs leave. We had two years to agree a ‘deal’. This did not happen. According to Article 50 if there is no agreement we leave with ‘no deal’. That’s the default and we should leave on those terms.

      • pauline baxter
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Dr Evil You are doctor good.

      • Chris
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Quite right, and if Newmania needs his memory refreshing he should take a look at the interviews with David Cameron during the Referendum campaign, and also his Chatham House speech on 10 Nov 2015.
        “It will be your decision whether we remain in the EU, or whether we leave. It will be the final decision. You, the British people, will decide. NOT politicians, NOT parliament… just you! And it will be the final decision. The EU referendum will be a once in a generation choice. An IN or OUT referendum. When the British people speak, their voice will be respected – not ignored. There will not be another renegotiation and another referendum. Think very carefully, because this Choice cannot be undone. If you think we should leave – and leave means leave – then campaign for that and vote for it… ”

        Furthermore this interview with Hillary Benn during the campaign could not be clearer:
        “Hillary Benn 2016 videoclip. If you vote to Leave you vote to get out.”

      • julie williams
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, Robin Tillbrook took the extension of Article 50 to court and was summarily dismissed.
        Strange that flimsy Remain appeals are allowed to go through the system….and that Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament is challenged and he has even been forced to disclose documents wheras Blair went unchallenged in 1999.

        • Helena
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

          Tillbrook’s case was an attempt to empower the government at the expense of Parliament. It failed. Miller and Cherry were exposing attempts by the government to neuter Parliament. Their cases succeeded. Is this a wicked conspiracy? Or is it protection of our sovereign Parliament? Think it through

          • julie williams
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            Think of this…
            Tillbrook is appealing but no urgency has been given to him yet the deadline he is appealing was 29 March, 20119.
            Remainers are given urgent consideration despite the fact that their deadlines haven’t yet been reached.
            As for “sovereign Parliament”; they need to remember that their sovereignity exists through democracy and that is the very thing that they are playing fast and loose with.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            Well. Clearly there is a big difference between a sovereign Parliament and a sovereign nation.

          • John Hatfield
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            It is the people who are sovereign, not the bunch of shysters in Parliament who want to renege on previous votes to leave the EU.

          • Hereward the Wake
            Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            No – it was an attempt to point out that the executive had failed to follow the law by not getting an Act of Parliament to delay Brexit. It was shabbily treated by the judges with no leave to appeal and dirty work at the cross roads in an attempt to cause the case to fail on procedural grounds…. words left out ed e. The case is now on its way to the European Court of Human Rignts. If the supreme court rules against the government on prorogation after the way refusing to hear the Tillbrook case Leavers will have good cause to complain of judicial bias and they will do so noisily and perhaps, …….

        • Christine
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          On the radio today they said it was not only Parliament against the people but now the judicial against the people. The rot has certainly gone deep.

      • Carrie in Norwich
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Rubbish, every single Leave campaigner told us in 2016 we would get a great deal because the EU can’t manage without us. So bring us that great deal and then Parliament will sign off on leaving. Until then, nope. Don’t blame Parliament, go ask the Leavers where that great deal they promised us is. If they can’t deliver it then we know Brexit was based on a false prospectus. And that means it is not valid

        Reply Just not true. I repeatedly said No deal would work fine if no good deal was on offer.Remain constantly said we would be out of the single market and customs union and forecast a bad deal in many cases.

        • Andy
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Nobody mentioned the customs union. And that’s your issue – nobody knew what it was, including all the leading Leavers.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            Rubbish Andy.
            Read the Leaflet.
            Go back and listen to many speeches by Cameron and others talking about what leaving the EU meant.

          • 'None of the above'.
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            Ken Clarke certainly didn’t either!

          • Richard1
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            This assertion is completely untrue. It was discussed extensively. The Leave campaign argued that One of the main advantages of Brexit was an independent trade policy, including setting our own tariff schedules.

          • John Hatfield
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            Cameron’s promise to the House.
            “The very next day after 23rd June I will sign Article 50 , taking us OUT of the EU and OUT of the Single Market”.

      • Paul F Austin
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Quite right. There was no proviso within the Referendum for any so-called ‘deal’ within that simple vote.
        We voted leave.
        It ought to be known by those militant Remainers, and their associate ‘mobs’ that The Leavers ALSO have teeth – but of course, will only use them if they feel they are being fully betrayed by the cowards and their vocal ‘mobs’. Beware, in other words, the silent MAJORITY!

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink


      There is a mandate for it, it was in the Conservative Manifesto “no deal is better than a bad deal” remember.
      There is no Parliamentary support because our MPs lied to us to get elected.
      Remain LOST
      How do you know “the clear majority in the Country do not want it”? Should that be the vote ‘No Deal’ or accept the EU WA.

      • Andy
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        This is the Conservative manifesto which was rejected by 58% of voters?

        You mention eight words ‘no deal is better than a bad deal.’

        Can you tell us what was in the rest of the 3 pages of the manifesto about Brexit?

        Thought not.

        • Paul F Austin
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Manifesto? Surely you are joking? The bribery by all Political Parties (except may I say UKIP who have fully COSTED their plans in any Manifesto!) which they jokingly call a ‘manifesto’ has, since the beginning of time contained ‘carrots’ which have never had any legal standing………. and contain mythical, fairy-tale nonsense for the ‘Proles’ to salivate over – until the truth is disclosed.
          The Torys are probably the worst purveyors of these ‘faery stories’ and no thinking person ever pays attention to them – the others are not far behind. The VOTE was to LEAVE. And was guaranteed to be respected – which has not happened – YET! Leavers also have teeth – but have not bared them – YET!

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Remain MEPs were rejected by 85% of voters in the recent EU referendum !

    • jeff
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      How the heck do you know there is no clear majority in the country for a no-deal.

      That’s an assumption made by most remainers based on NO factual information.

      Back to the people, gee your another ignorant remainer who has no idea what democracy is and how it should be implemented based on the DEMOCRATIC vote with in-out options.

      We as a country will no doubt thrive on dealing with 85% of the world economy, so maybe get out of your fear ridden bubble and man up.

      • Paul F Austin
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        100% correct. No Socialist, or treasonous Tories, can change that decision.
        They will do so at their peril.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink



        Britain Elects

        Sep 9
        “If the Government cannot get a Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, they should leave the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement (i.e. without a deal)”

        Agree: 42%
        Disagree: 38%

        So there IS a majority ( small one ) to leave with no deal according to this poll

    • Richard1
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I’m inclined to agree with this, disagreeable as that process would be. A general election would be a good substitute. If Boris wins a majority, the referendum result will be honoured. If it produces any result other than a Conservative majority govt that will presumably be the end of Brexit.

      Most laughable of all is the Labour position of renegotiating May’s deal to make it even more like moving to the status of an economic colony of the EU and then putting that ludicrous option to the people, vs remain, with no real option to leave! Presumably remain would win 90-10%or so on c. 30% turnout.

      At least the LibDems now have the honesty to say their policy is simply to revoke article 50, & stuff the referendum.

    • Jagman84
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      In 2016, Cameron told us that the electorate would decide or future by the result of the referendum, not the government nor parliament. The pre-referendum leaflet stated this also. After 2 years of negotiations, we would be out of all EU institutions, deal or no deal. This was confirmed by various ministers, including the then chancellor, Mr Osborne.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      By the way Newmania we aren’t in a No Deal situation via rest of the world as we now have 44 countries who have agreed deals with UK

    • Paul
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      “you cannot force No Deal on the country by default”

      As always overlooking the fact that a deal requires both sides to agree, so if the EU and UK do not agree on what should constitute a deal then the default is No Deal; or rather what is actually happening which is lots of small deals/agreements on important or more urgent matters.

      You can argue whether one side is being unreasonably intransigent if you like and both sides will always blame the other, but that’s the way life goes, not everyone agrees on everything.

    • steve
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink


      The only lies around here are yours.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Exactly right JR. Let us hope we can still leave on 31st October and in a legal way.

    Some good news:- a ComRes pole suggests that 54% agree the referendum result should be respected, and only 25 per cent disagreed (21 per cent didn’t know). So over 2 to 1. Even of those who voted Remain in 2016 35% said they now wanted Brexit delivered. Labour and the Libdem surely struggling given this.

    What a sick joke May’s Honours list was, (especially after her comments on Cameron’s one) apart from G Boycott and perhaps a couple of others. Profoundly depressing news is that Harriet Harman (who like May is clearly in favour of blatant anti-Male discrimination is now favourite to replace the dire Bercow.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Who would wish to be tainted by being given an honour by May though?

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      My opinion of May gets worse.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Neil Kinnock just now ‘52/48 vote is a mandate to move house but stay in the same neighbourhood’. Complete and utter nonsense Neil. You either leave and the UK people, Democratic UK Government and UK courts become supreme or you remain (under the anti-democratic EU rule) and the EU unelected bureaucrats and EU courts are supreme. The ‘same neighbourhood’ analogy is absurd given this binary choice. There is no halfway house. It is one or the other mate. Mutual cooperation with the EU is fine but or not rule by the EU and becoming mere regions of it.

  4. Mark B
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    First let me say thank you to our kind host for realising that there are some elements here, as shown by questions raised in his more recent articles, that are not interested in debate but, destroying this site ! I shall continue to ignore them and, ask others to do the same. This would help our kind host and stop them from wrecking this ‘diary’. Thank you.

    The law is the law, and our kind host has raised an important point – is the law reasonable ? Parliament can demand, like a latter day King Cnut, that the Prime Minister demand that the tide must not come in or the sun not rise in the morning. Obviously this is unreasonable as the PM has no power to do so. As the the WA, the the EU have stated that it will not renegotiate it. The matter, as far as they are concerned, is closed. We either sign the WA, which parliament has rejected three time or, Leave ! The PM is being asked to do something that simply cannot be done, therefore, as stated in Art.50 Section 3, we Leave the EU without a WA. EU Law of course being superior to UK law.

    Finally. I shall via YouTube the final scenes of the closing of parliament. The behaviour was a disgrace. I shall not name names but, they were the usual suspects 😉

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Mark, Yes “the Law is the law” but there is also complying with the “spirit of the law” and “the letter of the law”, expect in this case the Government will of course comply with the latter.

      What a nonsense from Mr Corbyn to put forwards a motion to debate this frankly hypothetical issue.

      The Country has been SILENCED by our hypocritical Parliament, this needs to be dealt with as soon as we disentangle ourselves from the EU.

  5. Dominic
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    This Tory government could destroy Labour tomorrow if it wanted to. It doesn’t want to. I am sure this PM has access to information exposing the opposition and many of their MPs and their complicity over the last 30 years.

    I know, we all know Labour is a stain on our political system. It is a party purporting to be a force of moral good when it is nothing of the sort. It is a party that is openly abusing the once proud history of the real Labour party, a party that died in the mid to late 1960’s.

    Labour is the barrier to Brexit and to national renewal. The aim should be to destroy a malignant presence in Parliament. All options should be considered without concern for offence to any vested interest

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      I think Mr Farage has this rat of a party in his sights.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink


      We are very very very lucky to have a Corbyn led Labour opposition . If they had anyone even half compos mentis we could be in a lot more difficulty . Jo Swinson has been manna from heaven too, having stopped dead in its tracks a resurgent Lid Dem party by announcing that they dont believe in democracy and voters

      • rose
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        It seems to me that this parliamentary putsch, this coup, is trying to overthrow the Leader of the Opposition as well as the PM and Brexit. Not sure who is the Prince over the Water. Or Princess – Amber Rudd? Yvette Coooper?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I think we are being softened up for a forth vote on Mays dreadful WA. Boris is happy to have a border down the Irish Sea telling us what a good deal he’s negotiated.
      This won’t fly.

      • julie williams
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Bye bye Tories, hello Brexit Party; look how Labour usurped the Liberals in their early years.

      • Donna
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        It would appear that Boris is proposing to tweak the NI backstop by restricting it to apply only to NI and only to agriculture and agri-foods. In order to get DUP buy-in, he’s floating the idea of a 12-mile bridge between NI and Scotland. He appears to be willing to accept the rest of the appalling terms in the Barnier/Robbins Surrender Treaty.

        In other words, he’s preparing to capitulate to the EU and the British Establishment Remainers – and the 17.4 million who voted to LEAVE the EU are betrayed once again. Unlike Churchill, he simply hasn’t the guts to do what’s right and “stand alone.”

    • CvM
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      “This Tory government could destroy Labour tomorrow if it wanted to”

      Interesting, how could it do that?

  6. David J
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    It therefore no surprise that law that was invented at high speed purely to block the long decided Independence Day was not thought though.
    Hopefully it is therefore unsafe to enforce it, and we can move to ETO terms

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Tom Tugendhat,Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee,has just sent a letter to Foreign Secretary,Dominic Raab,about the WTO-it’s on his twitter feed this morning.

      Tugendhat is a remainer and a globalist but he makes useful points about this seemingly collapsing institution.

      “What evidence is there that the WTO can still be considered a stable and effective enforcer of international trade rules?

      China,Russia and the US have all effectively pulled out of the WTO.What alternatives have you identified to the WTO?

      What is your assessment of the health and future prospects of the WTO given the points outlined above?”

      The whole letter is worth a read.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        As is his family background. Tugendhat? That name rings a bell somehow.

  7. formula57
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the parliamentary quislings intend to install a temporary government after ousting the present one in a confidence vote that will overlook deficiencies in the law to make representations and issue a letter to the Evil Empire sufficient to obtain an extension?

  8. /ikh
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Sir John,

    I totally agree with your post. However, I think I can see a way out for the P.M. He must request an extension that is legally ‘In good faith’. In the past, the EU 27 have voted on an extension and offered it to the P.M. who has then accepted it. However according to article 50, the whole of the council must vote on an article 50 extension. The PM, as a member of the council of Ministers could veto an extension which could not then become an offer of an extension that the PM must accept. This might be an idea worth putting to Govt lawyers.


    • Shirley
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      I understood that the UK representatives are excluded from any votes relating to Brexit.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      It is a Special European Council, as explained here:

      “He won’t be at that particular meeting to veto anything, like last time it will only be the leaders of the 27 other EU member states … ”

      reply The EU needs the UK to agree the terms for any delay

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        But he won’t be at that meeting to vote on anything or veto anything …

    • dixie
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Article 50 p4 would appear to prevent the UK taking part in such a decision by the council.

    • Bob
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink


      “He must request an extension”

      He’s made a categorical pledge not to request an extension.

      He will agree some cosmetic alterations to the Merkel-May Treaty.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        He might not, but someone else might do it instead ?

    • robert lewy
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Not according to Article 50 (4)

      “4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.”

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        But any extension must be unanimous including the nation who is leaving

      • /ikh
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        Mea Cupa, I re-read article 50 and you are right and sadly, I was wrong.


    • Brexitear
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I understand article 52(4) says an exiting member cannot vote on article 50 matters!

      Reply No of course not, but the EU cannot extend the deadline without the UK consenting

    • tim
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      /ikh- simple, elegant and Brilliant!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        But factually incorrect.

    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Hi John,

    Have you seen the above QC opinion? Very interesting especially as it would appear that civil servants deliberately tinkered with the translation of Article 50 p3 from ‘extend this period’ to ‘extend it’, this has huge ramifications as it implies that the two year period can be extended only once!
    Keep up the good fight.


    • James1
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      It comes as little or no surprise that our current rotten Parliament cannot even write with clarity an amendment to the WE. More proof that a massive clearance of duff MPs is needed at the next GE.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Our Parliament and Civil Service has become atrophied due to membership of the EU. It has also become infantised as witnessed by the recent scenes in the House.

    • Amanda
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Thank you for that link Hazel. Thank you also to Sir John for this post. Parliament must not be abused to knock down the pillars of democracy, soverignty, and the rule of law. At the moment the current occupants and external forces are having a good go. They must not succeed !!!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Sir John why does Boris not withdraw from the Barry Legg litigation and allow a declaration that we left in April?

    • Jack Leaver
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Hazel, the article first appeared on the Lawyers for Britain web site on 03/06/2019 ( and I posted it on here on 21/06/2019.

      Unfortunately, Brexit MPs appear to be unwilling to seek a judicial review of the legality of how the leave date was extended under the terms of Article 50. I have a sick feeling that leave voters are being stitched up.

  10. A.F.Fanculo
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Is there a date specified in the bill by when the government has to request an extension?
    could a letter be sent on 31st October by last post?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      “(3) If neither of the conditions in subsection (1) or subsection (2) is satisfied, subsection (4) must be complied with no later than 19 October 2019.

      (4) The Prime Minister must seek to obtain from the European Council an extension of the period under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union ending at 11.00pm on 31 October 2019 by sending to the President of the European Council a letter in the form set out in the Schedule to this Act … “

  11. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    So why didn’t the Lords talk the bill out?

    • steve
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Sea Warrior

      ….because they’re in on the betrayal as well.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      It was briefly reported at the time that some “pact” had been made between the government and the opposition; under that “pact” the opposition would get their Bill passed speedily, in exchange for which the government would get … ???

      “Brexit: Government gives in on bill to block no-deal after ‘late-night pact’ to push legislation through House of Lords”

      The only possible candidate for a corresponding concession from the opposition under this “pact” seems to be this:

      “The Labour leader had said the bill must be passed through the Lords and have received Royal Assent before he would entertain the thought of heading to the polls.

      He said: “Let the Bill pass and have Royal Assent and then we can have a general election.””

  12. Henry Jailer
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Which bit of “the government must seek an extension from the EU” don’t you understand?

  13. Alan jutson
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Yes the so called law is an Ass because it is too complicated by far to be understood clearly

    I offered my solution a few days ago with regards to the form of letter Boris should write to the EU
    Simply ask for an extension (to comply) but say he believes absolutely no point if they are not prepared to negotiate in good faith , as the present offering has been rejected three times by Parliament
    Thus let them say no !!!

  14. agricola
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    A dogs breakfast vomitted on the carpet. It is so obviously a political stitch up, an attempt to tie the hands of government. One can but hope that the law lords see it as such and declare it unworkable. Ultimately it is symptomatic of a very undemocratic parliament coniving to work against the referendum expressed wishes of the UK electorate.

    • agricola
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Well apropro of your request yesterday it is one paragraph, short and to the point, so why has it been ignored from 06.19 hours while the trolls continue as before.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    “It is by no means clear how the government could comply with it”

    Well, it is the Prime Minister personally who must comply by sending a letter in the form laid down in the Schedule:


    The key sentence being:

    “I am writing therefore to inform the European Council that the United Kingdom is seeking a further extension to the period provided under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union … ”

    The present Prime Minister has repeatedly declared inside and outside Parliament that he is not prepared to send any such letter, which means that he intends to break the law, and if he persists with that unconstitutional, anarchic, attitude then the only solution will be to replace him with another Prime Minister who will comply with the law.

    Indeed the present Prime Minister has already said and done enough for his immediate resignation to have become a matter of honour.

    He should stop trying to wriggle where there is no wriggle room, and just go.

    Reply You are ignoring the rest of the ACT explaining the reasons for the letter which require the PM to do things that cannot be done

  16. GilesB
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Why did EU Bill #6 not require Queen’s consent?

    As a money bill, why did it not need to be proposed by a Minister?

    Given those flaws why was it given Royal Assent?

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps because it is so badly written that it is likely to be challenged in the Courts?

  17. Sharon Jagger
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I believe this messy Act to be part of the strategy to wear down the public into preferring to remain. At the moment it all seems so hopeless and every avenue to leaving appears blocked. The idea is more chaos: no deal off the table; GE off the table; Irish backstop – build a bridge; which when all this is sorted would allow the idea of a referendum to become a reality – and we’d be so despairing we’d vote to remain!

    I heard Tony Blair, a few months ago, when asked about a referendum, reply that that was for further down the road, and he seems to be one of those behind the remain shenanigans.

    Ps this idea of a Scottish/Irish bridge….more kicking the can down the road! Can you imagine how long THAT would take?

    Pps I notice your question re remainers and why they want to remain – Conservative Woman didn’t get any particular responses either.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    This law is grandstanding by Parliamentarians determined to revoke article 50 but too afraid to push the button with the consequences of such an action.

    I do not understand why the opposition parties fear a change of date for a general election. All they have to do is write into their manifestos that they would seek to immediately rejoin the EU and obtain assurances from the EU that this would be allowed. Then if these opposition parties win a general election post 31 October after we have left they can rejoin.

    Could it be that they do not think they would win?

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Wondered why amendment went thro unopposed. No tellers in lobby even.
    But someone did say to me…” Don’t worry. They are incredibly clever.”

  20. steadyeddie
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    The convention in Parliament is when a change cannot be agreed the status quo applies. In due course we will see an outcome but there is clearly a widely held view that we should not leave without a deal.

  21. One Paragraph
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    PS One paragraph. The persons teaching Housing Officers in colleges and universities whose courses were financed entirely by Local Authorities ( the tax-payer ) were fully cognizant of the Law but remained silent about it to their students. I do hope this latter category of people are not subject to punishment. In mitigation, they have furnished me with the Truth! Though I knew anyway that heat and cold on a window pane is An Act of God and God should not have been evicted for it even in part. It was unbecoming. You asked for a paragraph JR, I gave you a poem.

    • One Paragraph
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Scottish Court, Three…just men. In Essence and Spirit proving all my aforementioned True in the Absolute.

  22. James S
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The withdrawal No.2 act wording, including the letter, states that the ‘United Kingdom’ is requesting an extension, and that the PM must say the ‘United Kingdom’ accepts an offer of extension. Can Boris not comply with this act by saying to the EU, the UK may be requesting this, but I, as the first minister of tbevUK’s head of state within the Council, am not?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink


  23. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I’d say what’s dubious is that it’s asking the government to put forward legislation based on some talks held 6 months ago by the previous government. This is extremely loose. I’m sure somebody in those talks came up with some pretty scatty ideas. Should those be included?

    Also surely those talks broke down. If the ideas coming from them had been agreeable to both sides, they would have been enacted then, and Mrs May would still be in no. 10.

  24. Kevin
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    This statute, as it has been discussed, appears to violate the separation
    of powers doctrine: by it, the legislature is attempting to take power that is the
    mark of the executive. What would the response from judges be if Parliament
    managed to enact a bill ordering them to find a person “guilty”? Surely,
    you would assume that they would flat out refuse on principle.

  25. Andy
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement is Brexit.

    This has been the case since Mrs May first laid down her red lines and boxed the U.K. in in terms of the deal we could achieve.

    Unelected El Presidente Johnson will to some cosmetic changes to the WA. He may even sell out Northern Ireland. But however much you all huff and puff – and you all huff and puff a lot – the WA is basically it. Rubbish isn’t it?

    Mr Gove thinks we will be able to improve things after ‘Brexit is over the line.’

    I think the vast majority of under 50s – the younger generations – will take a look at how rubbish your Brexit is and will, before long, permanently undo it. Shame.

    • julie williams
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      El Presidente Johnson is as elected as May or Corbyn is; the UK does not have direct election of the Party leader.
      Why do you keep saying this?

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink


        “Why do you keep saying this?”

        To show how pathetic and undemocratic our system is. We are ruled by an unelected establishment oligarchy.

        • Pud
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          Boris has twice called for an election but Labour refused, despite requesting an election frequently in the past year. Their reason for refusing is profoundly undemocratic, as they admit they don’t want an election out of fear that the public will effectively vote for a “no deal” Brexit.

        • dixie
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          An establishment took us into the CM/EEC/EU and kept us there while selling off the family silver.

          An establishment which you and Andy support.

    • Pud
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      I thought multiple posts from the same person just regurgitating the same point as we’ve heard previously ad nauseam were no longer permitted?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I thought we weren’t allowing this sort of tosh, John ?

      The Withdrawal Agreement is actually Hard Remain. Yannis Varoufakis describes it as a surrender as bad as any nation defeated by war.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Clearly Andy is stuck in the UK. He isn’t rich enough to escape the Corbyn assault on his wealth that is going to come because of this Tory botched Brexit.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink


        “Yannis Varoufakis describes it as a surrender as bad as any nation defeated by war.”

        Not even his own government thought his opinions were worth taking seriously. Did he get fired or leave voluntarily?

  26. Chris S
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    While I agree with everything you are saying – like all measures rushed onto the statute book, it is a real dog’s dinner- the government cannot ignore it.

    I suspect government lawyers are examining it very carefully and may well decide to challenge it in court and have it declared not enforceable.

    Boris will have a better chance to set it aside in court than in Parliament.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Goods exported from Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic over the land border comprise about 0.1% of UK GDP. For the sake of ensuring that mere 0.1% of UK GDP would continue to comply with EU rules, both customs union and single market rules, the EU proposed that just Northern Ireland should be kept under swathes of EU laws; but in what she presented as a major negotiating triumph Theresa May persuaded them to keep control of the whole UK, 100% of the UK economy. Now according to the Daily Telegraph Boris Johnson could have the answer to the Brexit deadlock, which would be to revert to the EU’s original proposal and keep just Northern Ireland under swathes of EU laws for the sake of that 0.1% of UK GDP which is driven across the land border. It seems nobody in official circles can get their heads around the fairly simple idea that the swathes of EU laws should only apply to the goods which are actually taken across the border into the Republic, and which therefore become a legitimate matter for the interest of the EU, and not to all goods circulating everywhere in either Northern Ireland or the UK as a whole; which goods legally circulating within the UK need not concern the EU any more than goods legally circulating in any other “third country”.

    • rose
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Very good Denis and it applies also to the goods from Great Britain going to the EU, not to the entire kingdom.

  28. Polly
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    How does ”obey the law” fit in with the video where Guy Verhofstadt allegedly talks about votes for the WA being bought ?

  29. Nig l
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Briefing, counter briefing, leaks, fake news, down right lies. Who knows? Parliaments lawyers versus the Governments lawyers. Stuff of fiction but unfortunately very real.

    What I do know is I don’t trust Boris. I hope I am wrong!

  30. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The Act requires a request for an extension be sent, but the grounds for its granting are not legally secure. 50(3) is being misused, it being out of time, there cannot be any new negotiations the WA being closed, and a third extension is defeating the intention to allow a Member State to leave with or without an Agreement. Parliament by voting down the WA chose the latter.
    All the furore by the outraged backers of the Act that the PM does not wish to implement it, ignores their own duplicity.
    In passing the Act, Parliament ignored the T & C’s attached to the current extension and did not put a tick in the box. The Government will therefore be unable to make the application.
    Why should a further extension be granted. What do the other 27 members think.
    One French official told Mujtaba Rahman, of the Eurasia Group consultancy, that “anti-Johnson forces” were “part of the problem.”
    “It’s like a cat that brings a half-dead mouse into your kitchen and looks at you as if to say ‘aren’t I clever?’ (Parliaments Bill to request a further extension) Well, we don’t necessarily want that mouse. Where does it take us?, ” the official said.
    The PM still maintains he wants a deal, but, further negotiations are stymied by the refusal to reopen the WA and discuss any alternative to the backstop.
    The EU is reluctant to take any blame for a no deal Brexit or to force Ireland to face the severe economic consequences of a disorderly exit.
    “You have to imagine what it would mean to be confronted by an extension request which was actively opposed by the UK government. We would be in a totally surreal world,” the senior official said.
    “If we were confronted by the situations, the leaders in the European Council would not be the judge on what takes precedent. The judge would be the UK Supreme court.”
    The Act cannot meet its purpose – to make further provision in connection with the period for negotiations for withdrawing from the European Union.

  31. Butties
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    What this demonstrates is that making new Laws on the hoof is foolish, plain and simple. A characterisation that can be applied to all those who voted it through in both Houses.

  32. acorn
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    This Brexit thing has certainly shown up the major deficiencies in our two centuries out of date Westminster democracy machine. It does though seem good at doing things arse backwards.

    In most modern countries with written constitutions, you need something like a 2 to 1 vote to change a constitution, and a simple majority to change a government. In the UK it’s the other way around. The UK can change its unwritten constitution (2016 referendum) with a vote of 52 to 48; but, needs 2 to 1 to change the government! (I accept that the UK Courts consider a few Statutes to be collectively a sort of written constitution.)

    • rose
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      The 2:1 vote to change the constitution is contentious because creeping membership of the EEC/EC/EU was procured by stealth, to put it at its politest, and cannot legitimately be held to be the status quo. It was a short aberration in our thousand years as an independent country.

  33. Oggy
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I do hope that Boris is keeping his powder dry, and not revealing all to the anti democratic MP’s. They will have no doubt already seen your comments and will be beavering away in the background to construct and impose more remain nonsense upon Boris and us when Parliament reopens.

    So SNP MP Wishart has put his name forward for speaker, well that’s just great, if he got the job, the SNP running the show in Westminster – absolutely fantastic.

    and yesterday another bit of fantastic news – not !
    Reward for abject failure – Arise Sir Olly Robbins

  34. Zocco
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Surely, when we leave on 31st October, we are still leaving with a deal – an agreement between two parties to trade on WTO terms

    • bookend
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Zocco- agreements normally have to be worked out- in the case of the EU and WTO terms it will probably take months.. it could be that there will be no agreement on some things for maybe years? This is all very much an unknown for us- certainly JIT will be a thing of the past

  35. gyges
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    What is of interest to me is the remedy to non-compliance of the Act by the government. I would imagine that the courts would say that in order to maintain separation of powers in our constitution, the remedy to a breach of the act is to have a referendum.

    Alternative remedies such as compulsion don’t appear to be credible.

    This will then lead to further uncertainty and confusion. If this (inevitably drags on beyond 31st Oct 19), have we left or not? In reality we will have left but of course people will argue that we haven’t.

    I suppose non-payment of EU membership beyond 31Oct19 (as you alluded to in a previous post) will settle the matter.

  36. nhsgp
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Barnier.

    The UK would like an extension, and we expect to be paid 20 bn Euros a month for the term of the extension.

    We won’t pay you, since we’ve already spent the money and your mates haven’t put money aside to pay you.

    We’ve also cancelled EU law, that’s to Barclay, so we won’t be obeying EU law.

    We’ve also not brought EU law into UK law, just to reiterate, we won’t follow your rules, no EU courts have jurisdiction.

    But we have asked you for an extension as required

  37. Original Richard
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    European Withdrawal Number 2 Act is a mess but I expect this was partly the intention as well as to delay Brexit.

    The pro-EU MPs, having tasted power through their coup this week, I would not expect to be voting anytime soon for a GE. Turkeys do not vote for Christmas.

  38. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    This law is a mess – a disgrace to Parliament and it should be ignored. There are a significant number of MPs who are a danger to the stability of our democracy, dictating such a letter should be sent by the PM removes the need for his office. My criticism of the HoL abounds.

  39. Geoff Amer
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    What are the rules about copying a reposting elsewhere (BBC) some of your text?

    Reply This is published text. Feel free to send it on with citation. It should not be amended or selectively quoted to distort its meaning

  40. Chris
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    It is reported that Boris has been pleading with Remainers to support him, and he has reportedly told them that he would “take stabs in the backs from the Brexiteers/Spartans” in order to get the agreement through. If this is true, it does not surprise me as I have never trusted Boris, and I think he is unprincipled, and also weak. What is more, I believe it is the hatred for Farage that Cummings has that is also dominating policy.

    If these reports are true, it would appear that Boris is about to do a u-turn and that he will present a tweaked WA and PD as the basis for “leaving” the EU. This does not represent leaving the EU, and if Boris proceeds along this course then he, and the wretched Remainer dominated Conservative Party that he leads will, I think, be taken down. There will be a few Cons MPs who stick to their principles and do not sanction destroying Brexit and democracy, but if they continue to stand by Boris, simply to save the Cons Party, then they will be regarded by the electorate with contempt.

  41. libertarian
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The President of the EU Commission ( you know the one thats under investigation for dodgy stuff) has declared that we MUST appoint a European Commissioner

    I’ve got two suggestions

    1) Nigel Farage

    2) Kim Jong-un

    • bill brown
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink


      I am still waiting for a response to

      1) My invitation
      2) Your apology
      3) Your explanation, why, Germany is the sick man of Europe compared to UK and Italy?

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      I’ve two female suggestions (just to keep the balance)

      1) Anne Widdecombe
      2) Carol Thatcher

  42. Alan Joyce
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    The whiff of betrayal grows stronger; it blows in from all directions. Are the ERG about to find out how quickly and easily Mr. Johnson throws their support back in their faces?

    May’s ‘Frankenstein’ Withdrawal Agreement – It Lives!

  43. Gareth Warren
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    As Mark B mentions there is a problem with responsibility.

    Here I remember reading an excellent speech by Enoch Powell (19th feb, poss 1972) where he made the point that responsibility cannot exist without power.

    Yet it is clear that the only power the PM has is to ask for an extension, he now, having lost his parliamentary majority does not even have the power to enforce an extension in parliament. Here we have the extraordinary case of an opposition even refusing an election.

    So the only extension he can ask for is a unilateral one without UK payments and compliance, something clearly unacceptable to the EU. The pro-EU rebels and opposition have now made no deal almost a certainty, here the PM should be clear how responsible he can be for the act – I would pay it only lip service at best.

  44. robert lewy
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I am not a lawyer but the EU Wihdrawal No 6 Act seeks to direct the Government to apply for an extension to Article for the reason stated.

    If the reason stated is not acceptable to the EU for whatever reason they will reject it.

    However, if they accept the application and grant the extension surely this means that it is
    not an unreasonable request whether or not it is realistic.

    The reasonability of the request seems irrelevant and therefore is unlikely to prove grounds for a successful legal challenge.

    Reply The Act says the government needs to change the Political Declaration in accordance with an agreement from inter party talks which does not exist.

    • robert lewy
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Sir John,

      Although your criticisms of the bill are no doubt correct, none of them relate to the duty to apply for an extension placed on the Government. As this is the most pressing aspect of the Bill, surely the Government must navigate the area around the bill rather than hope to get it set aside.

      It strikes me that the decision of the Scottish Court as regards Prorogation i.e that the action of the Government was to prevent Parliament from acting applies in equal measure to this Act as regards preventing the Executive from acting in accordance with law and convention.

      • rose
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Let us hope Sir James Eadie presses your point home: that the political motives of the appellants bear examination.

        • rose
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          And that all their papers and electronic communications be trawled through to find evidence of collusion with a foreign power.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        The duty is explicitly placed upon the individual who is Prime Minister.

        “The Prime Minister must seek to obtain from the European Council an extension of the period under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union ending at 11.00pm on 31 October 2019 by sending to the President of the European Council a letter … “

  45. Stephen Abbott
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Lord Denning, with precision and simple logic, would have taken great delight in putting a Remain Parliament in its place.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Lord denning wouldn’t be qualified to be a judge today. His politics would be wrong and he would have declined to do all the Blair initiated PC ‘training courses’ which filter out those who aren’t on message.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Lord Denning would have known that Parliament cannot be judged in any UK court.

  46. Pete S
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    It’s legality has not been tested. Is it illegal because it does not have a money resolution or a Queen’s consent ? To the Supreme court for all our sakes.

    • Fishknife
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Book keepers, money resolution: is three months 93 days or just 92?

  47. Kenneth
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Our country and People have been under assault from undemocratic forces – civil service, courts, eu, BBC, quangoes, universities etc etc – for several years now and things must come to a head.

    Many MPs clearly do not represent us any more and are running scared of the ballot box. Shame on them!

    Sooner or later an election must take place and we need a “clear the swamp” manifesto from a party willing to truly represent the People.

    If the Conservatives do not rise to the challenge then the Brexit Party will have a clear run.

  48. graham1946
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The Remoaners in Parliament clearly just want to cancel Brexit altogether but don’t have the nerve to suggest cancelling Article 50 before the next election, except for the anti democratic LibDem head bangers who at least do and want to ride rough shod over their beloved EU law when it suits.

    What I don’t understand is how two conflicting laws can be in place at the same time. We have Article 50 which was voted through by a large majority which states w leave on 31st. October whether with a ‘deal’ or not. Then we have another brand new law which says we cannot leave on that date without a ‘deal’ and must ask to stay in for a period which the EU will decide although Parliament suggests 3 months.
    If the letter which Parliament says must be written does not have a reason for the extension, then surely the PM could state in the letter that ‘we have not decided on a reason for the request because Parliament has not authorised a General Election or another referendum and it is clear Parliament will not pass the WA’. These statements are demonstrably true and are un-contestable. Under EU previous statements they would surely be bound to reject such a request. If the letter does not allow this, then the PM must tell the EU verbally when he goes to Brussels next month.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      8.10 pm and still in moderation. I thought it a serious question, but all sorts of rubbish gets published without problem. What don’t you like about this post? Is something contentious or libelous? Is it worth putting up serious posts or should I go for insults and endless repetition?

      • Mark B
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        I agree. Your original post is fine and makes sense. Too much sense 😉

        The EU have stated that they will only allow a further extension if parliament agree the WA or, there is a referendum or GE. Since there is no chance of any of those then one can only assume the EU will reject it but, this is the EU and they don’t follow their own rules.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      There is no conflict because:

      “4 Amendment of existing provision”

  49. glen cullen
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    With the scottish courts saying the government acted illegal, with the opposition parties dictating law, with a minority government and with some of its own MPs not on script with the PM nor the majority of the people…..its time to down tools and work to rule i.e stop all government activity till a general election

    As the great man once said, if a government can’t govern then there’s no government

  50. Lifelogic
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    John McDonnell says labour would trial a universal basic income. With pilot schemes held in Liverpool, Sheffield and the Midlands, McDonnell defending the scheme claimed child benefit was given to all. No it is not – if you earn more the £50K you lose it (thanks to Osborne I think).

    These magic money tree con merchants (and would be asset thieves) must be kept from power at all costs.

  51. Earley Riser
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    You don’t “respect” the law, you obey it. It’s not optional.

    Anyway you had better get back to Parliament right away because the proroguement was illegal.

    • Sue Doughty
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      EU law has supremacy over UK law, though and EU law says we leave on time. Judges are aware and may have forgotten, the ECJ will step in.

    • Shirley
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      The legal bods will get rich on this result, as it now appears that a legal act is now illegal if done for the (supposedly) wrong reason! Unbelievable!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Not quite.

        It was because the Court held that the Queen was not given the truth as to why the suspension was being sought.

        • Andy
          Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          But the Court does not know what advice Her Majesty was given because it was given as a Privy Councillor. The Court cannot demand that Boris breaks his PC Oath, so the Court has assumed, used conjecture and political prejudice to draw incorrect conclusions.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            No, using the facts, the circumstances, and their judgement as to what “on a balance of probabilities” happened.

            This is a civil, not a criminal matter, and the burden of proof required is not “beyond all reasonable doubt”.

            They are also confident that the Supreme Court will uphold their view.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          Are you serious !

          You’re telling me that the Queen could not work it out for herself and that she does not have advisers.

          She’s not some white haired old lady in a Dun Roamin’ bungalow being sold dodgy washing machine insurance !

        • libertarian
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          Er thats NOT what the High Court has ruled at all.

          Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks “is not a matter for the courts”, the High Court has ruled.

          Giving their reasons for rejecting the case brought by businesswoman Gina Miller, leading judges said the decision to prorogue Parliament was “purely political” and therefore not capable of challenge in the courts.

          In their judgement, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and President of the Queen’s Bench Division Dame Victoria Sharp said: “We concluded that the decision of the Prime Minister was not justiciable (capable of challenge). It is not a matter for the courts.”

          Made the (Scottish Ed) Judges look a bit biased really

    • Woody
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Scottish law is very very different from English law, and it is an English parliament that sets out the law. Clearly the Scottish Court making their latest decision did not properly consider the facts in an unbiased and proper way.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        It is a UK parliament in England. England does not have a parliament.

        • Woody
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          Parliament is in England and ruled by English law.

    • Jagman84
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I think that you are opening a massive can of worms there. Are you in agreement that all asylum seekers who have passed through safe countries, prior to arriving in the U.K. Should be returned to their last port of call? That would be obeying the law, rather than ‘respecting’ (and ignoring) the law. Or are you yet another leftie drone with selective morals?

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Interesting that there are no rubber boats going from the racist UK to enlightened France.

    • David J
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      What a fatuous observation. The prorogation decision was tested in the court and proven to be legal. “Obeyed” in your terms.
      John works 7 days a week, putting in a tremendous effort the balance the frequently untrue and sometimes hysterical claims of the undemocratic remain community.
      I and many others appreciate his efforts.

      • EarleyRiser
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Things have come to a pretty pass when saying that the law must be obeyed gets me called a leftie drone.
        Which I am not by any means.

        You should be very careful what precedents you set because a Corbyn Government will push even further.

  52. David Maples
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Stripping away all the flummery of what Boris cannot do or must not do, what are we left with?

    1)The only deal the EU will accept is Mrs. May’s deal, which Parliament might finally sign up to, which is lethal, even without the backstop.

    2). But the EU will not budge on the backstop anyway.

    3)The political declaration is only slightly less of a fixture.

    4) If Boris requests an extension, I for one won’t forgive him, along with huge numbers of Conservative voters presently returning to the Tory fold.

    5). He will never be trusted again, and will cause all his hard earned goodwill to evaporate.

    6). The Tories will not gain a decent majority, only a hung parliament, and may go into terminal decline.

    7) Nigel Farage will fill the Brexit vacuum.

    8) There’s at least a 50% chance we will be stuck in the wretched EU indefinitely.

    9). Sensible government legislative programmes will be made impossible, as long as Brexit is not ‘put to bed’

    10). Rampant socialism will rule the roost for years to come.

    The only way forward is for a man of courage to break the law, and be willing to be gaoled!

    • Mark B
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Options are more limited than that.

      What this whole sorry episode, from the beginning right up until now has shown, is that our parliament and parliamentarians are not fit for purpose and, there nothing we can do ! Some 650 souls hold the entire future of this nation and its people, both current and yet to be born, in their hands. Yet, all they can do is prance and preen in front of the cameras.

      This is about ‘US’, the people of the United Kingdom, not YOU !!

  53. JoolsB
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    What more can go wrong for those of us who voted Brexit and just want out. The Scottish courts have now ruled it was unlawful for the UK Government to prorogue Parliament. When is your Government going to put an end to yet again the tail wagging the dog John? England voted out, the only say on it’s future it’s ever been allowed, unlike the rest of the dis-UK. Tell Boris he needn’t worry about the Scots leaving (which they won’t, they know which side their bread is buttered on), but the long suffering English if they are yet again ignored. We voted out and if the Scots don’t like it, call their bluff and tell ’em where to go.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      England voted out, the only say on it’s future it’s ever been allowed . . .

      A very good, but rather sobering and sad point.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Jools, Yes, this is beyond a joke. I can’t wait for the day that Scotland chooses to leave the shelter of England. We are fed up to the back teeth of the bloody moaning Scots. I lived in Scotland for 15 years and it was 15 years too long listening to the whining and going’s on about Westminster and the English. Just go!

      • Mark B
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        I worked with a Scot, and even he admitted that he was sick of his own peoples’ whining.

  54. Sue Doughty
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    It’s a mess. But EU law outranks UK law no matter what parliament puts on our statute book and bearing in mind the great repel bill has Royal Assent.
    According to the Lisbon Treaty Article 50 is to be enacted by the leaving nation’s executive, not its parliament. Like Macron or Merkel would do. In the UK the Executive is 10 Downing St and our courts know they must obey EU law until the Great Repeal Bill comes into force, probably the end of October 2019.
    Maybe someone needs to remind English, Scottish, Welsh and NI judges of that fact, EU law is supreme to UK law.

  55. Lester Beedell
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Early Riser, you clearly don’t understand the process of proroguing Parliament, it happens before each new session, it had been the longest session since heaven knows when and meant 5 extra days of shutdown and would have enabled Boris Johnson to set out his plans for the forthcoming session, I would have thought that everyone was aware of that by now but your faux indignation indicates that the message hasn’t reached the furthest corners of the realm

  56. Pat
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I seem to recall you pointing out some years ago that article 50 is not the only route out of the EU. The alternative of simply denouncing the treaties still exists, and if timed to coincide with exit day should not cause a dislocation with domestic law.
    Since Bercow has ruled that the recent private member’s bill does not impinge on Crown prerogative, presumably it is open to the government to do this, thus cutting the Gordian knot.

  57. Lester Beedell
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    And the howls of rage about Dominic Cummings and the calls for him to be sacked just prove if any proof were needed that he’s doing a blooming good job!

    • bookend
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes Lester we are reminded of Cummings and Boris good work when the Scottish high courts pronounced on their actions this morning..and although not over until Tues next in London Supreme court it doesn’t make for pretty reading. Then this evening we hear some of the details of Operation Yellowhammer.. it also doesn’t make for easy reading.. No wonder N Farage was looking so shook up on Sky news.. am sure he’s thinking it’s all slipping away

  58. pauline baxter
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that Kinnock amendment was nodded through. Wasn’t it a lack of Naye whips. Well done BORIS (and JRM).

  59. Paul Cohen
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    What an unedifying spectacle from HC yesterday – as one corespondent put it like a Mad Hatter Tea Party! And these people represent us?

    • Mark Rousell
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Well, in many cases they do NOT represent us. That’s pretty much the problem. A great many of them essentially seem to be interested only in representing themselves.

  60. Martin Conboy
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Why did this ghastly law ever get Royal Assent? Boris could have simply asked the Queen to deny Royal Assent and the bill would never have become law, forcing the opposition into a motion of No Confidence.
    There is a lot of precident for this, the Labour government under Blair/Brown used denial of Royal Assent 39 times to block legislation it didn’t like, most notably to block a private members bill brought by Tam Dalyell MP which would have forced Tony Blair to have a vote in Parliament before taking military action against Saddam Hussein.
    So I dont understand why denial of Royal Consent / Assent was not deployed to block the extension bill. Maybe Johnson wanted to lose?

    • Mark Rousell
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      > Maybe Johnson wanted to lose?
      I don’t know about that but his administration does seem to be rather more feeble than I hoped for. This is a time for aggression and deviousness, and I get the impression that Boris and Cummings have been outmanoeuvred at every turn.

      They need to be thinking of nuclear options (whatever those may be in practice) but don’t seem to be capable of doing so, whereas the enemy most certainly using any and all nuclear options available to it.

      I also wonder: At what point does Boris say (regardless of any law attempting to constein him): “We’ve tried to get a deal, it’s not possible. Like it or not we are now leaving on a clean break basis”. Here’s the problem: Can you really see him ever saying that? I can’t. And yet, if no deal is to be a realistic option, that is something he must surely say at some point.

    • Andy
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Royal Assent to a Bill has not been denied since Queen Anne in 1708 refused assent to the Scottish Militia Bill. You are confusing this with ‘Queens consent’ which this Bill patently needed no matter what ghastly Bercow says. But I agree: had I been advising Boris I would have advise Her Majesty to withhold Assent from this silly Bill.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Perhaps they knew it would have put the Queen at odds with her people because they know full well that there is a Brexit majority out there now – as do all those blocking a general election.

        I believe it to be a ruse. To look like the fight of his life but in fact delivering a softened up WA.

  61. Iago
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I have just read that the government has altered the rules and foreign students can now stay here for five years and after four years they can get permanent residency. I suppose they will then be able legally to vote in elections and referenda. Sixteen hundred people arrive each day in this country, that is more than one and threequarter million since the referendum.

    • rose
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Jo Johnson’s other bequest.

    • hefner
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      No, one can have permanent residency in the UK, but not being a British citizen could only vote in local (and up to now European) elections, so not in a General Election, not in referenda either.
      By the way, this is what will happen to all the EU people presently trying to get the so-called Home Office Settled Status if they have got five years in the country plus various papers (council tax statements, bank statements, salary payment statements, …) to justify their presence here. So even if they get this Settled Status, as long as they do not ask and obtain British citizenship (a lengthy and onerous process), they will not be “interfering” in a GE vote.

    • Donna
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      If foreign students don’t find a British person to either marry, or have a child with, during their 3 year studies and two-year working extension they’re not trying hard enough to make themselves impossible to deport.

      I’m sure most of them will be bright enough to work it out! Once here, never leave, unless they want to.

  62. Steve P
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Law no longer exists when a Scottish Supreme Court specifically chosen because it is biased overrules a constitutional right of a UK monarch to prorogue parliament based on hearsay evidence that Boris and the Queen have colluded against remainers. We have lost our rights to GE’s and referendums unless we agree to vote for who we are told. It was once law that we had GE’s, binding referendums were honored, and leave on March 29th.

    It was once law that traitors were dealt with swiftly – funny how that was modified.

  63. Anna K.
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Surely the courts need to rule on the validity of this law? Parliament’s function and duty is to hold the government to account, to scrutinise proposed legislation and enact or reject a bill as it sees fit. Now we have the bizarre spectacle of Parliament usurping the government’s role of proposing legislation. Who can then hold it to account? It cannot be right for proposers of a law to have also the power of enacting it with no external scrutiny; and to deny the electorate a General Election in which they can, if they so choose, rid themselves of unwanted MPs. That is the road to authoritarianism and tyranny.

    Imagine a future scenario in which a Marxist government has a small majority and a puppet leader in thrall to extremist MPs, and a biased Speaker allows Marxist MPs to seize the order paper and propose the suspension of general elections for 10 years. The vote is carried. Will the puppet leader have the will or courage to advise Her Majesty to refuse the Royal Assent?

    If this sounds ridiculously far-fetched, then reflect that all the mechanisms and precedents are in place. I should be grateful if anyone could reassure me that my fears are unfounded.

  64. Lucy
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    There must be a difference between ‘respecting the law’ and ‘acting unlawfully’ then. It would appear that the suspension of Parliament has been judged to be unlawful, that the UK parliament was advising the Queen unlawfully, and that Boris Johnson was motivated by the “improper purpose of stymieing Parliament”. If that’s obeying the law, I may need to consult my own standards of behaviour.

    • rose
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      None of this was demonstrated, only asserted. How could it be? Furthermore, it was motivated by the bigoted assumption that what they call No Deal is beyond the pale. It isn’t. It was voted for by nearly 500 MPs in properly proposed, properly considered, properly debated and scrutinised, major legislation. It was proper law and statute, not something rammed through by a cabal acting in cahoots with the EU and enabled by a bent Speaker, in half of an afternoon and a bit of an evening.

  65. Mark
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    “But the fact remains that after the withdrawal of Britain, we have an economic competitor at our door, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations,” Merkel added.

    Are we not an economic competitor inside the EU? As well as a voice for a different future for the EU?

    Perhaps both these aspects get enhanced by leaving.

    • Pete S
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Get the feeling they don’t want an economic competitor around. Is that the reason their WA reads like a capitulation treaty.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      No ! Germany and France always work closely together agreeing their respective positions BEFORE any Council meetings.

  66. Richard Evans
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Our prime objective is to Leave. This is our trump card. You do not negotiate with the EU.
    No extensions , No deals. Any deal as such beforehand will have tenticles that will strangle us in the end. Oh for a donald Trump as our leader.

  67. Ian!
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Sir John. While you were working

    Since May – Anthony Hook, Catherine Bearder and Judith Bunting have met Michel Barnier and top EU polatitions to explain how damaging Brexit will be to Britain

    Antony Hook says “Supermarket prices will sky rocket.”

    Judith Bunting says “The fear and threat of Brexit is impacing on our ability to care for our love one.”

    Working hard to stop Brexit – People have changed their mind 52% want remain.

    All the above in a publication that arrived through the letterbox from the Liberal Democrate’s today in Wokingham.

    I thought it would amuse

    • Grant
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Ian- it will take much more than 52 per cent- you know that and thd EU knows it so therefore a long time spent in the wilderness scratching around is on the cards which will be necessary to bring the country to its senses.

      • Ian!
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Grant, that was just repeating the comments in a lib/dem panflet we in Wokingham received today. I found the spin amusing – they can’t stop fighting democracy

    • DLP
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Ian. And do you really think Barnier and his cohorts are going to paint a picture of roses for the UK. Get real, this is yet more unsubstantiated drivell.

  68. Donna
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    On becoming PM, Boris could have created a couple of hundred new, Brexit supporting Peers. He could have encouraged / allowed Brexit-supporting Peers to filibuster the Benn Bill in the House of Lords and prevent it from becoming law. He did neither. I am forced to the conclusion that he WANTED to have No Deal taken off the table so that he could present a re-worked Surrender Treaty to the House and tell Brexit-supporting MPs that “it’s this deal, or no Brexit.”

    He’s not a genuine Brexiteer; never was and never will be. Whether he’ll be able to persuade enough Brexit-voters to vote Conservative in a post-BRINO General Election to win a majority remains to be seen. I doubt if Farage will be inclined to rescue him.

    • Mark Rousell
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      I fear you are correct. It breaks my heart but I think that either Remain or Brino are now inevitable. Boris has utterly shafted Britain.

      And since your post earlier today, No.10 has resolutely rejected Nigel Farage’s explicit offer an election pact (based, of course, on clean break). I cannot describe how incredibly stupid, short-sighted and self-destructive this rejection is.

      • steve
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Mark Rousell

        “Boris has utterly shafted Britain.”

        …….disagree Mark, Corbyn, Labour and the remainers are the culprits, and will be dealt with at the next general election.

  69. Andrea Wood
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    In the light of the recent news announcement re: the court ruling, my thoughts are … “First they came for the Prime Minister, but I was not a Prime Minister …. This is a truly terrifying development.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Monitor the Supreme Court from Tuesday 17th September.

  70. BillM
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Let’s face it. It is a mess. Another disgraceful mess the Remain agitators have brought down upon OUR aggrieved country. Why are they even allowed to do it?
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. ” In our Parliament, why is it so easy to wrong a right but impossible to right a wrong”? Anyone?
    The enforced, anti-democracy hindrances preventing Our leaving the EU, as promised, are turning out to be like a long episode from the “Twilight Zone”. Only these are for real and that is hideously nauseating.
    Why should we, the people who voted and by a clear majority, to just “Leave the EU” have to tolerate it? The Parliament-approved wording on the ballot paper were simple enough and all was explained by the stream of Party Leaders when they tried tried to persuade us to Remain.
    They failed but then diabolically reneged on their publicly declared promises to abide by our decision and refused to accept OUR decision. I thought only rabid Communists did that.
    However, they seem to have got away with their blatant lying to the public. What sort of country is this one of ours? Where politicos lie about their intentions and get a free pass into their own dark world of electoral deception? This is USSR style politics.
    When will our Leave voice be recognised or is it that Democracy doesn’t live here anymore?

  71. Ian!
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    The idea that parliamentary sovereignty can be used to deny national sovereignty – it is an absurd contradiction. A quote by David Starkey today says it all

  72. David Maples
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I’ve had 2 ‘awaiting moderations’ well into the evening. Would you prefer me not to contribute? I assume the answer is yes, but could you confirm, and of course I will comply with your wishes. I enjoy reading your diary and posting comments, but there you go, as they say.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Don’t give up, and keep shouting about this time after time as I do. You are not alone.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 12, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        For god’s sakes man. We all get left out at times. John is busy. Feel lucky you get published at all.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 14, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Oh David….surely you must know Sir John must have had a PC failure, or his internet went down, or possibly still on Waterloo stn waiting for a train that may never come. He would normally have been checking this site to immediately allow your post, perhaps his automatic notification for your entry failed? Please make allowances, we are all human.

  73. DLP
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    These mp’s who want an extension for the supposed reason of renegotiating a deal at the expense of no deal must think the public are stupid. They have no intention of renegotiating any deal, their objective is to rip up Article 50 and remain in the eu. For god knows how long all opposition parties have been calling for a GE but now refuse one. Just shows their lack of confidence that they would win. They all should have a yellow streak painted on their backs.

  74. John M. Edinburgh
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    The Edinburgh Court ruling did not mention the fact that the suspension period for party conferences had largely been agreed already i.e. 13 September to 9 October. The information was on the Parliament website the other day. The Lib conference starts on Saturday. All Boris did was add an extra 5 days. Hope with all my being that we can escape the EU on 31 October.

  75. Ian!
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    What about their Constituents, their Voters those that elected them on one Manifesto that became their Mandate for the office as MP were does that leave them? Mislead, been offered fraudulent platforms with no chance of redress and no say.

    Everyone has the right to change their mind, but changing your mind on a promise that rewarded you an income without first going back to those that put you there can only be seen as fraud.

    That is like having a contract with a builder in to repair your roof. Then when the builder turns up next door does their roof getting you to pay for it and your work still doesn’t get done. What would you call that?

    • Ian!
      Posted September 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      This went in the wrong place – Please delete

  76. Paul Sutton
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never posted before, but often read this excellent blog.

    One thing that’s maddened me, since June 2016, is the wilful misunderstanding/misrepresentation, of what a referendum is, by Remainers – the claims “No one voted for no deal” or “That’s not what the Leave campaign (sic) said or promised.”

    These points don’t seem to get rebutted, by an explanation that people were giving an instruction, not voting for a side, or for “promises”.

    Could you write a blog, clearly explaining what a referendum is? I know it seems banal, but it could also cover the non-point about “It was only advisory” – how no referendum could ever be “binding”, in our system.

  77. rose
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    It is indeed startling for us all to read what the Edinburgh judges have speculated on, what someone said to someone else when they weren’t there – neither the Judges nor the PM were there. They have also introduced woolly phrases quite alien to law, such as “falling below the accepted standards of behaviour.” This isn’t law, this is bigotry. The broadcasters reported this morning that the judges had “Drawn an inference.” Nothing about evidence or proof. How could they nave been so idiotic as to imagine they could rule on advice to the Queen and pronounce it illegal?

  78. C Maylor
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Now that we have once again had the so called worst case scenario Yellowhammer document on leaving the EU publicised, we should , in the interest of balanced debate, now see the three other relevant considerations. Namely, the best case scenario for leaving the EU plus the best and worst case scenarios for remaining. I think the latter would be most enlightening. Put all sides of the question in the interest of fairness and balance or simply admit your bias.

  79. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 12, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been away for a few days and would like to catch up. Mr Benn’s grotty little Bill is presumably now an Act. It is unconstitutional but rather than provoke a constitutional crises, Mr Johnson may have a way out of his dilemma.

    First, print off the text of the letter specified in the Benn bill, but on House of Commons paper and not 10 Downing Street paper. Don’t sign it (and nor should any other Conservative) but instead place a grumpy looking emoji in the signature position and underneath it write:
    pp Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition
    and John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons
    and Hilary Benn, Shit Stirrer in Chief

    That way, the true authors of the letter are revealed.

    Secondly, and in the same envelope, Mr Johnson should write what a disastrous organisation the European Union is, how grim its track record and goals are, and why we wish to see it destroyed.

    Messrs Macron and Juncker will then veto any extension to Article 50.

  80. David Webb
    Posted September 13, 2019 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, there are multiple ways in which the Surrender Bill is unconstitutional. Do you remember how the courts struck down the Weights and Measures Act 1985, which allowed market traders to sell in lb and oz? Lord Justice Lawes made up the principle on the spot that constitutional laws cannot be “impliedly” repealed, but only with express language, and as the Weights and Measures Act would tread on provisions of the European Communities Act 1972, which it didn’t expressly repeal, the later act of parliament was declared null. Well, the Surrender Bill knocks down many constitutional principles and provisions of previous constitutional acts – including the Treason Act and the Coronation Oath Act (which requires the Queen to swear to govern us according to our laws, not laws drawn up in Brussels) – without expressly repealing them. The Privy Council Oath requires the PM not to hand over the Queen’s pre-eminences or authorities or jurisdictions to a foreign potentate. Boris could easily argue no Act can require him to violate the Privy Council Oath and give the Queen advice that contravenes her Coronation Oath.

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    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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