Sunday, September 08, 2019

The Rule of Law

There is speculation in some papers that the government might defy the law parliament has just passed.

I don't believe that would be right and I don't believe it will happen. This is a country based on the rule of law.

I think it is essential that Britain leaves the EU this year, preferably on 31st October, and does so in line with democracy and the law.

The one route which would clearly achieve this would be to leave with a deal. I hope that every effort is made to achieve an acceptable deal which can pass the House of Commons so that we can do this.

Incidentally, some people are talking as if the law which parliament has just passed and is expected to get Royal Assent shortly required Boris Johnson to apply for an extension to Article 50 as soon at is it passed.

That is not correct - this isn't what the bill requires.

The new law requires the PM to ask the EU for a further delay to Britain's departure from the EU if he can't get a deal at the EU summit on 17th and 18th October.

If Boris can get a deal, he doesn't have to ask for an extension.

Incidentally, if the UK does ask for an extension, it requires a unanimous vote of the other EU member states, and France is currently threatening to veto it on the grounds that nobody has made clear what such an extension is supposed to achieve.

I don't often say this, but I think the French have a point.

The best thing would be to make every effort to get an acceptable deal so we don't have to put a conflict between the rule of democracy and the rule of law to the test.


Jim said...

Yes, to agree an acceptable deal would be the best way forward. Only flaw in the plan is that now they are certain "No Deal" is off the table, then will the EU agree to terms that are acceptable?

Here is a good question though. If a deal cant be reached by end of 18th of October, and the PM whom ever that is, asks for an extension, and the French veto it, what happens then?

Chris Whiteside said...

You're just put your finger on the reason that "No deal" isn't actually off the table.

Passing a law which the proposers claim blocks "no deal" does not actually do so while Article 50 is in effect.

There are only two ways to actually take "No deal" off the table: one is to agree a deal, and the other way is to revoke Article 50.