Sounds about right

Theresa May will not hold a parliamentary vote on Brexit before opening negotiations to formally trigger Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, The Telegraph has learned.

Opponents of Brexit claim that because the EU referendum result is advisory it must be approved by a vote in the Commons before Article 50 – the formal mechanism to leave the EU – is triggered.

However, in a move which will cheer Eurosceptics, The Telegraph has learned that Mrs May will invoke Article 50 without a vote in Parliament

We’ve an elective dictatorship more than anything else. The executive probably does have such power. The Commons will have to vote on the new treaty of course, or at least rescind the old one, but that’s at the other end of the negotiations.

31 thoughts on “Sounds about right”

  1. The Inimitable Steve

    “Opponents of Brexit claim that because the EU referendum result is advisory it must be approved by a vote in the Commons before Article 50 – the formal mechanism to leave the EU – is triggered.”

    Yeah, no. We already had the vote to approve the decision to leave the EU, fuckos. And it wasn’t advisory. It was we’re-telling-you.

  2. As somebody else said, we didn’t need parliamentary approval to sign us up for all this shit the EU churns out, so we ought not to need it to get out of it.

  3. The Inimitable Steve

    Tim N – Pretty much.

    We needed Commons approval of the 1972 Act to get in, because that’s how we make laws and membership of the Community required some statutory basis to subordinate British law to European.

    But we didn’t subsequently need the Commons to approve everything, or even most things, the EU did to us.

    Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty specifically does not require a vote in the House of Commons to be invoked:

    Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

    There’s nothing in our constitution requiring Parliamentary approval of Art. 50. It’s not a new treaty and it’s already part of our law. Our constitution is flexible and we decided to settle this issue in a referendum.

    Consider, however, the sheer treasonous obliviousness of the perma-grinning sociopath:

    It had been suggested – by Tony Blair, the former Labour Prime Minister, and Owen Smith, the Labour leadership candidate, among others – that Remain-supporting MPs could use a Parliamentary vote to stop Brexit

    Jo Cox was murdered by a random loony, but – for fuck’s sake! – it’s almost as if these people want to encourage more of that. What else can they expect to happen if they make peaceful, democratic change impossible?

    I’ve been saying for a while that Jez must stay, and this is why. For all his many, many hilarious faults, Corbyn is not deliberately trying to fuck the British people.

    Theresa May, for her sins, also seems to understand that this isn’t something she has the luxury of backsliding on.

    Contra the dishonest narrative the media immediately tried to build after they lost the referendum, the public wasn’t “conned” into voting Leave, and there’s no substantial Brexit regret. The opposite is true: lots of voters felt emotionally blackmailed into voting Remain. If they held another referendum tomorrow Leave would win by an even bigger majority.

  4. “The Commons will have to vote on the new treaty of course”

    Will it? Aren’t treaties Crown prerogative?

    Someone will know; is there now some sort of convention that they’re voted on? If so, is it both houses or just Commons? But not absolutely constitutionally necessary.

    Depends what the new arrangement involves of course; if it imposes obligations on Brits that can’t be covered by existing laws, then it will need a new Act of Parliament, not just a vote in the Commons. But otherwise?

  5. There already has been a commons vote creating the whole Referendum caper.

    Had it gone the remainpukes way there would be no talk of more votes needed.

    Fuck ’em.

    BTW what is the timetable for Jezza to see of Own Slime ? Is the vote next month ?

  6. The remain camp are utterly shameless in their blocking tactics, cf the house of lords blocking amendments of the first bill.

    Those pukes would have us back in under even the worst terms brussels could impose.

  7. The media made a big thing out of one or two eejits who wish they hadn’t voted out, but they didn’t find the traction to make it seem representative thank dog.

    We won our out campaign despite the weight of the government, big biz lobbies, the beeb, the banks, being called swivel eyed loons even.
    Parliament must grow up and realise they can’t keep a lid on this any longer.

  8. The European Union (amendment) Act 2008, incorporated the provisions of the Lisbon treaty into UK Law. Section 6 (1) of that act lists those provisions of the Lisbon Treaty which require Parliamentary approval before enactment. Article 50 is not one of them.

    In passing the 2008 Act parliament gave approval for the government to invoke Article 50, not that anyone noticed or even imagined this. But when did our representatives ever understand or even read what they were enacting.

  9. As others have said, we didn’t have a Parliamentary vote to sign us up to most of this shit.

    Also, as others have said, if the vote had been the other way around there would be no talk of needing further Parlimentary approval.

    And finally, we had a Parliamentary vote approving the Referendum as the way to decide our membership of the EU.

  10. Further to my previous comment. Article 50, once invoked is irreversible, exit occurring 2 years after notice unless an earlier date is agreed. Parliamentary approval of the agreement is also not required, indeed is not meaningful as a final agreement cannot be changed or rescinded (if it could it would only be a draft, not final agreement). As I said, the 2008 Act already gives parliamentary approval to the governments negotiation.

  11. Our permanent government [aka our senior civil servants] is determined to prevent the UK leaving the EU, if at all possible. Should that prove impossible, they will try to preserve as much EU-based legislation as possible in the hope that this would make re-entry into the EU easier in the future.

    For minds infected with it, the ideology of the EU is as irrefutable as Marxism is for Marxists or the Church of Rome for Roman Catholics. Such people believe history is somehow (unspecified, of course) on their side and that their cause is a noble ideal, while their opponents are ignoble and immoral.

  12. diogenese2 said: “Further to my previous comment. Article 50, once invoked is irreversible, exit occurring 2 years after notice unless an earlier date is agreed. ”

    The negotiating parties can also agree an extension on the 2 years.

    And seeing as it involves the EU, if the shits in Brussels and Westminster really want something that the treaties don’t allow it will still happen, and get incorporated into later treaties.

  13. The government (acting through the royal prerogative) does not have the constitutional power to revoke an Act of Parliament.

    The argument is that invoking Article 50, which would commit us to leaving the EU, would be in effect to revoke the European Communities Act.

    Section 6(1) of the 2008 Act does not mean what d2 thinks it means. It starts “A Minister of the Crown may not vote in favour of or otherwise support a decision under any of the following…”, which has got nothing to do with the unilateral decision we are empowered to make under Article 50.


    The weakness of this argument is “…in effect to revoke…” I can imagine the Supreme Court ruling either way on this.

  14. The Inimitable Steve

    The argument is that invoking Article 50, which would commit us to leaving the EU, would be in effect to revoke the European Communities Act.

    Nah, cos it isn’t. Only an Act to revoke the EC Act would be revocation. Art. 50 is just notice to quit the EU.

    There’s no legal argument to stop the government declaring Art. 50. It would be an astonishing abuse of the court’s power if they ruled differently.

  15. Every lying sack of shite in the world is still on the job.

    But we will be free of Brussels.

    And the hard-core enemy class remain. CM scum–a million or so–and they need to be smashed too. Cut their mock-handouts disguised as “jobs”. and “businesses”.

  16. Eur In Trouble Now

    “The opposite is true: lots of voters felt emotionally blackmailed into voting Remain. If they held another referendum tomorrow Leave would win by an even bigger majority.”

    Is there any evidence for the latter at all? It seems highly improbable. Post-vote, it’s obvious that all the main principals had different definitions of what Brexit means, there’s no plan, sterling is in the toilet and the £350m for the NHS was just fantasy. Plus at least some voters will have direct experience of seeing clients, jobs and investment drift away in the aftermath.

    Given how tight the vote was, Remain would win walking away in a rerun.

    However the result has to be honoured, otherwise democracy itself is undermined.

  17. The Inimitable Steve

    Is there any evidence for the latter at all?

    Yup. I spoke to women who were nearly in tears on Referendum Day, because they believed Remain when it threatened WW3 would break out if we voted Leave. The same scenario will have played out at polling booths all over the country.

    And let’s not forget the Jo Cox effect in the last few days of campaigning, when Cameron and Corbyn rushed to the site of her murder to denounce the “politics of hate (vote remain… cough cough)”

    All the horror stories have turned out to be bollocks. And sterling isn’t in the toilet, it’s down a few cents against the dollar. It directly impacts my business so I keep a close eye on the exchange rate.

    The only people worried about Brexit now are peevish Guardian readers. I suppose it gives them something to do when they’re not googling cuckold porn.

  18. Eur In Trouble Now

    So no evidence at all then. And sterling isn’t down “a few cents”, GBPUSD went from 1.45 to 1.30 and GBPEUR from 1.30 (and cracking 1.40 on the exit polls) to 1.15. It’s pretty obvious at this stage that May is trying to get a handshake deal on some sort of EEA arrangement before filing the Art 50 to limit the damage.

  19. it’s obvious that all the main principals had different definitions of what Brexit means, there’s no plan

    Regardless of whether Brexit was a good idea or not, this sort of piffle drives me up the wall.

    There was a very clear plan: Leave the EU. Did you read the ballot paper?

    Many Leading Leavers weren’t in government, or even the ruling party. What shape Brexit will take is a long-term project, to be decided via General Elections.

    Clearly some Remainers are struggling to come terms with the idea of sovereign government.

  20. And, there’s another message hidden in those exchange rates.

    Up until the crash, GBP being above 1.15 to the EUR would have been considered high, and for years. What happened to the Eurozone?

    As for the dollar, the US is a much less coddled environment than Europe, and we might also draw a lesson from that.

  21. Eur a Traitor now:

    The vast majority of remain voters were “status quo in case my pile of peanuts gets reduced”. Status Quo usually wins these things and were not the EU such shite they would prob have won on status quo grounds. Every day, every crisis , every bullshit Drunker + pronouncement erodes your support. And the economic shit hasn’t hardly started yet.

    This boils the piss of well-off, middle-class, self-hating CM London Bubble scum who still long to suck to suck the EU’s dick.

    Never mind–you will soon find some new gang to kick you while you grovel.

  22. The currency has fallen, but it isnt clear that there will be a major effect on the economy in the short run – the UK remains part of the EU, deals are still being done. Certainly I suspect the UK PMI is going to turn out to be a sentiment led “shock” and actual activity will be OK.

    This does not mean that the economy will not suffer – FDI (foreign direct investment) will fall as uncertainty hits investment/trade with EU, domestic investment will fall as expansion becomes iffier.

    Will May go for EEA? I think it’s very unlikely. Pay in, single market, free movement, no say = easier to fight the Art 50 and refuse to leave. In other words suicidal.

    What they will go for will be something in between WTO and single market, no free movement, limited UK participation in funding stuff like academic grants. Which would be sensible for both the EU and the UK. Doesnt mean they will get it. And in the medium term, it isnt clear to me that the UK will not better off with this – although the uncertainty over the next few years will result in less investment than would otherwise have been the case. Which means the growth path is permanent lower (but might be higher if they get good trade deals).

    It will have almost no effect on UK financial services – the passport is diddly.

    Economically leaving will be negative, but some would argue a small price to pay for greater control. (I am not in this camp, but I understand it – I was pro remain). It probably means that the EU is more likely to fail – up from 60% pre-Brexit towards 75%.

  23. Anecdata alert!
    Every ‘reluctant remainer’ I know — ie close friends and family who voted Remain — now wishes they had voted Leave. OK just a dozen people, but…

  24. ken

    “It will have almost no effect on UK financial services – the passport is diddly.”

    Thanks for your contribution. That’s not the consensus view in the MSM. If you have any expertise in this area (or not), do explain why…

  25. Eur up your arse

    “there’s no plan”

    How could there be a plan? The referendum was not on a plan — just leave vs remain. The leavers have several plans, most of which are viable. As for the remainers, the only ‘plan’ was ‘ever greater union’, with demented unelected federalists like Druncker in control.

  26. The City is a premier financial centre because of the human capital located here. It is a primary centre for financial, shipping, legal services, and for fund management. Unless the UK government undertook crazy negative regulation or trashed the rule of law (both pushed to some extent by the EU), it is difficult to shift a network cluster like this – see how difficult it is to replicate Silicon Valley and they suffer from crazy Californian regulation and insane house prices.

    So banks might not be able to offer services* out of the UK. But in reality is someone going to try to recreate the UK financial services sector in Paris, Frankfurt or Luxembourg? No, because there is a coordination problem and simple inertia. So set up a front in Dublin, which will then subcontract all the actual work to London if there is significant value added that needs expertise. Most of the passported stuff is trivial anyway.

    * bank accounts, loans.

    The UK remains a top centre because it has all the nexus of different skill sets (Investment bankers, hedge fund managers, investment managers, lawyers, accountants, etc). Not going to change. Anyone who believes differently is a moron.

  27. And of course the UK has the advantage of the common law and not idiotic civil code crap. Makes a huge difference.

    The EU politicians would like to seize the business, but they have a coordination problem. No one in their right mind would locate out of Paris (really terrible law) and Frankfurt is not much better. Luxembourg has been trying to shift their laws to being more like common law, and they have some infrastructure, but since the Germans want the business in Frankfurt and the French want it in Paris, the reality is that it will stay in London.

  28. ‘Lord’ O’Donnell – aka Gus O’Donnell (GOD), former Cabinet Secretary – opines in The Times today that Brexit is “not inevitable” – because, er, the EU might reform before we disengage completely from the EU….[What, I suppose, can one expect from a CS who graduated from Warwick*?]

    James Kirkup responds in the Telegraph:

    *Apparently, it’s a university

  29. Eur In Trouble Now

    Dear all: given the large number of responses, you will please forgive me if I attempt a consolidated reply

    Jack C: Yes, I read the ballot paper. But “leave the EU” isn’t a specific proposal. It covers the whole gamut from “finally we shall cast off the statist shackles of Europe and enter a free trading paradise!” [probably welcomed in these parts] to “let’s stop sending cash to the soporific bureaucrats in Brussels and dump it into the bottomless statist pit of the NHS instead!” And now those divisions are being exposed. Hence my point about a revote not going the same way. Because voting against something is easier, voting for a replacement is more difficult.

    Mr Ecks: “traitor” … just go and fuck yourself, you splenetic gibberer. I shall have to refrain from further comment at this point, for fear I may become rude. But do note the rest of us are attempting to discuss the actual, real, tangible damage the referendum result is delivering upon the economy.

    Theo: “up your arse” … one of the things I like about this blog is that people get to call them as they see them. Now to get specific on your points, I don’t see that any of the plans are “viable” because they don’t address the key issue, which is that the UK is a predominantly services based economy, and even more so when it comes to exports, and it’s potentially cutting itself off from the world’s largest and most integrated free trade area on its doorstep.

    Ken: I agree completely, but passporting matters. If parts of the City migrate to Dublin and Frankfurt and Paris and Amsterdam in packets, the value add of the cluster as a whole will be dissipated, and both the UK and Europe will be poorer as a result. NB: the WTO does not cover services!

  30. Passporting is useful, but in terms of the overall value proposition that is the City, it is small potatoes* – I can see that if the EZ really tried to freeze the UK out, it would have an impact on stuff like trading etc, but that would require coordination across the bloc – if trading is driven from London where does it go. And the negative effect would be very large.

    *it’s low value add – being seamless helps, but it doesnt challenge the City’s premier position. Most of the stuff moving to Ireland will be the backoffice contracting entity stuff. Financial firms do far more already just to avoid tax.

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