High Horse

A certain Mr Murphy getting very high horse here:

A government that breaks the law ceases to have purpose or function. It is illegitimate.

Yadda, yadda.

The last time the UK government did this?

There are clear precedents for the UK and other countries needing to consider their international obligations as circumstances change. I would say to honourable members here, many of whom would have been in this house when we passed the Finance Act 2013, which contained an example of treaty override, it contains provisions that expressly disapply international tax treaties to the extent that these conflict with the general anti-abuse rule.

That’s right. The last time the UK government said “Sod you international law” was when they enacted the very tax change that Richard Murphy worked upon.

28 thoughts on “High Horse”

  1. When the Law is favourable to his view it becomes a Sacred Thing; when not it must be discarded and a new Law made.

  2. Who cares about the law? The Law also says you can’t force medical treatment upon someone without their consent. But when it comes to forcing people to take, every time they enter a shop, an invasive medical treatment which it is acknowledged does not have any use for the person being treated, that’s all right.

  3. the very tax change that Richard Murphy worked upon

    He, of course, would deny this stoutly not only for emphasis but also because stoutness is a way of life.

  4. Meanwhile, over in YouTube land, Spud shows his eye for the fine detail. The blurb for his latest drivel asks…

    “Since hitting the headlines, Greta Thunberg has become a powerful figure in the political world, but is he right?”

  5. I take the cheerful view that if you are convinced the EU negotiated in bad faith, fick ut. Since the EU is stuffed with Frogs of course it negotiated in bad faith.

  6. I saw this article via Guido’s sidebar. By a former diplomat who reckons that international law allows for treaty repudiation in certain circumstances, of which this is arguably one.

    The primary requirement is to escape from ECJ jurisdiction in all circumstances so any UK-EU dispute, including over the Irish border, is adjudicated by a mechanism not including the ECJ as arbiter of last resort.

  7. Rob – Yarp. The Rule of Law is of sacred importance when it comes to minor hypothetical technical changes to an agreement we signed with the EU under duress (and we all know what sticklers the EU are for their own rules), but is less important when idiots vandalise statues or try to violently shut down newspapers they disagree with.

  8. Of course this government is illegitimate, but not because of this nowtburger, but because it has taken on emergency powers outside of its rights to do so. And it’s getting worse and the excuses weaker.

  9. Since the law currently is being made up on the hoof by a coterie of ministers after they’ve been at the laughing gas and poppers, who gives a damn about its sacred status in a land of laws?

    On the other hand, the government is not controlling our borders. It is not even pretending to do so. The most basic function of government, and it is not performing it. The government, and here the Stump Thinker is right, the government is illegitimate.

    Talking of which, doesn’t the government attempt to justify its failure to secure the borders with reference to international treaty obligations? If so, if it can override them in re. shifty continentals, can it not do so in re. shifty continentals enabling the boat people invasion?

    Don’t ask me. I’m huffed-up on laughing gas and poppers.

  10. “Since the law currently is being made up on the hoof by a coterie of ministers after they’ve been at the laughing gas and poppers, who gives a damn about its sacred status in a land of laws?”

    And actually, Luddy, that’s just the tip of the ice B. Even in normal times, something in the region of 4,000 statutory instruments – basically, ministerial diktats – are issued (i.e. ‘passed’ by parliament) each year. And then, as I remarked yesterday on the thread about PHE, there’s the abomination of ‘guidance’ becoming de facto law. Or, even when parliament has roused itself to pass a properly debated law, the hydra head of judicial review throws up yet another challenge to parliamentary sovereignty.

    A land of laws? My hairy nates.

  11. Not idea about the terminology but recently Finland quit their tax treaty with Portugal, so now Finns living in Portugal have their private pensions taxed at source in Finland at exorbitant rates. Finland wanted this change, Portugal parliament did not respond so Finland just went and quit the treaty. Twats!

  12. Law? International law? Hmmm…which legislature produces this international law? Which democratically elected government enforces it? Oh – I see. It’s not LAW. It’s Agreement.
    Law is the the thing that (sovereign) Parliament in the UK produces. I get my say by voting for who gets to make this law. It looks like we’re not proposing to break any actual existing law, merely to change the law – democratically. If this then involves us changing our minds w.r.t. to what we’ve agreed with Johnny Foreigner and reneging on an Agreement then that is NOT a breach of LAW. It is a breach of trust.

  13. George Osborne
    My 2013 Finance Act is being cited today as an example of breaking international law. To avoid any confusion: it created a general anti-tax avoidance rule that could override double tax treaties, but all parties to these treaties accept such rules – and the OECD backs them

    So thats that as if there was any doubt in the first place. Can you imagine how desperate they must be to try this crap on….

    “The agreement I agreed was so utterly shit I have to shred the UK`s reputation and act in a way I accept is illegal. Yes I know it sounds absurd but you have to remember quite how shit the agreement I agreed is .I mean it was really really dreadful ..contd page 97”

  14. Let’s be honest. International law is a fiction intended to employ a lot of international lawyers. It’s meaningless. It has no equity. Small, powerless countries are forced to comply with it. Powerful nations ignore it when it suits their purpose.
    The very idea is ludicrous.

  15. “Since hitting the headlines, Greta Thunberg has become a powerful figure in the political world, but is he right?”

    Lol.

    Anyway, of course treaty repudiation is lawful. If it wasn’t we’d still be bound to all sorts of stupid shit from 1830 or something. Sure, you take a hit in terms of reputation but so what, our media and elite fuck our standing and reputation far more violently every day of the week.

  16. Bloke in North Dorset

    One of the main reasons for leaving the EU was that Parliament was no longer sovereign and we couldn’t hold our MPs to account, tje point being that no Parliament can bind the hands of a future Parliament, which was effectively what happened with the Lisbon Treaty (and to a lesser extent the Maastricht Treaty.

    The wonderful Gina Millar even got our Supreme Court to agree that Parliament was sovereign.

    Since the WA we’ve had an election and this Parliament can decide to undo the WA if it so wishes.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    Rob September 9, 2020 at 5:32 pm – “Anyway, of course treaty repudiation is lawful. If it wasn’t we’d still be bound to all sorts of stupid shit from 1830 or something. Sure, you take a hit in terms of reputation but so what, our media and elite fuck our standing and reputation far more violently every day of the week.”

    I don’t know people would even take a reputation hit. Treaties can and are repudiated all the time. But if people want international law to make treaties unbreakable, let’s enforce the terms of Ireland’s leaving.

    We are still bound by all sorts of shit we signed in 1830. Jay’s Treaty for instance. Good thing too. We are still bound by a treaty of alliance, notional as it is, signed with Portugal. In 1386. Last invoked during the Falklands’ War.

  18. The purpose of international law is to allow small committees of woke foreigners to overrule your elected parliament and force on you things that you’d never have voted for in a fit.

  19. SMFS – I don’t know people would even take a reputation hit.

    The story from the media-Remaino complex is that if the ridiculous lying dictator-buffoon BLORIS BLOHNSON (more like Prime Minister Cummings amirite :smirk:) makes minor unilateral changes to an agreement that’ll be a dead letter anyway then the evil, bigoted, inequality-peddling, systemically racist, sexist Tory-infested hellhole that is Great Britain will lose its REPUTATION.

    It’s like being berated by a drunk clown who’s just audibly shat himself.

  20. PJF September 10, 2020 at 6:56 am – “Nancy Pelosi backs the EU and Ireland and threatens a veto of US trade pact with Britain if Boris Johnson breaks the law and overrides Withdrawal Agreement”

    Nice to see Nance has found some election meddling she is totally fine with.

  21. I know I’m alone on this site in thinking Brexit is being badly conducted. We will all suffer because of this fool. His handling of Brexit is about on a par of his handling of COVID. We’re leaving the EU not Europe, and we’re cutting off our nose to spite our face if we don’t have sensible trading arrangements in place. Come January there will be real problems in some areas, and the mood in the country might change.

  22. Ian Reid said:
    “I know I’m alone on this site in thinking Brexit is being badly conducted”

    I would guess that most of us think it is being badly conducted- it is being done by a government, so of course it is. It’s just that most of us think it’s worth doing anyway.

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