Brex-t Steps

January 24th, 2017

Back to blogging not particularly well thought through ideas about the EU Referendum. It’s like the old days. The halcyon days of late Summer 2016  when it looked like the country was willing to sacrifice everything we have on a vague promise of a return to the 1950s. Almost seven months later and it doesn’t look like much has changed, we still don’t have a clue what happens next.

The clarification by the Supreme Court that Parliament is sovereign is a useful. For too long MPs have looked like they were willing to shirk the responsibility of Parliament in some sort of mob rule fever.

It is likely that the Government will pursue a very narrow interpretation of the Supreme Court judgement. They could do this through tabling a small Act of Parliament that gives permission to invoke Article 50 and set in play the process to leave the EU. I think would be very dangerous. This would effectively mean that the Government has a right to negotiate any deal that it sees fit.

There needs to be a safeguard to this process. There needs be some way that a judgement is made of the final negotiated deal to see if it is in our best interests.

If you remember the original referendum question, it asked, do you want to remain in the EU or do you want something else? The country voted for “something else” but that “something else” needs to be tested in some way. That will be the terms this country lives on for decades to come. That is not a decision that can be taken solely by the Government.

I think the only democratic solution to this is a second referendum at the end of the two years. I hated the last referendum, it was divisive and it was lazy. I just don’t think that anything other than this will satisfy people. At least this time it will, hopefully, be a debate about two clear options. The deal on the table from the EU or maintaining the current status quo. If the will of the people is to leave then let them reassert it when it’s obvious what leaving means.

The alternative is putting the deal to a vote in Parliament. Doing that will, inevitably mean that the politics mean more than the interests of the country. The Conservatives and Labour will focus on what they perceive as their core support. This will mean the decision is taken in a narrow range of constituencies.

There won’t be much time before this legislation gets considered. If there is a move for a second referendum then that needs to happen fast. Whilst people speculate about the potential to defeat Article 50 legislation in the coming weeks we could lose an opportunity to safeguard our future.

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Posted in Politics | Comments (4)

4 Responses to “Brex-t Steps”

  1. theaardvark Says:

    The problem with either a referendum or Parliamentary vote at the end of the two years is that it’s very probably already too late at that point.

    The EU and its member states believe that an Art 50 notification is irrevocable.

    Whatever deal we have agreed at that point will be the only thing on the table. The alternative would be exit without a deal. That’s the decision you’d be putting to the country or MPs. The really shit deal or the really, really shit alternative. At that point, who’s going to vote for the alternative.

    If you want a second referendum, and I think we are owed one now the outright lies and wilful ignorance of the Leave campaign has largely been exposed, then it has to come before Art 50 notification.

  2. Daz Says:

    I’m not entirely sure about that. I don’t think it’s the belief of the EU that Article 50 is irrevocable. I’m pretty sure they’ve not taken any position on it and would want the ECJ to interpret that. It certainly doesn’t state that it’s irrevocable so leaves room for interpretation.

    The EU has been steadfast in not discussing these things before we actually begin the process and I’d not be surprised that, in negotiation, they put it to us that we can decide to stay at any point, that’s the best interest solution for them. But I take the point that at the moment it is an unknown.

  3. theaardvark Says:

    I personally asked that question of a representative from the Commission during a PwC VAT event. They are in no doubt that there’s no going back once Art. 50 has been notified.

  4. Daz Says:

    Well that’s more credible than my supposition. Though Article 50 doesn’t say that.

    I wonder if part of that is it would just be better for everyone if we were gone.

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