Brexit Basics 2: update 2nd July

This week’s developments and legal opinions

Further to our earlier post, Brexit Basics, recent developments and updates are listed below. Readers will be aware of an e-petition initiated by a Brexit supporter in advance of the Referendum, EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum. It is most unlikely that this will lead to a retrospective change in the associated legislation, but at over 4 million signatures it is likely to be a factor in the political arena. It was referred to in Early Day Motion 243 which “calls on the Government to ensure that there will be a referendum allowing UK citizens to agree on the terms of the UK-EU exit package and associated constitutional changes or on the option to remain; and further believes that this referendum should be called before Article 50 is triggered”. Although tabled on 27 June, at the time of writing it had attracted only 5 signatures.

An item of news breaking late on Sunday 3rd July was the announcement by Mishcon de Reya that “legal steps have been taken to ensure the UK Government will not trigger the procedure for withdrawal from the EU without an Act of Parliament”.

The process

  • Mark Elliott, Public Law for EveryoneBrexit: On why, as a matter of law, triggering Article 50 does not require Parliament to legislate. A comparison of three possibilities regarding who gets to make the Article 50 notification, thereby triggering the withdrawal process: (1) The Prime Minister, by exercising prerogative power; (2) Parliament, by enacting primary legislation; (3) The Government collectively, by making an Order in Council under powers conferred by the European Communities Act 1972.

Conservative Party leadership timetable [from BBC Twitter]

The Conservative leadership elections are of importance with regard to the Article 50 notification and subsequent discussions with the EU: i] in determining the candidates’ views; ii] in delaying the earliest point at which such a notification might be given.

  • Thursday 30 June: Nominations closed at 12pm: candidates are: Michael Gove, Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom.
  • Monday 4 July: Hustings for MPs
  • Tuesday 5 July: Voting open for MPs from 11am to 6pm. The first ballot is then counted and verified and the result announced by the returning officer immediately. The candidate with least votes drops out and the others decide if they’re still running.
  • Thursday 7 July: Second ballot takes place. Voting is open for MPs from 9am – 4pm. Result announced afterwards.

This process continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays until they are down to two candidates. The final two are then put to the membership of the party.

  • 9 September: New leader announced, unless, of course, someone drops out before that.

Brexit tImetable

  • If Article 50 not activated until 2017, then th UK remains a full member of the EU until 2019, during which period there will be:
    • the French Presidential Election, April-May 2017;
    • the German Federal Elections, August-October, 2018.

The Scottish dimension

  • Law Society of Scotland: Q and A following UK vote to leave European Union: on such knotty issues as, “I am qualified in another EU member state but I practise here using my home title under the Establishment Directive (98/5). Will I be able to stay here?”

UK Parliament, European Parliament

EU and UK Governmental analysis

The EU referendum hub provides links to all Research Briefings, the most recent of which are listed below:

  • House of Commons Library: EU budget and the UK’s contribution: Commons Briefing paper SN06455, 27 June 2016. This note considers the EU’s spending and how it is financed. It includes the UK’s contributions and receipts to and from the EU budget and discusses the UK’s rebate.
  • House of Commons Library: Leadership Elections: Conservative Party: Commons Briefing paper SN01366, 27 June 2016. This House of Commons Library briefing paper sets out the current rules for electing a Conservative Party leader and the background to their introduction.
  • House of Commons Library: European Union Referendum 2016: Commons Briefing papers CBP-7639, 29 June 2016. Characteristics associated with votes for Leave and Remain and a timeline of key events from 23 January 2013 to Polling Day.
  • House of Lords Library: Leaving the EU: Parliament’s Role in the Process: Lords Library notes LLN-2016-0034, 30 June 2016. The Note examines what Parliament’s role would be in the process of withdrawing from the European Union in several key areas: invoking Article 50; overseeing the negotiation process; ratifying agreements; repealing and reviewing domestic legislation. [On Twitter, David Allen Green, a.k.a. Jack of Kent commented “the best single document yet setting out all options for how UK can make A50 decision”.

Church of England

Further to the joint statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on the EU referendum on Friday 24th June 2016, they have exercised their powers under the General Synod’s Standing Orders to make some time available at its brief Group of Sessions on 8 July for a debate on a motion “endorsing the Archbishops’ recent call for all to unite in the common task of building a generous and forward looking country, contributing to human flourishing around the world”.

13 thoughts on “Brexit Basics 2: update 2nd July

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  2. It appears that the vast bulk of names on the petition for a second referendum have been created by internet pranksters. For example, every MP has “signed” it – and there are 38,000 signatories from the Vatican (population 800) – which ought to indicate that the petition is largely bogus.

    • On Tuesday 28 June 2016, the Petitions Committee issued the statement [emphasis added]

      EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum
      The Committee has decided to defer its decision on this petition until the Government Digital Service has done all it can to verify the signatures on the petition. We have already had to remove 77,000 fraudulent signatures.

      The Committee wishes to make clear that, although it may choose to schedule a debate on this petition in due course, it only has the power to schedule debates in Westminster Hall – the second debating chamber of the House of Commons. Debates in Westminster Hall do not have the power to change the law, and could not trigger a second referendum”.

      At 11:04 on 2nd July, there were 4,093,486 recorded signatures.

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