Brexit Basics 8: update 5th September

 Another of our occasional updates of news and comment on Brexit.

The UK Dimension

  • Will Brett, Electoral Reform Society: It’s Good to Talk: Doing Referendums Differently After the EU Vote: suggests that the level of debate was dire [would anyone disagree?] and argues, inter alia, that “An official body should be given the task of intervening when misleading claims are made by the campaigns, as in New Zealand“. All very worthy: but would anyone take much notice of it? [1 September]
  • Jean-Claude Piris, Financial TimesArticle 50 is not for ever and the UK could change its mind: the former Director-General of the Council of the European Union’s Legal Service suggests that even after triggering Article 50 and notifying the EU of its intention to leave there is no legal obstacle to the UK changing its mind. [1 September]
  • Alan Renwick, UCL Constitution Unit: Is a second referendum on Brexit feasible?: launching his bid for the Labour leadership, Owen Smith called for a second referendum on Brexit once the terms of the deal on future relations between the UK and the EU have been negotiated: it is possible, but could such a vote deliver the outcome that its advocates intend? [18 July]
  • Andrew Rettman and Peter Teffer, euobserver: Brexit may not happen, EU top judge says: the President of the CJEU, Koen Lenaerts, suggested in a radio interview that we do not yet know if and when and under what conditions Brexit might happen: “We have had the referendum, which was a clear political signal, but a lot still has to happen. Let me be clear, everything is still somewhat speculative. And until now nothing has changed – the United Kingdom is still a full member.” [2 September]

UK Parliaments and the courts

  • The House of Commons and the House of Lords both resume today, Monday 5 September. At 16:30, there is a Westminster Hall debate on the e-petition EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum, which has attracted 4,144,360 signatures and the FCO has made a response on behalf of government.
  • The Department for Exiting the European Union has been given hour-long oral question sessions: the first is on Thursday 20 October. It has also published an organogram of its senior management team.
  • House of Commons Library, Research Briefing CBP-7213: Brexit: impact across policy areas: looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have: it will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal. [26 August].

Legal action 

  • The Queen on the application of Hardy v Prime Minister And First Lord Of The Treasury [CO/3527/2016]. The Government must file a detailed response to the claim by 2 September: the two-day hearing will start on 15 October.
  • In the matter of an application by Raymond McCord for leave to apply for Judicial Review and In the matter of an application by Steven Agnew and Ors for leave to apply for Judicial Review: Mr McCord lodged an application for judicial review at the Northern Ireland High Court on 11 August, contending that it would be unlawful to trigger Article 50 without a vote in Parliament and that withdrawal would undermine the UK’s domestic and international treaty obligations under the Good Friday Agreement. There is also a separate challenge from a cross-community group including Green Party leader Steven Agnew; former Justice Minister David Ford; Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP; Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd; former head of the Progressive Unionist Party Dawn Purvis; Monica Wilson OBE, a former member of the Equality Commission; and the Committee on the Administration of Justice. The senior judicial review judge at the High Court in Belfast is to hear both petitions today, 5 September.

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish (and Crown Dependency) dimensions

  • The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland reports that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has appointed a former Scottish Minister, Mike Russell, to lead the Scottish Government’s discussions with the UK Government on the country’s future relationship with the EU. As Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe he will focus on ensuring the best interests of Scotland are represented and protected in all Westminster EU negotiations, following the agreement by the Prime Minister that the Scottish Government should be fully involved in the development of the UK Government’s position ahead of the formal exit process being triggered under article 50, and during the Article 50 notice period. Mr Russell will attend Cabinet. [24 August]

Earlier posts on Brexit:

And finally…

We have indicated earlier that the repetition of “Brexit means Brexit” is rather like the child who doesn’t wish to hear unwanted news, sticks fingers in the ears and repeats “la, la, la, la …” . Expanding on this idea, David offers the following modification of the madrigal “Now is the month of Maying” by Thomas Morley (1557/8 – 1602).

Now is the time of May-ing,
When Brexiters are saying,
 La la la la la la la la la,
 La la la la la la lah.
The brainstorm does its best
Close the borders, sod the rest
La la la, etc…


The Tories, clad in gladness,
Deride Remainers’ sadness,
La la la, etc…
But to the bagpipes’ sound
N Sturgeon stands her ground
La la la, etc…,
Fie then! why sit we musing,
Leave of EU refusing?
La la la, etc…
 Say, dainty May, and speak,
 When can we Brexit-break?
La la la, etc…

4 thoughts on “Brexit Basics 8: update 5th September

  1. Will Brexit be followed by Irexit as the UK has to rescue Ireland from its european “Independence”? – btw Scotland take note

      • As Theresa May might say “Independence MEANS Independence” – or does it mean deciding who best will FUND you? Eamon de Valera all is forgiven!

  2. Pingback: Law and religion round-up – 11th September | Law & Religion UK

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