1. political will 2. test case 3. legal opinion falls in line 4. exit

Just reviewing Richard North’s Flexcit for a moment:

000a Table 008 flow

… and then at the legal opinion [via IPJ here] on our inability to alter the Ts&Cs of the ECHR, as Chris Grayling is proposing,


… then it is clear that it is so worded, in both cases, such that it is well nigh impossible to leave, except under terms highly disadvantageous to the UK – as far as the EU, the CofEur and the ECHR see it.

My case is – why should we see it that way? Perhaps it was those years in Russia but I see it more in terms of a wrecker’s ball and our own piecemeal body of law preceding the EEC. We give it a name Reset, we simply leave.

Objections and replies to those:

1. Dr. North is representative of an opinion whereby we go cap in hand to the very bodies who would keep us in – yes even those behind EFTA – it is a club – and of course, their ‘legality’ is highly weighted towards their legal experts’ opinion. But my contention is that they are themselves acting illegally, in terms of UK law:


2. There is, however, a far more efficacious way and that is when a national parliament makes laws pertaining to itself. Clearly that is irresponsible in the eyes of someone as legalistic as the good and responsible Dr. North but it does not accord with how history records nations as having acted.

And nations have survived by proactive moves, based on precedent and backed by subsequent legislation, placing the detractors, e.g. the bodies mentioned above, in a position whereby they must make all the legal moves to extra-national courts and the proactive nation can then hear their submissions and accept or dismiss them.

This is not unlike various bodies excommunicating one another – but none of it alters the political will [see Henry VIII].

3. I’m suggesting the reason we can’t do this at this time is not the legalese at all – there is conflicting legal opinion on these matters [some earlier posts on the EU] – but collusion by the politicians at the top.

That is, our politicians, from Wilson and Heath onwards, have colluded in denying the national parliament the final arbitrary say on UK matters and this, in terms of previous legal opinion – precedent – is illegal in UK terms.

Here’s an example from 2010.  At Team Europe, they point out, as of November 1st:

From midnight last night, the European Commission became illegal

As of midnight last night, the terms of 26 European Commissioners expired. Of the 27-strong college, only one, President José Manuel Durão Barroso, has been reappointed. The others, on any conceivable reading of the rules, are now occupying their posts illicitly.

Why is the EU, yet again, disregarding its own rules of procedure? Because the composition of the Commission would be altered by the European Constitution (a.k.a. Lisbon Treaty), and Eurocrats were reluctant to go through an appointments procedure under the existing rules.

Virtually any EU illegality can be used as the pretext for our action, if only there is the political will.  here is a legal opinion from Jailhouse Lawyer, from November 20, 2009, negating the standing of 1688:

It is a well established principle of English law that Parliament cannot bind future Parliaments.

Therefore, to claim that the 1688 Declaration of Rights makes the European Communities Act 1972, etc, unlawful is pure hogwash!

In February the European Court of Human Rights is to be reformed to allow the Council of Europe to grant the Committee of Ministers extra powers to control rogue states like the UK.

According to that argument then, a subsequent UK parliament which, say, pushed the current ECHR opt-out, has every right to negate anything formerly adopted, e.g. EU law.  It is hogwash to say that our parliament cannot unilaterally move on matters pertaining to the UK.

Plus political will creates precedent.

I’m suggesting that even though this is all well and fine on the surface:


… the P24 is bunkum, namely:

A Member State wishing to withdraw from the EU must inform the European Council of its intention; the Council is to produce guidelines on the basis of which a withdrawal agreement is to be negotiated …

Utter bunkum. That is the EU’s rules, not the UK’s and as JHL pointed out, no previous parliament can bind a future one.  We politely inform them – that’s all it takes and all it’s ever, in political reality, taken.  All the rest is smoke and mirrors.

If the Queen’s own collusion in this can be kept out of it, no matter how that sticks in the craw of many, then the path is then considerably smoothed as one is not taking on the royal houses of Europe, only the henchmen.

4. Another reason there is not the will to change via this route is because those henchmen are well aware that a consequence will be national legal charges brought against those perpetrating this. And as the MSM is subject to D notices, as you saw at Guido’s the other day and I wrote a satirical post on subsequently, and as the MSM is controlled, as Leveson demonstrated, then the British public will only get the slant those in control wish.

And those in control are pro-EU. Therefore, there needs to be a test case, e.g. on prisoner’s votes, on the ECHR or whatever, whereby oure ‘leadership’ goes it alone, something it simply will not do.

Unless pushed.  And look at Cameron’s change of stance of late.  What caused it – public opinion … or fear of Eurosceptics in his party defecting?

5. Dr. North [not specifically that worthy gent but the class of responsible politicos who know their law] are getting tied up in something they have no need to be tied up in and both Yeltsin and Putin demonstrated this.

Namely, that the proactive government, legislating on things pertaining to its internal affairs, is almost never subject to effective constraint, unless the political leadership are quislings and wish it to be so.  We are talking realpolitik here.

Naturally, opinion would be divided even among the populace, and there is a very British compliance with anything portrayed as ‘by the book’ and ‘above board’.  Richard North’s proposal is very much in that vein – a fine course out, as long as one recognizes the binding power of current EU treaty and legislation.  It is always subject to this, never independent of it.

6.  What frightens the proverbial about Nigel is that he appears to be both unaware of the ‘proper’ roadmap required and yet has the political will and popularity to start this process of unilateral withdrawal through test cases and actually being chucked out on our backsides.

This militates against the national political consciousness and that is precisely what the EU, with it’s large British component of quislings vocal at the helm, is banking on.  The one thing they do not need is a maverick going for the unilateral and various lawyers, e.g. those for the Tories and Grayling, falling in behind in orderly ranks.

It’s the fear of the orderly and legal appearance of this maverick move which frightens more than the move itself.  If the public perceive it as madcap – and the leftist half most certainly will, manipulated by the MSM – then bodies such as the UN and their subdivision the EU, along with the European continental based PTB, e.g. the powers behind Merkel, rest far easier.

The opinion contained within this post, even the use of the word ‘maverick’, is the way they must have the proposal portrayed, whereas it must be obvious to any student of politics that there is a set of laws and precedents before our EEC membership, along with the legal opinion of what the Yes vote in the last referendum on the matter actually conveyed to the British yes voters’ minds, that allows for a most orderly withdrawal, nothing madcap whatever in it.

‘Madcap’, in this sense, only means that which is the opposite of the political paradigm you wish to see in place.  In realpolitik, the issue is political will, not legalese.  And to those who say this is the making of a dictator:

a. Do we not have a dictator at this very moment [see vacuum cleaners and hairdryers]?

b. Would such political process not be according to former UK law, preceding the EEC?

Further, the fiction that nations would not trade with our firms is so much codswallop.  Look at the sanctioned Russia at this very time.  Firms such as Procter and Gambel are still trading with Russia, even amid the rhetoric.  I know this is so because I was a consultant to a trade minister and saw this in action, I was translating and proofreading the documents.

7.  So I’m sorry – the words ‘can’t be done’ or ‘that’s not the way it works’ are a cop out.  By all means go the flexcit route if it makes us feel better but I suggest that what must precede any of this is a test case and that could be anything – why not the ill-thought-out Grayling proposals?

They think it is a way to keep us in and ‘claw back powers’.  LOL. I can drive a bus through the holes as much as you could but in terms of realpolitik, it is the pretext required to stick to the guns and actually be thrown out.  You know and I know that that would not happen, as the whole house of cards then comes down.

Again – the test case, the heavy-handed ECHR response, the galvanizing of public opinion over here as Dave who is torn between his masters and the vision of being the Great Man Who Took Us Out, sees his political survival in this, the chance to cutout Farage and Co for once and for all and then the City and corporate Britain fall in behind.  It won’t be Nigel – it will be Dave, forced by Nigel and seeing off Theresa May in the process.

2014/2015 is when all this is going to take place.  Hang on for the ride.

14 comments for “1. political will 2. test case 3. legal opinion falls in line 4. exit

  1. Sue Jameson
    October 5, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I’m with you on this one James. I have a great deal of respect for Dr North and what he is trying to do but I can’t help thinking that our adherence to following rules is part and parcel of our problem. Dr North is attempting to create a viable plan for a “legal” exit, one that the Pro-EU sector cannot possibly fault as a credible document.

    But, as you say, on numerous occasions, the EU has broken its own treaty laws, not least of which was the “no bailout” clause, which as we all now know, has been continually trampled upon.

    In any sensible court of law, a contract becomes void once one of the parties’ involved breaks the terms and conditions and in my books, the Lisbon Treaty has been irreparably broken. Therefore, we are not obliged (apart for trade and/or diplomatic reasons), to have anything to do with it.

  2. graham wood
    October 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

    “then it is clear that it is so worded, in both cases, such that it is well nigh impossible to leave, except under terms highly disadvantageous to the UK – as far as the EU, the CofEur and the ECHR see it.”

    James. Thanks for this interesting and provocative article. I agree with the thrust of it. I also agree that taking the Article 50 route places the UK at a great disadvantage for many reasons, now well rehearsed. There are all sorts of political and constitutional issues which arise from your comment, not least that the “madcap” solution may well arise in the form of a Farage (UKIP pressure eventually) which may transform the situation politically.

    You mention somewhere about the collusion which exists within the PTB and particularly the three main parties. To which we should add the powerful, but hidden voice of ‘corporate Britain’ which has a vested interest in our staying in.
    For me, the central issues revolve around our Constitution, and particularly whether our Bill of Rights of 1689, Act of Settlement and especially the Coronation Oath Act have been ‘cancelled, or in abeyance, or still extant law.
    Further, was the ECA 1972, although passed through a British Parliament with the Royal Assent a “legal” act? IMO it was illegal, and remains so to this day as being wholly incompatible with the Acts as above.
    It would be different if Parliament had repealed these Acts (being constitutional then necessary only by the express will of parliament to do so), then of course they would no longer be part of our constitutional law and the ECA ’72 would have replace these as a later constitutional law. But the Acts remain in place,
    and the Bill of Rights is still there!
    That is why John Bingham in his excellent paper on the permanence of our constitutional law has headed it “Unlawful governance”.
    In it he has stated the principle so well:
    “The principles of our Constitution are fundamentally self-preserving and allow no provision for its dismantling, diminishment or destruction”

  3. graham wood
    October 5, 2014 at 11:47 am

    “Richard North’s proposal is very much in that vein – a fine course out, as long as one recognizes the binding power of current EU treaty and legislation. It is always subject to this, never independent of it.”

    Again, fully agreed. The question arises – why should we recognise that “binding power”? By doing so in the 2 year negotiation process of extrication what is to stop the EU moving the goalposts by legalese to which a compliant British government would listen.

    You rightly note that the Article in Lisbon DOES indeed allow a member state to unilaterally secede, and the operative words are
    “in accordance with its own constitutional requirement” (or similar). That clause is absolutely fundamental to the whole discussion, and needs to be brought to the attention of our political class.

    I agree too with Sue’s comment above that the EU has frequently broken its own treaty laws. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the EU gander, and the finger of accusation should be rightly pointed at the EU here.

    Finally, it is ironic that post the Scottish referendum and the opening up of the constitutional implications of that, the central one is that of the notorious “West Lothian” question. Good!
    But the occasional foray of Scottish politicians in our political process is as nothing compared with that of the EU is it?
    Our membership of the EU and its capacity to make our laws is “West Lothian writ large. The principle is precisely the same and logic demands that whilst MPs wax indignant about the former, they completely ignore the very same principle which should apply to the latter.
    How thankful we should be that the other principle that “no Parliament can bind its successors” is still there – notwithstanding EU hegemony and dictatorial powers ceded to it by a past generation of treacherous politicos !

  4. October 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    an interesting article borne out of the legal opinion link which I passed to you yesterday.

    However, 3 very important points.
    1. The ECHR has absolutely nothing to do with the EU (except the requirement in Lisbon Treaty to be a signatory to ECHR).
    2. The UK is bound to the terms of the ECHR under our ratification of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (with annex). Concluded at Vienna on 23 May 1969.
    3. The ECHR is a convention of the Council of Europe, which is not the EU.

    The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

    The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention in the member states. Individuals can bring complaints of human rights violations to the Strasbourg Court once all possibilities of appeal have been exhausted in the member state concerned. The European Union is preparing to sign the European Convention on Human Rights, creating a common European legal space for over 820 million citizens.


    The idea that this has anything to do with the UK renegotiating terms with the EU is totally spurious, and is only political smoke and mirrors on the part of Cameron and his panicked lackies,

    Treaty Law is very simple.
    a. you either sign and ratify the treaty or you do not.
    b. you cannot renegiate a treaty once it is signed.
    c. you exit a treaty by whatever means you agreed to when you signed it.

    The idea that Cameron can renegotiate the terms are therefore total hogwash, a political fairlytale to calm the masses, in exactly the same way that renegotiating the terms of our EU membership is also fairytale bullshit, as there is no mechanism within either treaty to do so.

    It’s either in or out. If he wishes to abandon the ECHR, then we must first leave the EU, as EU membership requires states to have signed the ECHR.

    Douglas Carswell was right when he said Cameron will say and do just enough to get back into No.10. The fact that he is lying through his teeth, wasting public money and spinning a yarn of epic proportions merely shows to what lengths he is prepared to go to achieve that.

    • October 5, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      The ECHR has absolutely nothing to do with the EU

      It does and it doesn’t, Ian. Shall reply this evening – have to go out now. The thrust of what I’ll say is that the C of E and EU are concentric in terms of who they are and very much connected.

      Article 1(a) of the Statute states that “The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.”

      Those conventions and decisions are developed by the member states working together at the Council of Europe, whereas secondary European Community law is set by the organs of the European Union. Both organisations function as concentric circles around the common foundations for European integration

  5. witteringsfromwitney
    October 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I can but concur with the views of IPJ above.

    For what it is worth, my take on this article (with no apologies James – you know me, I call it as I see it):


    Another reason why the so-called simple repeal of ECA1972 is rubbish is the question of the hundreds of treaties/agreements to which we are only a signatory through our membership of the EU and which would need renegotiating – to which overflight and landing rights is but one, not to mention the trading agreements that the EU has and to which we are also a signatory.

    Article 50 does not, I repeat does not, grant any member state to unilaterally to secede – the words quoted are interpreted out of context. I can but return to Article 42.2 of the Vienna Convention, on which no doubt IPJ’s point that you exit a treaty by whatever means to which you agreed when you signed it is based.

    Until people remove their blinkers on this question of Brexit the ‘outers’ will never get anywhere.

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      I can but concur with the views of IPJ above.

      Naturally, David but we’re speaking of two entirely different things, you and I. You’re mentioning the correct way to go and I’m speaking of events overtaking that and bypassing the morass.

  6. graham wood
    October 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    David. As a matter of course we, (and many others who take our Constitution seriously) fundamentally disagree on our exit from the EU. You state above:
    “Another reason why the so-called simple repeal of ECA1972 is rubbish is the question of the hundreds of treaties/agreements to which we are only a signatory through our membership of the EU”.

    You make the basic mistake of confusing domestic and constitutional law with international treaties. The ability of a British Parliament to enact domestic laws on anything whatsoever is not predicated upon treaties entered into with foreign governments.
    There are two clear choices for exit, both of which could be undertaken without reference to international law.
    Both are the start of a process of amending our laws (and disposing of EU laws), assuming that the political will is there.

    1. Unilaterally and without pre-conditions invoke Article 50 of the LT and begin the lengthy process.

    2. Repeal the ECA 1972 which would also begin the lengthy process of disentangling the UK from the many illegal laws imposed by the EU.
    Both are constitutionally possible and therefore “legal”.

    To argue on your blog the tired old argument that EU law is superior or sovereign over Britain’s centuries old Constitution is plainly absurd. (It would mean membership of the EU set in stone forever and negation of “no parliament can bind…. etc.) That would render the normal political process in the UK parliament impossible

    We live in an illegally constituted state for the simple reason that successive governments have deliberately entered into international treaties about constitutional law of this country. It is now claimed that such treaties “bind” us in the enactment of domestic law.

    We know that the courts of the land over the years have found in favour of the idea of the “supremacy” of EU law, but in the end it is the HIGHEST court in the country, namely Parliament itself, “whose decisions cannot be impeached or questioned in any place or court outside of Parliament” which can reverse that doctrine and which the courts must submit to.
    Thus our Common law still remains supreme and our Bill of Rights and important clauses in Magna Carta legally and rightly appealed to as reflecting what is known in all English speaking countries as “the rule of law”.
    We either have a Constitution or we do not. The whole purpose of our many Constitutional enactments is to curb the abuse of power by the executive. The Prime Minister may appear to have great power, but in the final analysis possesses none which may breach the Constitution. ALL use of Crown prerogative in under limitation imposed by our Constitution.
    David, I suggest you read very carefully the Coronation Oath Act and the Act of Settlement and 1689 Bill of Rights, all of which, I repeat, remain unrepealed.

    To summarise: The UK’s capacity to make or unmake law domestically is not contingent upon international law or treaties, although of course the latter may ultimately be affected un a multitude of ways

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Yes Graham but even more than that, it’s about an event occurring, taking one of them and seizing on it. It speaks of proactivity, with the legal opinion being just as good in supporting it as the CofE and EU have in supporting their side.

    • witteringsfromwitney
      October 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm


      I suggest you re-read your comment:

      Contrary to what you write I do not make the mistake (basic or otherwise) of confusing treaties with domestic or international law.

      By signing the Lisbon Treaty we have subsumed our right to legislate on any matter which is now an ‘occupied field’ of the EU. Why is it that the UK can no longer pass any law on, for example, any transport matter without reference to the EU first? Or do you deny that we can’t?

      You dismiss my assertion that treaties to which we are only a signatory through our membership of the EU would require renegotiation – yet if we did exit we would no longer be a party to those treaties/agreements. So what comes first repeal of ECA1972 or the renegotiation of those treaties? If the first happens without the second the UK is literally ‘out in the cold’. Consequently the two are entwined and cannot be separated.

      The ability of a British Parliament to enact domestic laws on anything whatsoever is not predicated upon treaties entered into with foreign governments – it most certainly is when the ability so to do has been ceded, which is what the UK has done by signing the Lisbon Treaty.

      You state there are two methods of leaving the EU without reference to international law. Are you denying the existence of the Vienna Convention on Treaties?

      You write that repeal of ECA197 would allow the UK to begin disentangling many illegal EU laws. Where do you think ‘law originates? Banking law originates from the Basle III, ‘standards’ originate from UNECE. The EU’ REFIT programme is only the means whereby existing EU law is being amended to comply with more recent diqules that have been issued by UN standard setting bodies. In any event, were we ‘free’ we would no doubt be implementing exactly the same – although we would have the right to disregard them if we wished, but what would be the point.

      Whether you like it or not EU ‘law’ does have supremacy over UK national and constitutional law – go check it out, I’ve linked to the source often enough! Also I am not the only one who maintains this is a fact.

      Membership of the EU is indeed ‘set in stone’ – until we leave, ie until any withdrawal negotiation is concluded, or after two years.

      The Lisbon Treaty does bind us in the enactment of domestic law – Parliament is therefore no longer sovereign as sovereignty is the ability to legislate on any matter within a country’s borders; something we no longer have the ability to do.

      You write that still have constitutional law and then admit that successive governments have deliberately entered into international treaties about constitutional law of this country – Doh?

      Please do not have the temerity to lecture me about what I should read – with respect I submit it is you that should be doing the reading! All that you suggest I read has been negated by the UK signing the Lisbon Treaty -have you actually read it?

      Common Law remains supreme? In which case why is it that Common Law has been overturned in so many areas by EU Directives and Regulations?

      Finally you state that the UK’s capacity to make or unmake law domestically is not contingent upon international law or treaties – it most certainly is because if not why can we not legislate on matters which are now occupied fields?

      Wise up Graham, do!

  7. October 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Is it not a fact that lex specialis is to be considered? – to which I would add possibly lex posterior (explanation in the same link)

    Precisely and so a series of specific instances of fraudulent action by first the EU and then the wider ring of the concentric circle are cited as reasons for the unilateral action.

    Is it not a fact that if one looks at the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the UK has agreed to be bound by the Treaty of Lisbon (and its predecessors) – fact (Article 11).

    Yes but this is overridden by the accepted precedent, cited by many legal opinions, that no previous parliament can bind a later and thus the next parliament repudiates the former, citing all the instances of illegality in the obtaining of those signatures.

    Must not the UK observe that termination of a treaty, its denunciation or the withdrawal of a party, may take place only as a result of the application of the provisions of that treaty – fact (Article 42.2); ergo you exit a treaty by whatever means to which you agreed when you signed.

    Only if it was a properly formulated treaty, mandated by the public. This is has not been in the case of Lisbon.

    Has not the European Union already made plain that EU law has supremacy not only over national law but also constitutional law?

    I stopped after ‘hasn’t the European Union …’ Who cares what they say on this, if the UK has 1. taken unilateral action and 2. has backed it up with legal opinion. It is then legal opinion v legal opinion, a debate which the UK might or might not agree to take part in.

    The point is that the EU, by its actions has already disqualified itself from a say over the UK.

    Is it not a fact that if the UK wishes to exit the ECHR it must first exit the European Union because EU membership requires states to have signed the ECHR?

    Yes, it must first exit the EU. The ECHR was just an example of an incident – it cold well be another piece of legislation, another bill.

    Original Article at Witterings from Witney http://witteringsfromwitney.com/

    The point here is, as I stated in the post, there is this ‘desire to be bound’ which simply need not exist – there is sufficient legal precedent in UK law to move unilaterally.

    I know certain parties don’t like it, as it is not complex enough and does not accord the EU some say on something they had no right and PMs had no right to have in place.

    But even this is again being dragged back into the morass. There is no need for any UK parliament to do other than act and then justify. Realpolitik is that which I’m referring to, whereas some commentators here are referring to legality, where all parties are happy.

    We’re arguing over two separate issues. It’s not even necessary that the case for unilateral withdrawal be a good one although the British public have this fixation with ‘above board’ and thus they would need it to be spelt out, those reasons, specifically.

    In fact, one need go no further than the writings of one D. Phipps and I Parker-Joseph since 2009 to list the various illegalities and improprieties of the EU, as it became.

    And yes, these do stand legally, if a country has taken an action with respect to itself and has stated these as its grounds.

    The only stumbling block is political will. However, given a conjunction of circumstances, D. Cameron could well see it in his interests to take this step, if his political oblivion was the alternative.

    Realpolitik again, not just talk.

  8. October 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Whether you like it or not EU ‘law’ does have supremacy over UK national and constitutional law – go check it out, I’ve linked to the source often enough! Also I am not the only one who maintains this is a fact.

    Membership of the EU is indeed ‘set in stone’ – until we leave, ie until any withdrawal negotiation is concluded, or after two years.

    The Lisbon Treaty does bind us in the enactment of domestic law – Parliament is therefore no longer sovereign as sovereignty is the ability to legislate on any matter within a country’s borders; something we no longer have the ability to do.

    Again, David, you’re making an error of perception – you continue to refer back to legality and in terms of the way the EU defines this, you are, of course, right. I’m arguing against the perception, that there is a legal case not to accept it as such.

    We are arguing different things, obliquely if you like. No one is denying that in the current state, our leadership considers that EU law binds.

    But this is not the reality in two ways – 1. if unilateral action is taken by this country’s parliament and that would be on the recommendation of the Prime Minister at this time. 2. if legal arguments existed to support such action, which they very much do, not least on the default of the EU as a result of its own actions.

    So, in this situation, Graham’s comments are what are used as part of the argument to support such action but they are not necessary, as there is no debate at all – the UK has simply declared its sovereignty.

    OK, so that is tested. How? In the first instance, by the EU demanding compliance, then by appeal to the various treaties, then to the UN but if the UK declares itself a sovereign state, then what, physically, can they do?

    In realpolitik, as Yeltsin discovered in 1998, what can the EU actually do? bomb us? Send in troops? If so, the US is invoked.

    And this is what I mean by political reality. I’m not speaking about legality here – that follows the action. Nor is it renegade to reclaim a nation’s sovereignty. It then comes down to the will of the people and in a quick referendum given to the people then about sovereign nation or not,what do you think the result wold be?

    And there is the final legitimacy.

    I’m not speaking here as someone ignorant of the arguments. I know flexcit, I’ve followed IPJ’s and WatW’s writings and have been involved with them. I’m well aware that under EU reality, it is as they say.

    I’m not speaking about EU reality, I’m speaking of realpolitik. Proactive steps.

    The only question then is what would make D.Cameron suggest this course to the Queen? The answer is if the alternative for him would be terrible and to follow this course would make him a statesman. This is politics – the great man leading us out of the wilderness.

    The question of whether this humble blogger is mad or talking out of his proverbial is irrelevant. All that is relevant is national will.

    And circumstances have altered national will before – look at immigration. We are coming into a time now where people see national will being exercised, whether or not it is, whether or not it’s a con job.

    The only point, as Roosevelt realized, is whether people believe it is so. Faced with this, we are already seeing signs of Dave’s expediency. I agree he wishes us to remain inside. The referendum question will be rigged.

    But a cascading series of circumstances is another thing and D Cameron is an opportunist.

  9. Junican
    October 6, 2014 at 4:33 am

    As I understand it, Treaties are not agreed by Parliament. They are agreed by the government of the day. They may be useful agreements which have value at the time. But they can lapse, in the sense that the subject of the treaty might cease to have any importance.
    But a Treaty might also cease to have any effect if a party to the Treaty simply decides to ignore it.
    Thus, as regards Lisbon and all other Treaties, the UK Parliament has never actually voted to accept or reject them. The Government of the day commits the UK to a Treaty.
    Treaties are temporary agreements. They have force only so far as the participants continue to abide by the terms of the Treaty. There is no need to officially terminate the Treaty. One needs only stop doing what the Treaty demands.
    There seem to be lots of ‘Treaties’ which are still ‘on the books’, but which have lapsed due to irrelevance.


    Thus, there is no need for the UK to leave the EU. It needs only to ignore the dictats of the EU. It becomes then a matter of when the EU throws the UK out of the EU because the UK simply ignores, and thus lapses, the Treaty.

  10. graham wood
    October 6, 2014 at 11:04 am

    “…but if the UK declares itself a sovereign state, then what, physically, can they do?”

    I think James has reiterated a good point made via his “realpolitik” points. Also Junican’s last para is IMO a relatively simple and trouble free route to EU exit. That in turn would of course result in hysterical quislings in our political class pouring out their pc wrath upon any who opposed the prevailing orthodoxy. But no matter, in the end once the British people and Parliament decide that enough EU is enough then pragmatic politics will inevitably follow and dominate over legalistic theory.

    To David. As said we fundamentally disagree. You think the EU has legal status in the UK and therefore its laws and institutions some sort of legitimacy. This is true to only a very limited degree in that our Parliament ceded powers to the EU that were technically approved by Parliament, but illegal under our Constitution. They remain so. Perhaps you need to remember that the EU is without a shred of democratic accountability to any British electorate, or to any national parliament. If being unelected and unelectable, how can it possess any meaningful authority ? If ever there was a case of the Emperor having no clothes …….!
    Article 50?
    A prima facia case here for exit by any state “in accordance with its constitutional requirements” That seems clear enough to me and any natural reading of the text. and of course this or a future Parliament can in effect declare UDI and reassert our national right to self-determination on that basis.
    For what its worth that has the backing of the UN charter on self determination.
    You ask what has precedence repealing the ’72 Act or negotiations? Clearly repealing the Act by a Parliament with full public support would come first, so making null and void all previous treaties in legal terms, and then an orderly unpicking of all EU laws from our domestic legislation.
    I believe invoking Article 50 of the LT is a dead end, making the UK a hostage to fortune, and would wrongly attribute some recognition of EU legitimacy it does not possess. It would also cost us continued payment of £billions into the EU coffer unnecessarily.

    I would have thought that the obvious point would be seen by you that no country can have two competing “constitutions” – our own and the Lisbon Treaty, and it is significant that in any legal contest which could arise’, but which is unlikely, as the Speaker of the H. of C (Boothroyd) declared: “Our Bill of Rights must be required to be fully respected by all those appearing before our courts.

    Following James proactive line of thought in ‘realpolitik’ there is very little the EU or any other body can do about it, and as Junican suggests, the treaties can be left to wither on the vine by neglect.

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