May means it !

As I sit down to write this post the sun is shining in a clear blue sky on a cold mid January day. I have just returned from a walk in the countryside with my wife after listening to Theresa May’s Brexit strategy speech live.

I cannot help feeling that the day and the setting match the mood of the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit. Bright and optimistic set in a realistic appreciation of the UK’s position regarding the the negotiations to exit the EU.

I do believe Mrs May understands that Britain holds all the aces in this game. So we cannot lose. She knows, and the EU knows, whatever their public face to the contrary.

Mrs May made a great deal of the idea of Britain as a global player and globally oriented, open to other peoples and ideas. This was more than ideological. It was the full PR works leading up to – and interspersing – the message that Brexit will mean Brexit.

She was anticipating the little England accusation beloved of Remoaners.

We will not be partial members, or even associate members of the EU, but equal partners with the EU. We will be good neighbours, friends and allies co-operating on security and defence. But we are going to be a fully sovereign nation making our own laws, no longer accountable to the European Court of Justice.

As a convinced Leave voter of many years standing I would be among the first to spot any indication of compromise or hedging.

Yes, there may be room for such in the suggestion the UK will look for some deal on Customs Union; in her desire to look at transitional arrangements on trade beyond the 2 year Article 50 limit; in the willingness to look at the UK’s continued participation in specific projects.

She did not mention any in particular but I understood that to mean projects like ERASMUS, the student exchange programme – programmes which of necessity would mean a financial contribution.

But she specifically ruled out the massive budget payments which have characterised membership. She also ruled out Single Market membership, and any engagement in the Customs Union provisions which tie the UK’s hands in making her own Trade deals world wide.

She made very clear the need to respect the June 23rd 2016 Referendum vote, and made clear in answers to questions that she fully anticipates that Parliament will do the same when it comes to debate and vote on the final Brexit deal.

What especially made me aware that she intends to see this through, and that she can and will walk away with no deal, was her calm and polite message to those in Europe who want to punish the UK or set terms to dissuade other members leaving.

For their part that would be an act of “self harm” [and I just love the apposite use of a term beloved of Nick Clegg in his propaganda attempts to undermine the Brexit vote]. She understands full well how dependent EU states are on trade into the UK market. And she made clear her willingness to walk away from any deal which did not meet the terms necessary to match the June 23rd vote.

She knows full well she can do it and that the EU would lose out, not Britain.

I do believe that Theresa May understands the strength of Britain’s position and the weakness of the EU’s; that she is prepared to make deals on a proper free trade basis; that she can and will walk away if the EU does not come up with the necessary.

And I believe it because Brexit spells the end of decades of Tory party division on the issue, and it spells the end of the electoral threat from UKIP.

To achieve this prize for his party, Cameron was prepared to gamble on a Referendum. May won’t throw it all away !

Ray Catlin

ps

As a British expat living in France, I note that the UK Prime Minister stated in her speech that EU leaders refused to settle the question of expats in each others countries at this stage. Theresa May had wanted to take people out of the equation and provide certainty. The EU did not. Even though there are twice as many EU nationals in UK as there are UK citizens in the EU.

This speaks volumes about the condescending and callous mentality of EUtopians: like all ideologues, their Ideal takes precedence over the reality faced by ordinary human beings.

Just one of the many reasons I voted to Leave the EU

The reality around the Supreme Court deliberations

The Supreme Court sat last week  to hear submissions regarding the High Court Ruling that the Government may not use Crown Prerogative powers to trigger the famous Article 50 – the Article by which a member state leaves the European Union.

The UK government appeals the High Court decision and the Supreme Court is to rule definitively sometime in the next few weeks.

It must be remembered that the Government used its Prerogative powers each time new EU treaties were made, extending the authority of the EU over members States, including the UK. In each case, a Bill was introduced to Parliament to give domestic effect to the process already negotiated by the Government and agreed in principle. In each case the UK Parliament was expected to ratify what HMG had already signed up to.

That is undeniable historical fact.

HMG therefore is somewhat bemused that when it comes to re-establishing UK sovereignty by leaving the EU, the same process is frustrated.

You will remember that no Referendum took place to sign up to or implement the Treaties which formulated the EU out of the Common Market, the former EEC. At no stage was there a Referendum result to endorse the loss of UK sovereignty to the EU. And there were several such Treaties, notably Maastricht in 1992 and Lisbon in 2007.

Please note that this latter, Lisbon, is basically the European Constitution which was rejected by the electorates of founder members, France and the Netherlands in Referendums there. Tony Blair famously cried off a Referendum on that Constitution in the UK.

No less a person than former French President Valerie Giscard d’Estaing who was in charge of drafting the Constitution stated in Le Monde that the Lisbon Treaty was the Constitution revamped.

In 2016, however, the UK voted in an “In/Out Referendum” to Leave the EU. Suddenly the Crown Prerogative is called into question, despite their being an unprecedented popular vote to endorse its use, a vote of 17.4 million votes in itself an unprecedented number of votes in the UK for any Party or project …

The use of the Prerogative is called into question for purely political reasons. It is a blatant attempt to undermine the Brexit vote.

It is maintained that Parliament must have a say; but Parliament will have a say because the Government has announced that a Great Repeal Bill will be introduced in the summer of 2017 to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act which ratified the Government decision by use of Crown Prerogative to sign the Treaty of Accession.

Requiring that Parliament must approve the triggering of Article 50 is to introduce a novelty to a process that is well established, as outlined above. The novelty is based on the claim that the triggering of Article 50 will cause a process that cannot be stopped but which will deprive UK citizens of Rights established by EU treaties and guaranteed by the EU court, the European Court of Justice or ECJ.

It therefore makes use of the legal truth that HMG cannot sign treaties which impact on domestic rights. It can only use the Prerogative in matters that are purely foreign affairs, not domestic.

But this is to confuse the issue – as they well know.

The truth is that by leaving the EU, the UK brings back control of its citizens Rights to its own Parliament and Government. It establishes our national control of citizens rights. The assumption in their thinking is that it requires the EU to establish and guarantee UK citizens various rights; in a sense true because the UK government and Parliament have progressively ceded such authority to the EU ..

But complete Sovereignty has not been ceded. And to suggest that UK institutions must be supervised by the EU regarding British citizens rights is to reduce the significance of our national institutions to what they already are in the eyes of Remainers – dependent local councils ! And it is to wilfully ignore the fact that the coming Repeal Bill will carry over EU law on such matters to UK law – there can be no practical alternative, in fact.

The EU cannot claim the final say [there is nonsense talk of an appeal from the Supreme Court ruling to the European Court …] because the EU is predicated on Treaty, and it has explicitly recognised the ultimate sovereignty of each member state by the Article 50 provision. That article provides for a state to leave the EU by indicating that it wishes to do so, in accordance with the member state’s own constitutional mechanisms.

And this has already begun to happen by virtue of the June 23rd Brexit Referendum. Parliament made provision for that Referendum, and everyone understood it to be definitive and that Parliament would abide by its outcome. Parliament gave the decision over to the people, and to plead the technical language of it being “advisory” is to wilfully ignore the meaning of the word “advisory” in the context of our Constitution.

All in all, the High Court ruling of November 3rd was constitutionally in error. It was also a political decision to respond to a politically motivated request.

The Supreme Court must now state the correct Constitutional position, and that should accord with the line of argument above.

If the Supreme Court finds otherwise, it will be because it has taken continental EU legal thinking and set it above British constitutional and legal thinking. It will be submitting the UK constitution to the very legal and political framework which the June 23 rd vote was intended to decide finally.

While the Supreme Court may be able to make out a case for upholding the High Court ruling, it will be acting in the face of all the evidence on the use of the Prerogative provided by the process of establishing the EU out of the EEC.

As the Attorney General stated in his Appeal submission on Day One of the hearing last week, where Parliament wishes to limit the Crown Prerogative, it does so explicitly. Where it does not, it does not wish to. If Parliament does not like a use of the Prerogative, it is free at any time to make that clear and to do so. It did not do so in this instance [the Referendum Act].

This goes to the heart of all the politics on this issue.

The Remain campaign expected to win. They did not foresee a Leave vote. They left in place the existing arrangements on the Prerogative because it had served their purpose very well until now. They did not foresee that the existing arrangements on the Prerogative might equally be used to implement a Leave vote.

The political fact that there are leading politicians willing to frustrate the June 23rd Brexit vote has become even more evident in the weeks since I last wrote.

John Major has characterised the Leave vote as “the tyranny of the majority” [I thought that June 23rd was democracy in action – of course Major being a good Eurocrat, he holds that democracy must be subservient to goddess Europa ..].

David Steele has actually said there should be a Referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal, and if the deal is rejected, then we just remain in the EU. I heard him actually say this on Radio 4 …

Tony Blair has also called for a second Referendum with the clear intention of getting the June 23rd vote reversed. Classic EU tactic …

None of these men is prepared to accept the June 23rd vote; all of them show themselves as so enamoured of the EU project as to make democracy subservient to what amounts to their religious devotion to a failing Ideal.

And the fact that Gina Miller’s action in attacking the Crown Prerogative is intended to frustrate the June 23rd Brexit vote is revealed in the comments of the newly elected Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park.

She has stated explicitly that she has a mandate to vote against the triggering of Article 50.

In view of the Brexit vote on June 23rd 2016, Parliament has a constitutional duty to implement that vote, and to Repeal the European Communities Accession Act 1972, and vote through any other Bill necessary to do so.

Remain minded MPs like the lady for Richmond Park should bear that in mind.

Ray Catlin

Since writing the above the following legal comment on the High Court’s ruling has come to my attention:

https://capx.co/uWT4V

 

Brexit disruption: High Court rules against Crown prerogative to trigger Article 50 of Lisbon Treaty

You may well wonder what is going on. Many people are now bemused.

An action was brought in the High Court which gave a ruling on November 3rd 2016. That ruling said that the UK Government was not entitled to use its Prerogative power to trigger the famous Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty enabling a member State to leave the EU. Instead Parliament alone is entitled to trigger the leaving process.

I hear that the UK government is already preparing a Bill for Parliament to do just that, should the Government’s Appeal to the Supreme Court in early December fail.

The Supreme Court is the highest Court in the UK and entitled to rule definitively on such matters. The Government believes it is right but is preparing for every eventuality.

The ruling has created a wave of protest from Leave campaigners, and Nigel Farage is reported as calling for mass demonstrations outside the Court when it sits.

Please note that this Leave voter seriously disagrees with such action. It could be taken as menacing; mass protest should take place elsewhere and at a different time, and I hope that the police forbid protest outside the Court hearing on public order grounds.

I share, however, the grave concern about the ruling.

Let me explain.

Lawyers for Britain have explained the legal and constitutional position on their website at

http://lawyersforbritain.org/referendum-article-50-case.shtml

They have also explained the general constitutional position in light of the Referendum result of June 23rd 2016 on their site at

http://lawyersforbritain.org/referendum-binding.shtml

Both these references are well worth visiting.

That explains the legal and constitutional view as to why the Ruling was wrong. But there are serious political implications as well.

Originally, the government had control of the exit negotiation process, including the timing of commencement  [scheduled to be actioned at latest by end of March 2017] and over the content of the how and what.

Parliament’s participation is due to come, anyway, in summer 2017 when a Bill to Repeal the European Communities Act 1972 will be introduced to Parliament. That Bill will be fully discussed by Parliament in the normal way, and its purpose will be to cancel UK membership of the European Union.

The government has already announced that the Bill will include provision to carry over all existing EU law into British law; that includes all sorts of legislation on various rights. Frankly, that is the only practical way to proceed. Any repeals or amendments can come later for proper, particular consideration if and where  Parliament considers that necessary. 

The moral and political pressure as a result of the June 23rd Referendum vote to leave means that Parliament will feel unable to refuse to pass this Bill. It could and may seek to amend it, but then it would be evident that they are tampering with the result of the Referendum. Repeal of the Act creating membership is the only logic of a vote rejecting the option to remain a member of the EU.

Now, however, the court ruling of November 3rd opens the way for Remain inclined MPs and Lords to raise questions over the negotiation process. Such questions will likely lead to delay, to confusion among the public and to putting conditions on aspects of the negotiations; they could  actually thwart leaving altogether. In effect – and this is what may Remain campaigners hope – they can undermine the Leave decision of the Referendum.

There are MPs who have already said that it is their duty to oppose Brexit because – in their constituencies – a majority voted to Remain members of the EU. That of course completely undermines the June 23rd vote and its overarching significance, reducing it to a mere opinion poll.

But the standard line coming from Remain campaigners, MPs and Lords is that Brexit is accepted in principle: we just need to work out the specifics of how and what. They are calling therefore for a so-called “Soft” Brexit in place of what they characterise as a “Hard” Brexit.

Soft Brexit entails remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union, paying certain dues, accepting certain EU rules , and allowing preferential migration between the EU and the UK.

That is, of course, a form of membership and is a compromise. It is a rejection of the straight [sometimes called “Binary”] choice between Remain and Leave. It is, in effect, a renegotiation of the terms of membership. It is not leaving.

As Prime Minister, David Cameron repeatedly stated that this was to be an “IN/OUT” referendum and that it was for good. The ballot paper we all voted on stated a clear, unambiguous option between two different states of being: Remain or else Leave.

No middle ground option given; no middle ground option really feasible. And everyone in the land understood clearly that this was in or out and that it was permanent. There was a common understanding. There can be no room for misunderstanding now.

However the Remain campaign has not stopped campaigning to remain a member of the EU. There are powerful forces at work which will not accept the UK departure because of

  • the serious reduction in EU finances which UK exit entails
  • the moral and political effects of the UK leaving, especially in raising the profile of the possibility of this in other EU states
  • the failure of the European ideal
  • the religiously blind belief that without the EU, Europe will be prey to war again
  • the importance of the UK as a market for EU goods [they could still come but they fear tariffs because they will have to impose tariffs on UK exports to them because of their rigid rules]

So we are dealing with people who will not accept the democratic verdict. They are people steeped in the mentality of the EU which regards disagreement with their world view as psychologically deviant and suspect; which regards itself as totally right and therefore entitled by whatever means to impose its will; which demands that the democratic process bow to their objective by repeating votes until the people get the answer ‘right’ in their eyes [this happened in Greece in 2015 and it happened in Ireland over the Lisbon Treaty which was itself a means of avoiding popular endorsement, being in fact the Referendum rejected EU Constitution of 2005 repackaged!]

Taking a historical perspective, having an interest in politics and having observed the way the EU and its sycophants operate, I predicted in these pages precisely what has happened: a Leave vote, followed by a sustained rearguard action to thwart that vote by the Remainiacs. [see https://expatforbrexit.wordpress.com/eu-after-june/ ]

Their propaganda knows no bounds – certainly not the truth! Just last Friday, Nick Clegg characterised Leave voters as self harmers when he said on Radio 4 news that “Hard” Brexit [ie actual Brexit] was economic  “self harming”. This despite several economic indicators since the vote having proved the experts tales of apocalypse totally wrong.

He also refused to answer the question as to whether Liberal Democrat Party peers in the House of Lords would seek to compromise or thwart Brexit by bringing amendments to the Bill to trigger Article 50.

That opportunity would not be open to them if the government can go ahead and trigger Article 50 in accordance with the vote by the people on June 23rd.

That is what it should do; and that is what the Supreme Court should enable it to do in view of the June 23rd Referendum result and in view of the plausible view expressed at

http://lawyersforbritain.org/referendum-article-50-case.shtml

http://lawyersforbritain.org/referendum-binding.shtml

Ray Catlin