The Cooper-Letwin Bill: Parliamentary control over the extension of Article 50

The House of Lords is today considering the Cooper-Letwin Bill — or, to give it its formal title, the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 5) Bill — which would enable the House of Commons to impose certain statutory duties on the Prime Minister in connection with the extension of the Article 50 period. The Bill requires … Continue reading The Cooper-Letwin Bill: Parliamentary control over the extension of Article 50

Royal Assent: Letter to The Times

I am pleased to be a signatory to the following letter, which is published in today's edition of The Times. The letter argues that it would be clearly unconstitutional for the Government to attempt to veto Brexit-related (or indeed any) legislation by advising the Queen to withhold Royal Assent. Sir — We write to express … Continue reading Royal Assent: Letter to The Times

Brexit, the Executive and Parliament: A response to John Finnis

In a recent article in the Telegraph, Professor John Finnis advances two quite astonishing arguments. First, he advocates proroguing Parliament until after 12 April (the day on which the UK is scheduled to leave the EU) in order to ‘terminate parliamentary debate’ on Brexit. (Prorogation is the ending of a parliamentary session pending the next … Continue reading Brexit, the Executive and Parliament: A response to John Finnis

Meaningful Vote 3: The legal implications of separating the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration

The Government has confirmed that tomorrow, Friday 29 March, it will lay a motion before the House of Commons seeking its approval of the Withdrawal Agreement — but not of the Political Declaration concerning the UK’s future relationship with the EU. It has further indicated that if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, it will introduce … Continue reading Meaningful Vote 3: The legal implications of separating the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration

Did the UK Government act unlawfully by extending Article 50?

A group of Conservative MPs — including Suella Braverman, Bill Cash and David Jones — have written to the Prime Minister arguing that the UK Government acted unlawfully by obtaining an extension to the Article 50 period without (in their view) due reference to Parliament. Their argument centres upon the way in which the definition … Continue reading Did the UK Government act unlawfully by extending Article 50?

What if ‘exit day’ is not redefined in domestic law?

I wrote yesterday about the statutory instrument that the Government has laid before Parliament so as to realign the domestic definition of ‘exit day’ in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA) with the European Council’s decision to extend the Article 50 period to 12 April or 22 May (depending on whether the Withdrawal Agreement … Continue reading What if ‘exit day’ is not redefined in domestic law?

Redefining ‘exit day’ in domestic law

In an earlier post, I explained that the European Council’s decision to extend the Article 50 period is a separate matter from the way in which ‘exit day’ is defined in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA). Among other things, this means that whether or not ‘exit day’ is redefined in domestic law will … Continue reading Redefining ‘exit day’ in domestic law

Revoking Article 50: Legislating to take a no-deal Brexit off the table

Throughout all of the twists and turns of the Brexit process so far, a rare point of certainty had (until recently) been that the UK was set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. But following last week’s European Council decision, that is no longer the case. The new default position is that the … Continue reading Revoking Article 50: Legislating to take a no-deal Brexit off the table

Extending Article 50: Separating myth and legal reality

There appears to be a degree of uncertainty about the legal position concerning the extension of Article 50. Confusion seems to have arisen thanks to a combination of the way in which the European Council structured its decision to grant an extension and failure to understand the distinction and relationship between relevant provisions of European … Continue reading Extending Article 50: Separating myth and legal reality

The Supreme Court’s judgment in Finucane — II: Three unanswered questions concerning the doctrine of legitimate expectation

In my first post on the Supreme Court’s recent judgment in In the matter of an application by Geraldine Finucane for Judicial Review [2019] UKSC 7, I considered the Court’s approach to the relevance (or otherwise) of reliance in legitimate expectation cases, and looked at the way in which the case highlights the less than … Continue reading The Supreme Court’s judgment in Finucane — II: Three unanswered questions concerning the doctrine of legitimate expectation