Earlier today, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Stephen Barclay MP, posted a tweet saying that he had “signed the legislation setting in stone the repeal” of the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA). (The ECA is the UK statute that gives effect to EU law in the UK’s domestic legal system.) He… Continue reading The Brexit Secretary says he has “set in stone” the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 — but the legal significance of this misleading claim is very limited
The following letter was published in The Times on 12 August 2019. It responds to an article, published in the same newspaper on 9 August, in which Professor Vernon Bogdanor made a number of suggestions about Parliament’s capacity to prevent a no-deal Brexit. (Some of the same suggestions were also made in a Guardian article… Continue reading Letter to The Times: Parliament’s (limited) capacity to prevent a no-deal Brexit
Boris Johnson, the UK’s new Prime Minister, says that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October “do or die”. With negotiations between the UK and the EU apparently at an impasse, the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit now appears to be somewhat greater than the “million-to-one against” chance to which Johnson referred in… Continue reading Can Parliament prevent a no-deal Brexit?
A good deal has been written over the last couple of weeks about the granting of Royal Assent to legislation — and, in particular, about whether the Government can prevent a Bill from becoming law by advising against, or delaying putting it forward for, Royal Assent. That so much has been written on this topic… Continue reading Royal Assent and constitutional principle: A further response to John Finnis
Earlier today, the Prime Minister wrote to the President of the European Council requesting a further extension of the Article 50 period to 30 June 2019. Meanwhile, the Cooper-Letwin Bill (which I examine in detail in this post) has completed all its stages in the House of Commons and has received its second reading in… Continue reading Does the Prime Minister’s request for an Article 50 extension scupper the Cooper-Letwin Bill?
A number of colleagues and I wrote to The Times earlier this week on the subject of Royal Assent to legislation. The Times subsequently published a further letter on this topic by Professor Rodney Brazier. The following letter, published by the Times today, responds to Professor Brazier. Sir, Professor Brazier (‘Ministerial advice and the Queen’)… Continue reading Letter to the Times: Response to Professor Brazier’s letter on Royal Assent
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
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
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
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