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

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

Letter to The Times: Parliament’s (limited) capacity to prevent a no-deal Brexit

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

Can Parliament 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?

House of Lords Constitution Committee reports on Parliamentary Scrutiny of Treaties

By Mark Elliott and Stephen Tierney The topic of parliamentary scrutiny of the making of treaties could hardly be more topical, given the role that Parliament is currently playing in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement that the UK Government is seeking to enter into with the European Union. That role arises from section 13 of… Continue reading House of Lords Constitution Committee reports on Parliamentary Scrutiny of Treaties

Royal Assent and constitutional principle: A further response to John Finnis

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

Does the Prime Minister’s request for an Article 50 extension scupper the Cooper-Letwin Bill?

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?

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

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?

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