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Brexit Negotiations
Publication date: 2016-10-13

Who Should Have Say in the Brexit Negotiations

We have received the following message about the Brexit Negotiations, which the British Government intends to conduct after they have informed the European Council about the decision of the British People to end the UK membership of the European Union:

Theresa May wants to freeze Parliament out of the Brexit negotiations entirely. She wants to deny MPs a vote not only on the terms under Article 50 is triggered, but the whole negotiation process.

However you voted in June's referendum, voters should get a say in what the Brexit deal means. It's going to affect all of us for decades to come, so it's wrong for the details to be decided by a few people behind closed doors.

The Prime Minister is also planning a "Great Repeal Bill" to grant Ministers sweeping powers to tinker with or scrap EU law without MPs' scrutiny. Well connected lobbyists, ex-ministers and former advisors are gearing up to help the wealthy elite influence the Brexit negotiations.

This is not democracy, it's handing control over to the privileged few. Theresa May: give the people a say in Brexit, not just lobbyists.

The clearest message sent by the vote was that people want more control over how their lives are governed. That means more democracy, not more power for our already hugely powerful Executive.

We can not let this excess of power go unchecked.

The message contains concerns about the Brexit negotiations, which at present are discussed in the UK Parliament and in the Media, and it is important that all the parties concerned understand the issues involved.

And for that reason we comment on them point by point in the table which follows:

Brexit Timescales
No. Message Paragraph Our Comment
1

Theresa May wants to freeze Parliament out of the Brexit negotiations entirely. She wants to deny MPs a vote not only on the terms under Article 50 is triggered, but the whole negotiation process.

Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon is the termination clause of the agreement between a member state of the European Union and the European Union itself.

The purpose of the termination clause of any agreement is to state the rights and responsibilities of the parties to the agreement which arise when a party wishes to terminate this agreement.

These terms should be limited only to the relationships arising out of the agreement and cannot relate to any other relationships between the parties outside of the agreement which might arise between the parties in the future.

The rights and responsibilities are agreed by the parties to the agreement at the time they sign the agreement.

Once signed, neither of the parties can change these terms without the consent of the other party.

The terms can be changed only by mutual agreement of the parties to the agreement.

The terms should be stated clearly and precisely, so that no disputes could arise between the parties as to their meaning.

If a disagreement arises between the parties as to the meaning of the terms and the parties cannot agree this issue between themselves, the rights and obligations between the parties should be re-constructed from their behaviour following the general principles of the Law of Contract.

Article 50 has failed to achieve the purpose of a termination clause - to state the rights and obligations of the parties with clarity and precision.

It is possible, however, to remedy this defect of Article 50, by the parties agreeing between themselves that the relationships between them which started before the agreed termination date continue as they are for two years after that date.

This will allow the affected persons (individual & collective) time to adjust to the new status.

Thus, apart from agreeing such "transitional period" after the termination date relating only to the current interactions, there is nothing else for the parties to "negotiate" about.

This is because once the UK membership of the EU is terminated, all the relationships between the parties (apart of the agreed transitional period) will come to an end.

And any relationships between UK and EU as independent unrelated entities can be only established once they become independent of one another.

There cannot, and should not, be any negotiations about future relationships as part of the Brexit "process".

Any post-Brexit UK laws, either internal to the UK, or relating to any dealing with the EU or other countries will need to be passed through the normal UK Parliamentary procedure and will be debated, scrutinized and voted for by the UK Parliament. They cannot be "agreed" as part of Article 50.

Parliament has no "role to play" in "Brexit negotiations about the post-Brexit future", because there is neither need, nor possibility of such negotiations.

The myth of "Brexit negotiations about the post-Brexit future" arose out of (a) pre-Brexit arguments, (b) the defects of Article 50, and (c) hopes to "negotiate" some kind of "deal" which would allow the UK to leave the EU, while retaining a relationship with the EU, which can only be possible if the membership continued. (Having your cake and eating it). Which, as even small children know, is impossible.

All the UK Government needs to do to end the EU membership is to formally inform the European Council of the decision of the British People, and suggest a 2 years transition period for the current relationships.

2

However you voted in June's referendum, voters should get a say in what the Brexit Deal means. It's going to affect all of us for decades to come, so it's wrong for the details to be decided by a few people behind closed doors.

The word "Brexit" (British exit from the EU), to any grown-up straight-thinking person, can mean only one thing: "End of the UK membership of the European Union".

The voters did have "their say" by the majority voting to leave the EU.

But neither the voters, nor the present government, nor the Media, can change the meaning of "leaving the EU", because it can mean only one thing: "100% cessation of membership of the EU".

The consequences of the cessation of membership is that (a) the British government will no longer be bound by the laws and regulations of the European Union or have direct influence on the internal affairs of the European Union, (b) the British citizens will lose any entitlements arising out of the UK membership of the EU.

But any relationships between the UK and the EU after that will be subject to the general international law, and any specific agreements that the UK government will find necessary or beneficial to conclude with the EU.

These future agreement will require usual Parliamentary procedures, and the ability of voters to influence these procedures will be the same as it is with respect to any other UK laws.

As far as the "Brexit Deal" as part of the leave procedure, this was considered by us in (1) above.

3

The Prime Minister is also planning a "Great Repeal Bill" to grant Ministers sweeping powers to tinker with or scrap EU law without MPs' scrutiny. Well connected lobbyists, ex-ministers and former advisors are gearing up to help the wealthy elite influence the Brexit negotiations.

The moment the UK ceases to be member of the EU, all the EU laws will cease to apply within the UK. So, there will be no need to "scrap EU laws" - they will cease to have effect within the UK automatically on the leave date.

But any UK laws containing references to EU laws will become obsolete, and will need to be either "scrapped" or amended. This amending of UK laws cannot be done without involvement of the UK Parliament.

The government will prepare the amendment or repeal bills, and they will be passed through the usual Parliamentary procedure.

As far as "Brexit negotiations", see (1) above.

4

The clearest message sent by the vote was that people want more control over how their lives are governed. That means more democracy, not more power for our already hugely powerful Executive.

We can not let this excess of power go unchecked.

This is an internal UK matter. Once out of the EU, it will be for the people to hold the Executive to account.

As far as the "Brexit Deal", it is just another political game into which politicians have goaded themselves as a result of their political stances.

This game should be ended before it causes more damage to the people of the UK.

The UK Government should explain to the people that, initially, the Government had been misled by the wording of Article 50, but, having considered the matter further, now understand that there should be no negotiations about future relationships between UK and EU as part of the Article 50 procedure, but that Article 50 should be interpreted in the light of the general principles of the Law of Contract and of Plain Common Sense on which Common Law is based.

Once the issue of the "Brexit Deal" is clarified, the UK Government should proceed to terminate the EU membership by formally notifying the European Council of the decision of the British People, and suggesting a 2 years "transitional period" to allow the current relationships between the parties to be brought to an end in an orderly way.

As far as the "post-Brexit Future", it will be for the UK Government to make the best of it, and for the British People to make sure that the UK Government governs Britain with due competence and honesty as it should.

For more articles to make sense of Brexit see:

Sample Notice to Terminate Membership of the EU - This notice should be sent to the European Council by post with proof of delivery to avoid any future arguments about the date and time of its delivery.

The Earliest Date of the UK Leaving the EU

Brexit Deal and the Life After

Brexit Mess - How to Sort It Out

Brexit Uncertainties and How to Remove Them

The Practical Consequences of UK Leaving the EU


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