Footnote 1 to UK Situation Summary #4 reads, ‘Democracy 17.4 supports English Democrats lawsuit against the PM to obtain a declaration in Law that the Law states the UK left the EU on 30th March 2019, and in blocking any extension to Article 50.’
One of few parliamentarians with a backbone for resolutely defending democracy, the chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee and former shadow Attorney General Sir Bill Cash MP, as a back-bencher in the Commons last week demanded Theresa May’s resignation of Prime Minister. After hours of discussions with QCs and former judges, Sir Bill believes the British Government’s extension of Article 50 is unlawful.
He writes in Theresa May’s Article 50 extension is illegal, and will be challenged in the courts (emphases mine):
‘It is a fundamental principle of UK constitutional law that the Government may not use its powers, including its powers to make international agreements, to frustrate the intention of Parliament. Parliament’s intention is to be found, and is only to be found, in the laws it makes. Resolutions of the House of Commons may sometimes be politically important, but they are of no legal effect unless an Act of Parliament expressly gives them legal effect.
‘The intention of Parliament is, and remains still, that the UK must leave the EU. This is clear from the legislation to trigger Article 50 (the EU Notification of Withdrawal Act 2017), in which Parliament referred to and declared “the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU”. The EU Withdrawal Act 2018 gives effect to the decision to withdraw by repeatedly referring to “exit day”.
‘The Withdrawal Act expressly states: “The European Communities Act 1972 is repealed on exit day”. Parliament originally set that day precisely at March 29 2019, but the Government has purported to extend this by statutory instruments. These can be challenged in the courts.
‘It is essential to note that Parliament’s legal intention for the UK to leave the EU is not conditional upon a withdrawal agreement. While many MPs have said that they do not want the UK to leave without a withdrawal agreement, and the House of Commons has passed a resolution stating this, the law of the United Kingdom is not affected by their protestations. Our law is simply that the UK must leave the EU...
‘It follows that when the Prime Minister exercised her power to act for the UK at the EU Council, she was obliged under our law to refrain from doing anything that would frustrate the intention of Parliament that the UK must leave the EU with or without a withdrawal agreement.‘
These are only Sir Bill’s opening paragraphs but his strong argument is so important I recommend your reading in full by clicking here. He continues by cutting to the quick:
‘These are manifest limitations on the Prime Minister’s competence. They concern rules of UK internal constitutional law of fundamental importance. In these circumstances, I believe that it would be impossible for the Prime Minister, acting lawfully under UK law, to accept an extension of the kind proposed. When I called on her to resign last week in the House of Commons, I reminded her that she had promised over 100 times not to extend exit day.
‘For the Prime Minister to agree to such an extension in these circumstances is to knowingly use her power in a way that she herself believes would risk frustrating Parliament’s intention that the UK must leave the EU. This is legally beyond the pale!’
Sir Bill concludes his well-grounded case:
‘We have been told by the Prime Minister that “we will not have truly left the European Union if we are not in control of our own laws”. The repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 achieves that control as the law of the land. The Withdrawal Agreement drives a coach and horses through the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and undermines the repeal of that 1972 Act.
‘This is a political betrayal of the referendum vote in June 2016.That vote was expressly given by Parliament under the Referendum Act 2015 to the people and became the law of the land. It cannot be taken back by mere resolutions of the Commons nor by unlawful statutory instruments. Indeed, on Friday evening, five minutes before the deadline on the statutory instrument for the regulations to confer the extension to October 31, I tabled a block against the regulations which continues until the House returns.’
Unity News Network has been reporting extensively on the court case undertaken by Robin Tilbrook of The English Democrats over what he believes has been the illegal extension of Article. They write in Sir Bill Cash in STUNNING confirmation of Article 50 ILLEGALITY!!! that Mr Tilbrook and certain leading legal minds believe that Britain has, in law, already exited the EU on the 29th of March.