Another court case I brought because nobody else did:
There has been renewed talk lately of “Parliament” (meaning the House of Commons) somehow “blocking” a so-called “no-deal Brexit”, the outcome for which Parliament (meaning both houses) has already legislated, unless the Commons, in a “meaningful vote”, approves a withdrawal agreement that is actually on offer, before the statutory “exit day” arrives. Exit day has been 29th March 2019, either 12th April 2019 or 22nd May 2019, definitely 12th April 2019, and is now 31st October 2019.
The otherwise inevitable no-deal Brexit on 31st October, as far as EU law is concerned, can be prevented in three different ways
- the ratification of a withdrawal agreement that the Commons has first approved
- the extension of the Article 50 notice period with the consent of the Council
- the valid revocation of the UK’s Article 50 notice of intention to leave the EU.
This blog post is about the third-listed possibility, colloquially known as “revoking Article 50”.
The House of Commons cannot revoke Article 50. The Prime Minister, for example, could revoke Article 50, validly, provided the “constitutional requirements” had been met. A statute would be needed to force a future Prime Minister to revoke Article 50 reluctantly.
The role of the Commons in blocking a no-deal Brexit by the third means is therefore to play its part in procuring that the said constitutional requirements are met (permitting the valid revocation of Article 50) and (optionally) in passing a statute to force a reluctant future Prime Minister to revoke Article 50 against his better judgment.
This blog post addresses the question as to what the constitutional requirements are for the revocation of Article 50.
I believe that it is a constitutional requirement, before Article 50 can validly be revoked, that an “enabling” Act of Parliament should have been enacted beforehand, permitting this. The House of Commons alone cannot enact such an enabling Act of Parliament.
Dissatisfied with the response of the government to my enquiries raised in pre-action correspondence, I am therefore now taking the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union to court, seeking a declaration that such an enabling Act is indeed a constitutional requirement for the revocation of Article 50.
You are welcome to read the court papers I served on the government a week ago.
I eventually issued my childishly simple claim as a litigant-in-person, because the crowd-funding page I had drafted cannot go live until I have a lawyer in place, and no lawyer has come forward to offer his services in perfecting the crowd-funding pitch and agreeing to take on the case, eventually crowd-funded.