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Steve Bullock @GuitarMoog
, 13 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I've heard quite a few Remain campaigners and a couple of MPs say that there's no need for an extension of Art50 for there to be a #PeoplesVote. This is just not the case. An extension will be needed and I think would be likely to be granted by EU27 for a ratify v remain ref. 1/
.@davidallengreen pointed out in July this year that the 2015 Referendum Act took 7 months to pass through Parliament, and needed 5 more months for secondary legislation. 2/
jackofkent.com/2017/12/there-…
This was of course legislation that needed no real sense of urgency, so we can expect that time to be compressed dramatically in this case, but there are serious limits. 3/
The @ConUnit_UCL'r report on the mechanics of a referendum acknowledges this, but puts the minimum at 22 weeks. ucl.ac.uk/constitution-u…
4/
As they point out, it needs the time to pass through Parliament, the electoral commission to test and pronounce on the question, and an official campaign period. It would also need time for the process of selecting official campaign organisations. 5/
The Electoral Commission's 10 weeks in Jason's tweet at the top of this thread is just for their processes, not for the legislation, campaign period, etc. 6/
Now, lots can be done faster than expected when it's truly urgent, so say the EC could knock 4 weeks off, and 2 weeks could be found elsewhere, though it would be contentious legislation, so it's hard to see the Parl process being shorter. 7/
That massively over-optimistic scenario makes 16 weeks. Brexit day is 15 1/2 weeks after the Meaningful Vote on the withdrawal Bill on 11th December.

So it's not going to happen without an extension. 8/
Unicorns are still just unicorns, even if they are remain not leave ones. We have to be honest. It does us no good not to be, & opens us up collectively to charges of being unrealistic fantasists or disregarding reality. The very things we accuse Brexiters of. 9/
It's also unnecessary. There's ample reason to think EU27 would grant an extension for a Ratify vs Remain ref. As I argue in the thread below, I do think it would have to be those two options for them to grant it though. 10/
I also agree with @jonworth that, while there are political issues with an extension going past the EP elections, they are not insurmountable, and that it is is technically and legally possible: jonworth.eu/the-european-p…
So we need to be pushing not just for a #peoplesvote, but for a request for an Art50 extension as well. Pretending we don't need an extension makes the ref less, not more, likely to happen. 12/12
PS, It should also be done properly, and not repeat the huge failings of the 2016 referendum. We should at least request the time to allow that to be done.
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