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Dr Rob Palmer 🔶 @RobertCPalmer13
, 13 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Thought I should reveal that the Withdrawal Agreement, as it stands, is unlawful.

This short THREAD explains why going for the deal could mean we fall-off the cliff with NO DEAL & NO TRANSITION


@abcpoppins @sturdyAlex @Andrew_Adonis @acgrayling @JasonJHunter @joelbaccas
Crucially, the PM’s WA is incompatible with the Withdrawal Act 2018 and creates major concerns about the validity of the Brexit process. Essentially a tampered version of the 1972 Act will remain in place during the transition period if it doesn't get voted down. /2
The 2018 Withdrawal Act (which takes primacy over a treaty) will be scaled down and rubbished. In UK law a treaty can't override the repeal of any Act & is a “manifest violation” of our fundamental constitutional arrangements as Acts take precedence over prerogative power. /3
Unless a new Act materialises soon the WA becomes inconsistent with the referendum vote, and illegal. The unlawfulness could be rectified in a Withdrawal and Implementation Bill but this would still be retrospective. /4
With respect to the WA, it is essential for us to know now whether the A-G gave advice on the issue of incompatibility between the express repeal of the ECA 1972 in the Withdrawal Act and the Withdrawal Agreement. The ECA 1972 must still be repealed (to leave the EU). /5
If the A-G wasn't asked for advice about the incompatibility of the WA & the 2018 Act, the crisis deepens. There is no evidence the PM did & she would've been told the WA can’t override the repeal of the ECA; so the question is: ‘did she seek advice from the A-G at the time’? /6
Under the Ministerial Code it''s essential that the law officers are consulted, in good time, b4 the govt is committed ‘to critical decisions involving legal considerations’. Chequers lies at the heart of the WA, and Law officers weren't consulted about proposals changing /7
Everyone with a basic understanding of the princples of legality & constitutionality knew that the ECA was to be considerably altered by the WA. And that the PM was not even able to reconcile Chequers with the express repeal of the ECA 1972 in the EUWA 2018. /8
These issues were first brought to the PM's attention by Sir William Cash on 18th July. He then questioned her at the Liason Committee on 26/11 & brought it to Parliament's attention last week. He has been ignored & his speech removed from Paliament TV (but see Hansard). /9
The repeal of the ECA is so fundamental to the entire Brexit process that it is quite inconceivable that under the WA & subsequent legislation that she can modify the ECA & reduce the impact of the EUWA 2018, which converts all EU law into British law. /10
It is a matter of law and fact that we're now in the unusual situation where the WA cuts across an Act of Parliament that expressly overrides a Treaty. No one can dispute that - at this moment in time - that the WA is inconsistent with the 2018 Act. /11
The WA is inconsistent with the repeal of the ECA, which is absolutely axiomatic & absolutely fundamental for the UK to leave the EU. At least 6 scenarios exist whereby the legality of the WA can be challenged in the courts. This is extremely serious at this stage of Brexit. /12
A legal challenge to the WA at this point could mean the UK crashes out the EU without a deal and without a transition period. Any delay from a challenge could destroy British interests & is a potential avenue for Brexiteers to exploit & get the 'no deal' Brexit they want. /13
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