, 11 tweets, 2 min read
1. The Opinion produced yesterday by David Anderson QC and 5 other specialists in EU law (available at daqc.co.uk/2019/03/28/art… ) is an important and thoughtful contribution on a difficult subject.
2. The approach they have taken is different from that explored tentatively in my earlier tweets. So much the better.
3. Rather than getting bogged down in how to get UK MEPs to the European Parliament (EP) otherwise than by the obvious and normal method of electing them, they have taken a step back and looked at the underlying issues of democratic representation and legitimacy.
4. In a situation of uncertainty that changes from day to day, creative and independent legal thinking of this kind to help find ways around roadblocks is immensely valuable.
5. If Parliament’s expressed desires (a) to avoid a no deal Brexit; (b) to have time to consider options further; (c) to implement whatever is agreed smoothly are to be satisfied, the ‘EP issue’ is something that must now be addressed and resolved very urgently
6. As European Council Decision (EU) 2019/476 extending the Article 50 period (available at data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/X… ) makes clear, the UK would have to give notice of the poll to hold EP elections by 12 April at the latest.
7. If by that date the UK has neither done so nor agreed some other arrangement acceptable to the EU-27, it will have created a situation in which it can have only very limited extra time as a Member State in order to give effect to whatever emerges as the chosen way forward.
8. From most of the political perspectives being canvassed, allowing such a constraint to arise by inadvertence would seem unfortunate.
9. Most notably, any option that would require a further, longer extension (of the ‘several months or more’ variety) to implement is contingent upon solving the EP issue.
10. What happens now depends essentially on political will and political choices, both in the UK and by the EU-27. In publishing their pro bono opinion, David Anderson and his colleagues have provided valuable additional material on which those making those choices can draw.
11. [Ends - please feel free to RT]
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