"Ha ha, you thought Article 50 would never be triggered" come the occasional taunt

Looks around at the increasing political, policy, legal and economic chaos

'And this is why,' is my response

'No sane government would have inflicted this on itself'
My view, which has been consistent since the referendum, is that Brexit should have been done by a single overall treaty between UK and EU

Dealing with both exit and relationship issues

The Article 50 process was never fit for purpose as a means of departure for a member state
I am not a Remainer and I have never had any objection to Brexit in principle

I want UK's future to be as having close Association Agreement with EU - and I think this will suit UK and EU in medium to longer term

But the rush to to exit via A50 without thought was not rational
All of this is true

But 'Brexit' was never really about the orderly departure of the UK from the EU

Had 'Brexit' been about the orderly departure of the UK from the EU then it would have been done more sensibly and slowly

Article 50 was intended to be an ornament, not an instrument
And then in October last year:

"Ha ha, you thought Johnson would not solve the Irish backstop problem!"

Looks around at the current mess

'He didn't'
"You legal bloggers don't understand politics"


But political expedients like activating A50 prematurely or signing up to a withdrawal agreement to 'Get Brexit Done' do not make legal problems go away

They are still there when the giggles, claps and cheers fade away

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More from @davidallengreen

14 Sep
Two current legal/constitutional events - formally unconnected - go to why there are serious problems about the UK state

The first is the drama over the threatened breach of domestic and international law

What has been lost in much of thee drama is the exact nature of the threatened breach

The key clauses in the Bill are, in effect, enabling clauses

They enable a minister to make regulations, regardless of whether those regulations are in breach of domestic and international law

Read 10 tweets
13 Sep
Once upon a time a government proposed breaking the law

The matter got to the first gatekeeper, the government's most senior legal official

'you cannot do that, I will resign'

But he government shrugged, and carried on its way

The government came to the next gatekeeper, the Attorney General

The Attorney General nodded and clapped and cheered, and the government carried on its way

The next gatekeeper was the Lord Chancellor, who had sworn to protect the Rule of Law

The Lord Chancellor said some threatened breaches of the law were acceptable, and the government carried on its way

Read 7 tweets
11 Sep
This morning it all still seems so bizarre

A Conservative government is risking a full-blown constitutional crisis and destroying its international reputation over...

...increasing the role of public sector in subsidising otherwise uncompetitive private sector businesses

'Conservative' in that last tweet to be said in exactly the same way Neil Kinnock said 'Labour' in his famous speech on Militant
Missing in all this - as conspicuous as a missing witness statement - is the failure of UK government to explain why it wants to depart from EU State aid rules

What exactly is the UK's alternative vision of State aid?

And why does it require this big departure?

This is the gap
Read 7 tweets
10 Sep
This statement is so carefully written, and fun to read just as carefully.
Let's go through the statement, as it is really so delightful
The 'Government has today published...'

Note: not the Treasury Solicitor, not the Attorney General's Office, not the Lord Chancellor

The 'Government'

And, indeed, oddly it was the Cabinet Office that published the 'statement'
Read 13 tweets
9 Sep
Remarkable drafting on show here

In effect: 'notwithstanding' the provisions are in breach of the law
Clause 45(2)(a) says, in effect, this provision will have legal effect, regardless of it being unlawful

There is a certain beauty and deft elegance to the drafting of this most extraordinary and illiberal clause

They are really going to try this
In summary:

'This shall have legal effect notwithstanding it being held not to have legal effect'

Such brilliance makes you wonder why it has never been tried before
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
French fishermen are no doubt looking forward to breaching international law in "specific" ways
Spain is no doubt looking forward to breaching international law regarding Gibraltar in "specific" ways
Argentina is no doubt looking forward to breaching international law regarding the Falkland Islands in "specific" ways
Read 6 tweets

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