, 12 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
MPs seem to be under misapprehension that UK legislation can stop Article 50 in its tracks. It can't. +
Parliament can, of course, legislate to insist it must approve any deal before Ministers agree to it. Withdrawal Bill could so require. +
But the default position is that Article 50 will operate to eject UK from EU at end of March 2019, deal or no deal. +
Parliament cannot unilaterally change the effect in EU law of Article 50. If MPs refused to approve any deal, A50 would still operate +
And Article 50 would operate too if the UK Government and the EU failed to reached any deal, however much Parliament might disapprove. +
There is, of course, the possibility that Parliament could require the UK Government to rescind its Article 50 notification. +
But that UK legal duty would have meaningful bite only if Article 50 is unilaterally revocable in EU law: a Q without any clear answer. +
Further possibility, according to 'Three Knights' Opinion', is that Article 50 will not operate in March 2019 without more UK legislation. +
However, I find the 'Three Knights' view unpersuasive for reasons set out in this blogpost: publiclawforeveryone.com/2017/02/17/the… +
So while unilateral revocation & 'Three Knights' approach are *possible* escape routes, their availability is far from clear.
One final possibility is that Parliament could require UK Ministers to negotiate with EU27 for agreed cancellation of Article 50 process. +
But that possibility offers no guarantee, not least b/c it turns upon stance of the EU27: a matter plainly beyond UK Parliament's control.
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