1.The following comments attempt to stand back a little from the immediate swirl surrounding the new draft Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA2’) and reflect on what has (and has not) really happened over the last few days.
2.As many have already pointed out, about 90 percent of WA2 is exactly the same as the November 2018 draft Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA1)’. From a EU27 perspective, that is entirely unsurprising.
3.The EU’s negotiating guidelines have not altered and nor has the need to protect the integrity of the EU single market, safeguard citizens’ rights and obtain payment of money already committed in the existing financial framework.
1. Writing in the Sunday Times yesterday, the Prime Minister announced, ‘My Withdrawal Agreement Bill will be a bold new offer to MPs’.
2. Self-evidently, it is highly desirable for there to be further, well-focused debate in Parliament so as to make intelligent use of the extension (until the end of October) to the period under Article 50 TEU before the UK automatically – with or without a deal – leaves the EU.
3. It may be helpful to recall the parameters for that debate.
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.
1. Always instructive to see what responses are triggered by a long tweet that tries to provide information to enrich the Brexit debate. Here is a follow-up (much shorter, I promise!) on the specific issue of European Parliament elections.
2. Is it really ‘inappropriate’ for the UK to hold elections for the new EP during an Article 50 extension period?
3. Holding such elections allows citizens of Member States participating in the ‘European project’ to exercise the valuable democratic right directly to choose MEPs who will, over the next five years, represent their strand of thinking about where that project should be heading.
Chain continues! 25. Article 50 TEU (withdrawals from the EU) is the mirror provision of Article 49 TEU (accessions to the EU). Article 49 TEU served as the legal base for the 2011 Treaty of Accession of Croatia to the European Union.
26. Croatia was joining at a date (1 July 2013) that did not happen to coincide with the date for holding EP elections. However, as soon as Croatia was a Member State, it needed to have democratic representation in the EP.
27. The solution adopted was to use the Treaty of Accession, based on Article 49 TEU, to make the necessary adjustments to the EU Treaties to deal with inter alia this problem.
1. Following two successive votes rejecting the draft withdrawal agreement (DWA) (432-202 against and 391-242 against) and this evening’s vote (321-278) to reject any no deal Brexit, here is a personal reflection/contribution on possible extensions of time under Article 50 TEU.
2. If the existing DWA ever ends up being approved, it is near-certain that the UK will have to seek a short (2-3 month) extension, in order to put in place the necessary measures to implement that agreement.
3. Since there would be obvious mutual interest in granting such an extension, it is unlikely that obtaining it in that context would present major difficulty.
1. On 10 December) the CJEU (aka the ECJ) gave its ruling in Case C-621/18 Wightman. It held that a Member State may unilaterally revoke the notice that it has given under Article 50 TEU to leave the EU, in accordance with its constitutional procedures.
2. I was not involved in the case in any way. Having seen some of the tweets on the subject over the last ten days, I offer – for what they are worth – the following short personal comments.
3. First, the Court of Session, which made the reference, had heard and rejected the UK Government’s argument that the case was hypothetical. The CJEU does not second-guess national courts on the application of national law.