back to article Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Law firm Mishcon de Reya has been instructed to launch a legal challenge to block Britain from leaving the European Union, in spite of the popular vote to leave the bloc. Solicitors and barristers from Mishcon de Reya are working with Blackstone, Matrix and Monckton Chambers to argue Article 50 of the European Union – the …

  1. Tom7

    What a horrible waste of time and money

    AFAICT, the basis of this action is that the country's entry to the European Union happened through the European Communities Act 1972, and triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty without an act of parliament would be using prerogative powers to override that legislation. Since the prerogative powers are generally subject to legislation, as the sovereign-in-parliament is sovereign, not the sovereign, then using them to override legislation in this way would be unlawful.

    But. The Lisbon treaty was added to UK law by the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008. So doesn't that legislation incorporate the Lisbon treaty into UK law, giving the government the right to trigger article 50 when it wants?

    I'd be interested to hear informed opinion counter to this position; as far as I can tell, existing legislation enables the government to trigger article 50 without a new authorisation from parliament.

    1. John H Woods

      Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

      "I'd be interested to hear informed opinion counter to this position; as far as I can tell, existing legislation enables the government to trigger article 50 without a new authorisation from parliament." --- Tom7

      This was my view too, and was the view of all three guest experts on BBC R4's Law in Action special on the Referendum result. However, the arguments presented by Mishcon de Reya do seem to suggest that it may not be that simple: as the UK constitution is unwritten, there seems to this non-expert a possibility that it could indeed be the case that one Act of Parliament can only be overturned by another.

      * Mishcon website a bit slow at the moment, I think a lot more people are going to the horse's mouth to see for themselves.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

      Here's a bunch of legal experts talking about. The fact that (between the article and the comments) none of them are in complete agreement with the others seems to show what a legal minefield it is.

      Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King: Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role

      And here's a crowdfunded effort to discover in their own words "Who gets to decide whether we leave the European Union: the Prime Minister or Parliament?" Should Parliament decide?

      1. tony72

        Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

        Could be irrelevant anyway. Just because a majority of MPs backed remain up to the referendum does not mean that they would want to block the expressed will of the people. Any MP in a constituency that backed Leave could pretty much kiss goodbye to his job if he voted against triggering Article 50, so I'd say it's quite likely that Parliament would pass it, if it came down to it..

        P.S. your link didn't work for me, I found this link - Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King: Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role - instead.

        1. strum

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          >Could be irrelevant anyway.

          Could also be irrelevant if (then) current PM says 'I invoke Article 50', the EU will then behave as if it had happened, then and there, and worry about the legalities later (when they don't matter anymore).

          1. Uffish

            Re: "... and worry about the legalities later..."

            That would be fun, I can see the adverts "Have you been forcibly repatriated? Phone Gribble and Gribble for a free application form and join the thousands benefiting from the European Court of Human Rights ruling...".

            But I expect that I will stay in France as a British citizen, shame really, I could do with some free money.

        2. Smooth Newt
          Happy

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          Just because a majority of MPs backed remain up to the referendum does not mean that they would want to block the expressed will of just over half the people. FTFY.

          They could, for example, choose to represent the will of their particular constituents. e.g. You think all the SNP MPs will vote to leave the EU?

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            And by the time it happens the 16-18 year olds who couldn't vote this time will be able to. And may well be making their feelings felt. Added to the 18-24s who will have grown up a bit and may be more prepared to make their votes count at the next election.

            And at the other end of the age range quite a few of the current Brexiters may not be voting anymore.

            Come to think of it, I wonder what proportion of Brexiters either don't normally vote but did this time or vote for the more extreme minority parties, because "immigrants" .

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              "I wonder what proportion of Brexiters either don't normally vote but did this time or vote for the more extreme minority parties, because "immigrants" ."

              Spoke to a nice old guy in the local the other night. Mid 70s. Told me he had voted for the first time in thirty years because he hates people coming here form different places, because - and this is a quote "well, they're different. They shouldn't be here. And i know that's unfair and wrong and it'll hurt young people if they can't travel and work, but that's the way I feel."

              When he was called a selfish old fool by the young lady behind the bar, he agreed with her.

              1. Dr Paul Taylor

                Result not significant

                Any organisation that does have a codified constitution has clauses in it about how to change it, typically requiring a 2/3 majority. In the US some large proportion of states have to ratify it. The first Scottish devolution referendum was in favour but not by a large enough turnout. Tory trades union law puts up hurdles for strike ballots. Yes, in an election, some> candidate has to win, even if by 50.0001%. When the issue is to create economic chaos, as we are already seeing, 52% is nowhere near a big enough mandate.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Result not significant

                  When the issue is to create economic chaos, as we are already seeing, 52% is nowhere near a big enough mandate.

                  Christ, will people just drop this pissy dribble argument. We didn't have a bloody 2/3 majority vote to get into the draconian shitpile attempted superstate so why the hell should we need one to get out?

                  1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                    Re: Result not significant

                    With the exception of the recent coalition, no government of the UK has enjoyed anything close to 52% of the votes cast in a general election, so unless we view all the governments of the last 80 years as somehow illegitimate, I think 52% has to be regarded as "overwhelming".

                    1. Paul Shirley

                      @Ken Hagan

                      "unless we view all the governments of the last 80 years as somehow illegitimate"

                      You're assuming we don't think that.

                      I've never voted for a winning candidate in a UK election and first past the post means I might as well never have voted. I certainly haven't felt represented by the winners, even the coalition simply served to stop some of the madness, not do good.

                  2. Terry 6 Silver badge

                    Re: Result not significant

                    AC your comments, "draconian shitpile attempted superstate" don't lend support to the view that you are making a well balanced and thought through judgement here. Rather more it suggests that you'd seize any route to leave, even this pathetically insignificant majority

                  3. Stoneshop Silver badge

                    Re: Result not significant

                    We didn't have a bloody 2/3 majority vote to get into the draconian shitpile attempted superstate

                    From the moment you got in up until two weeks ago you could have influenced (and did) how that "draconian shitpile attempted superstate" functioned. That, IMO, allows for a lower threshold on entry: because you can have a say in which way things are to develop. Furthermore, economic and social conditions have changed a bit over the 40 years you've been in; both within the UK and the EU as well as globally; it would behoove all of the involved to take that into account as well, and setting a different threshold for exit now might well be one of the consequences of that.

                  4. KeithR

                    Re: Result not significant

                    "We didn't have a bloody 2/3 majority vote to get into the draconian shitpile attempted superstate"

                    Fucking braindead soundbite bullshit with about as much truth to it as anything written on the Brexit Battle Bus...

          2. if(i == alive) { live_free = true; government = NULL; }

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            By just over half what you mean is by 1,269,501 people. IMO they should represent the will of their constituents but in this case it would simply result in the majority voting to leave and so would make little difference. Better just to let the priminister invoke article 50 as soon as possible then we can all get on with our lives.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          And vice versa, our area voted overwhelming to stay. We have told our MP in very clear words that if he votes to leave, we will do everything in our power to deselect him, put candidates against him, in other words make his life utterly miserable.

          He wants to vote to stay but has no idea whats going to happen.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            And vice versa, our area voted overwhelming to stay.

            Your area voted 52% to leave. Maybe the bit of that area where you live had another view, but that's not how the referendum was run.

            Put it another way, 57% of Londoners voted for Sadiq Khan as Mayor. Just because people in Barnet voted for Zac Goldsmith doesn't change the result, because it wasn't run on borough lines. London voted for Khan.

            Interestingly, if the EU referendum had been counted on a consitituency basis, the results would have been very different. Of the 399 'regions' (parliamentary constituences weren't used) 270 voted to Leave, and 130 to Remain. That's a 67% vote in favour of Leave, which in a general election would be called a landslide victory. It's bigger than Tony Blair got in 1997 (63%) or Margaret Thatcher in 1983 (61%), despite including Scotland (100% of regions voting for Remain) and N. Ireland (56% of regions voting to Remain).

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

        It appears that the effort is not really aiming to find the proper way to do it, but an effort to override the vote of the 52% of those who turned out for the referendum.

        Surely neither the Prime Minister nor Parliament decide - both of them should be seeking to enact the expressed will of the people.

        It would be a brave new PM indeed who took up the job and said, "er, well, I'm not going to do what you asked, I'm going to do what I want to do, instead."

        Trying to block Brexit with a legal challange? That's ambulance chasing for autocracy. "Have you had a referendum that didn't go the way you were hoping? Are you tired of being out-voted by the majority? Call Legal Challenges now on 0800 NoMo rales. That's 0800 NoMo rales and talk to one of our specialists about getting your minority opinion made law, regardless of adverse electorates or past inconvenient referendums."

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          "It appears that the effort is not really aiming to find the proper way to do it, but an effort to override the vote of the 52% of those who turned out for the referendum."

          Alternately this is the only way to stop both sides bitching endlessly that the notification wasn't legal when no one gets exactly what they want. Business wants certainty, even the certainty that the result isn't what they hoped for.

          1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            Alternately this is the only way

            Surely you mean "alternatively", Shirley? (and yes, I did call you Shirley)

        2. Dave Bell

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          It's close enough, and the number of people who didn't vote is big enough, that I don't think the answer is obvious.

          There were also some blatant lies in the campaign, from both sides.

          There is a big difference between saying Parliament should vote, and saying how they should vote.

          I am not sure we can trust any individual. I am not sure how we can expect Parliament to act differently to the Referendum Vote, but I have no reason to object to them taking a vote. And, when a big part of the fuss is the claim that the EU has usurped the authority of Parliament, saying they can't vote looks a bit odd.

          Some of the things blamed on the EU have been the choices made by Parliament.And some politicians have been God's gift to snake-oil salesmen.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          'It would be a brave new PM indeed who took up the job and said, "er, well, I'm not going to do what you asked, I'm going to do what I want to do, instead."'

          It would also be a brave PM who took up the job and said "I'm going to go ahead with what you voted for even though most of you are against it now you've discovered what the consequences will be.".

          52% falls well short of what you'd have to consider a "expressed will" for a change of this magnitude. First past the post might be reasonable for putting someone into Parliament to be your MP for a maximum of 5 years. It should take a lot more than that for what would be effectively an irreversible change in constitutional and economic affairs with a massive impact.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            52% falls well short of what you'd have to consider a "expressed will" for a change of this magnitude.... It should take a lot more than that for what would be effectively an irreversible change in constitutional and economic affairs with a massive impact.

            51% was enough to create the EU, that's how many French people voted for it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Mushroom

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            Of course if it was 52 percent who had voted remain you would have no problem with that would you

            Funny how a majority vote is irrelevant when the vote goes against you. It's time you remain people grew up and, more importantly, shut up.

            Cheers... Ishy

            1. organiser

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              If 52% had voted to remain I would have called that a too close to call as well, accept no change and be happy with the status quo. Leave voters want to make a major change based on what is effectively a tie.

              1. fruitoftheloon
                Happy

                @organiser: Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                Organiser,

                Err no matey, a tie would have been 50/50.

                I am happy with the outcome of the referendum, I also am grown up enough to acknowledge that it it went the other way, that would be fine too....

                Regards,

                Jay

              2. MrZoolook

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                Last I knew, a tie was a result without a clear winner. Unless percentages are worked out in 104 points, 52 percent is a win.

                Or am I mistaken?

              3. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                I could even go further. If only 52% had voted to remain I'd reluctantly have had to accept that we would need to revisit this issue. Perhaps after the dust had settled a bit and rational discussion take place, because we'd have had the luxury of waiting a few years (no action being required to stay the same).

              4. TimB

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                Well of course you'd be happy with that. Because "accepting the status quo" is the entire position of Remain, so it wouldn't be a tie at all.

                What you're actually saying is "50% isn't enough to oppose what I want to do, my vote should win unless at least 55% (60%? 75%? 99%?) agree with my point of view.

            2. Jedit
              Stop

              "if it was 52 percent who had voted remain you would have no problem "

              Since we're talking reversals of the situation: Nigel Farage himself said that 52% Remain would not in his eyes constitute a settlement of the matter, so you should have no problem with Remain voters thinking 51.9% Leave should not settle it.

              Funny how a majority vote is only relevant when the vote goes in your favour, etc etc.

              1. Paul Shirley

                Re: "if it was 52 percent who had voted remain you would have no problem "

                It remain won we would still have the xenophobe minority causing trouble, the leavers demanding a re-run and continue to have government after government talk about reforming the EU while blocking actual reform at every opportunity.

                A smaller disaster but once such a polarised referendum was called only an overwhelming margin would minimise the damage. It's a real pity there was no 3rd option: for a deadline on genuine reform before a 2nd referendum, something that would make both the UK and EU leaders take the issue seriously and shift power away from both of them to us. Something no UK politician would ever allow to happen.

            3. KeithR

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              It was a LEAVE campaigner that started the petition to try and make the result binding only with a SIGNIFICANT majority, from a SIGNIFICANT turnout.

          3. VulcanV5

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            And you were of this view *before* voting? You contacted your MP about it / wrote to your local paper / set up a special 52%_too_little blog / scribbled a thousand twits?? You were so concerned about this obvious failure to properly quantify the "expression of the people's will" that on June 23rd last you were in the deepest of deep despair?

            And then you voted Remain.

            Aw dear.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              VulcanV5 as often now reported, it was a leaver who set up a petition to parliament for a vote to require a bigger majority to be valid. When they thought they'd lose by a small margin. And Farage himself who'd said that a +/- 2% vote would need a new referendum, in that circumstance.

              But yes, I'd have to agree, more of us should have thought about this beforehand. On both sides.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          "It would be a brave new PM indeed who took up the job and said, "er, well, I'm not going to do what you asked, I'm going to do what I want to do, instead."

          Why not? Pretty much every PM ever has failed to do what the people voted for. How many campaign manifesto points ever come to pass?

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          It would be a brave new PM indeed who took up the job and said, "er, well, I'm not going to do what you asked, I'm going to do what I want to do, instead."

          like it'd be the first time thats ever happened ....

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          "enact the expressed will of the people"

          The expressed will of around 1/3 of the voting population some of whom then admitted it was just intended as a protest vote. As Kipling wrote

          Holy priesthood, holy king or holy people's will

          Have no truck with the senseless thing - order the guns and kill!

          Just the expression "people's will" has unpleasant historical echoes. It's irrational, and irrational people who have been stirred up by demagogues do stupid things - as the Athenians and the Germans found out. Stuff Michael Gov e and his anti-academic views, they weren't exactly good for education. We need some real experts, and not politicians parroting whatever their backers have told them to say.

          1. MrZoolook

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            1/3 of the voting population is still higher than less than 1/3 of the voting population.

            1. KeithR

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              "1/3 of the voting population is still higher than less than 1/3 of the voting population."

              And still 2/3 less than EVERYONE voting, in case you didn't notice...

        7. JMoore

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          "That's ambulance chasing for autocracy. " Too dramatic - it would be nothing more than a political equivalent of the pop-up asking you if you are really sure before reformatting your hard drive.

        8. The First Dave Silver badge

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          The whole point of having elected representatives is to take decisions without needing to ask the public about every little detail. They are _expected_ to be able to take rational decisions based on the available facts, without getting derailed by the Daily Fail

    3. Paul Shirley

      Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

      The problem is Article 50 explicitly requires notification to be in line with the leaving states existing law and process. That strongly suggests it does not override the existing 1972 legislation.

      For the record: I would much prefer legal action was aimed at forcing immediate issuance of article 50 notification. The prospect of UK politicians playing chicken with the EU for as long as they can get away with is good for no one.

      1. Barely registers
        Flame

        Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

        [[The prospect of UK politicians playing chicken with the EU for as long as they can get away with is good for no one.]]

        It's good for me as it brings non-EU status to the UK _after_ I've been resident in France for 5 years and I can take out French citizenship. My family's fate is rather uncertain at the moment particularly if ($deity forbid) forcible repatriation of EU citizens occurs.

        Allez les bleus!

        1. SundogUK Bronze badge

          Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

          Forcible repatriation is not going to happen. The Spanish economy would not survive throwing out 300,000 £ spending Brits.

          1. Jess

            Re: The Spanish economy would not survive throwing out 300,000 £ spending Brits.

            No, what they would do is to make it too expensive for the poorer 40-60%

          2. Barely registers

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            We can only hope.

            IF (caps) deportation comes to pass then we are in the roundup buses and leaving everything we worked for and built here.

            Currently, we are seen by Theresa May as no more than a "negotiating point" http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-immigration-eu-citizens-theresa-may-uk-a7116971.html

            Colour me not reassured. No-one tilting at the Tory leadership is saying up front and clear "you can stay". Hollande isn't exactly taking the line of someone prepared to defend the position of families like us, especially when Le Pen is finding such support amongst both young and old.

            Don't forget. The default fallback position, if all 27 remaining states fail to accept the settlement terms after 2 years negotiation (unless extended), is for all treaties to cease effect. That means no right of residence for any EU families in the UK, and no right of residence for any UK family in the EU.

            That's an appealing outcome for the far right in Austria and the Netherlands.

            And that means buses.

            Very much IF and very much "hope not", but very much not 100% "not going to happen".

            Bit of a rant on my part there, but we're the ones currently in the bait box, if not yet wriggling on the hook.

            1. Hans 1 Silver badge

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              Exactly, and, some of us do not have the right to vote in the UK, because we left UK when we were infants - so we had no say in what was decided yet still affects us. Don't get me wrong, I never thought at the age of 18 I would need to intervene in British domestic political affairs, since I do not [wish to] live there, [ever], and I only had a few months to register when I reached 18 (15 years rule for British living abroad) ...

              So, as I wrote previously, attempting to get German or French nationality ... well, not immediately, timing is everything, I need to keep my British passport, so I need to actually apply after the brexit ... I might have to live a few months as an illegal immigrant in France ... so what!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              Theres some hope out there, maybe we will be made welcome and recognized as a asset to the country we've chosen to relocate to, because the one we left behind certainly can't be relied on to have our backs :-

              http://www.thelocal.fr/20160704/calls-in-france-for-brits-to-be-given-french-nationality

              Me and my wife think this whole mess is the kick up the backside for us to finally take nationality as we're both eligible for the naturalization process now having tax returns for well over the required period, although I need to work on my spoken french grammer, as its a bit peppered with slang as that's what I use around my mates and I don't talk proper like I oughta. Before the vote we were turned away by the prefecture when we had the papers before the referendum because it wasn't needed they said. We went back the day after the brexit vote, and they accepted the prepared forms immediately, and the queue was full of english expats doing the same. I know of many who aren't so lucky/haven't filed tax returns required etc, so there's going to be a lot of people heading back if things don't get sorted out.

              Its a brave new world, I need to get my legal status fully insulated from party politics just in case le pen gains ground, get all my remaining assets out of sterling, and then I'll sit back and buy popcorn and watch from a distance at what happens when article 50 is finally triggered.

            3. Paul Shirley

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              @Barely registers:"we're the ones currently in the bait box"

              The English are in a hard spot as well, with an unknown number of leave voters unwilling to compromise on migration, likely to explode if they don't get what they think they were offered.

              From the last couple of weeks listening to acquaintances and eavesdropping on strangers in unguarded moments, there are more than enough to worry about. The most extreme sample was not caring if everything else was a lie, as long as the migrants went home, followed by blind repetition of the 'take back control' mantra.

              One of the eastern european seasonal farm workers put it nicely, he can go home but he felt sorry for the English with no where else to go.

              1. TheOtherHobbes

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                >The English are in a hard spot as well

                All we have to do is give the True Beleavers brown shirts and we've got ourselves a real problem.

                At this point not even Godwin is going too far. Considering the five-fold increase in racist attacks, this is hardly exaggeration. Considering the funder of UKIP is starting a new party, you can bet it's not going to be all about handing kittens and hugs to foreigners.

                More reasonable people vastly outnumber the Beleavers, and at this point there is no chance at all that a majority of the population supports leaving the EU.

                But apparently democracy happened exactly once two weeks ago, and further democracy is no longer allowed.

                It's a bit like winning an election and then claiming you can never have an election again, because - what - you want to change your mind about who's in charge?

                1. fruitoftheloon
                  Happy

                  @TheOtherHobbes: Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                  TOH,

                  There's an awful lot of pronouncements, in your post, would you be so kind as to share the non-subjective evidence you based it in with your fellow commentards?

                  Ooi I think ANY form of racism (verbal, written or physical) is inexcusable, one would hope that Plod is doing their job...

                  If the vote had been for Remain, would you have just as vociferously supported the right for the 'Leavers' to insist on 'more democracy?'

                  Thanks for your input.

                  Kind regards,

                  Jay

              2. organiser

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                Welcome to Prison Island.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              > No-one tilting at the Tory leadership is saying up front and clear "you can stay"

              "I commit today to guaranteeing the rights of our EU friends who have come here to live and work," she said. "We must give them certainty there is no way they will be bargaining chips in our negotiations."

              -- Andrea Leadsom, Tory leadership contender

              1. Barely registers

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                >> No-one tilting at the Tory leadership is saying up front and clear "you can stay"

                > "I commit today to guaranteeing the rights of our EU friends who have come

                > here to live and work," she > said. "We must give them certainty there is no

                > way they will be bargaining chips in our negotiations."

                > -- Andrea Leadsom, Tory leadership contender

                Thank you AC.

                Have I missed any other contender's similar pronouncements?

                1. Smooth Newt
                  Angel

                  Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                  "I commit today to guaranteeing the rights of our EU friends who have come here to live and work," she said. "We must give them certainty there is no way they will be bargaining chips in our negotiations."

                  -- Andrea Leadsom, Tory leadership contender

                  Have I missed any other contender's similar pronouncements?

                  There are people who actually believe campaign promises???!!? Didn't they learn anything at all from the backtracking on the "£350 million quid a week for the NHS"?

              2. My Alter Ego

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                Which immediately makes me distrust Leadsom - she's making promises she can't keep. May, at least has said she can't guarantee anything. I think that's the only positive thing I've every said about Teresa May.

                As an EU immigrant, it would be great to believe "everything'll be fine", but it's far too early to say that. I don't think I'll be frog-marched to the nearest port at gunpoint - the worst I envisage is a whole load of paperwork - but it's sheer naivity to take a political candidate at face value. Let's be honest, that's how we ended up in this mess.

              3. TheOtherHobbes

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                >"I commit today to guaranteeing the rights of our EU friends who have come here to live and work," she said.

                Fine. But considering the less than outstanding record of Team Leave when it comes to terminological exactitude, how do we know she's telling the truth?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                  "the less than outstanding record of Team Leave when it comes to terminological exactitude, "

                  What do you mean? The poster said quite clearly that £350bn could be spent on NHS, it was implied in interview after interview that money would be freed-up to spend on the NHS, and now everyone is disowning those statements? That's not terminological inexactitude, that is the case that "the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated is such as to cause epistemological problems of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear." (Yes Prime Minister; still one of the best there is)

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              That means no right of residence for any EU families in the UK, and no right of residence for any UK family in the EU.

              It means nothing of the sort.

              The Vienna Convention is clear. If someone has gained right of residence because of a treaty, the end of that treaty does not change that acquired right. To evict people who have acquired legal residence under the EU treaties would require the governments to enact new laws withdrawing such rights.

              Ending the treaties simply prevents people from gaining those rights in future.

              Furthermore, for many EU countries, 5 years residence is sufficient to allow a resident to apply for naturalization, and the citizenship of that country.

              1. Barely registers

                @AC Vienna Convention - Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                [[Vienna convention comments]]

                Others disagree - http://www.connexionfrance.com/Vienna-Convention-1969-expats-rights-residence-Brexit-17867-view-article.html

                Particularly of note to my situation - UK citizen residing in France - is that France opposed the Vienna convention and didn't sign it, so that's not a good start.

                The money quote: "The London School of Economics’ professor of EU law, Damian Chalmers, said: “Basically, this argument of acquired rights for expatriates has nothing going for it. " "

                Lots more explanation in that article, but their conclusion, to paraphrase, is "don't bet on it".

              2. organiser

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                The parties referred to in the Vienna convention are the countries, not their citizens.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            "as the UK constitution is unwritten"

            The UK constitution *IS* written and is contained in documents dating back to the 1297 Magna Carta, which is still on the books. What I think you mean to say is that it is *uncodified*. This is two very, very different things.

            Presumably some people in the UK think that we don't have any documents that say "THIS IS A CONSTITUTION AND YOU CANNOT CHANGE IT", and we should have, ignoring the bits of our constitutional arrangements that include lines such as "shall be declared enacted and established by authoritie of this present Parliament and shall stand remaine and be the Law of this Realme for ever", along with interesting provisions for redress which are short on legal avenues, instead simply declaring that "And in all and every such Case or Cases the People of these Realmes shall be and are hereby absolved of their Allegiance". The enthusiasm for scrapping those arrangements is quite limited, unsurprisingly.

            This aside, the differing opinions of several Solicitors is that:-

            1) it can't be done by the letter of the law, but somebody could get rich arguing it in court. (law students are taught that you can argue something on what the law actually says, what the drafter intended it to mean, or what you want it to mean and this would be a case of the latter)

            2) It could possibly be done, but doing so would be pointless and idiotic because...

            3) If parliment voted on it, then voting to remain would be literial, and not metaphorical suicide because ignoring the people on this issue would cause severe social unrest on a level we haven't seen in the UK since 1642 and is likely to be very directly aimed at the MP's. Additionally, a government representing 33% of a 66% turnout overturning the result of 52% of a 72% turnout would cause another constitutional crisis.

            4) It couldn't be done because it's going to take so long to argue that the decision is going to have been made before the case even reaches court, let alone gets a decision made.

            1. John H Woods

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              "The UK constitution *IS* written and is contained in documents dating back to the 1297 Magna Carta, which is still on the books. What I think you mean to say is that it is *uncodified*. This is two very, very different things." --- AC

              The UK constitution is referred to as "unwritten" by several current and historic authorities although you are correct that the term "uncodified" may make it clearer to lay people and is preferred by some authorities.. However, it is arguable that some of the constitution is *actually* unwritten i.e. in terms of parliamentary conventions, so if we are going to be absolute sticklers for accuracy it might be best to say "partially unwritten and fully uncodified" with the corollary that it is probably best not to shout down anyone referring to it as "unwritten" until they make it clear that they believe something silly like there isn't one or that none of it is written down.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              "If parliment voted on it, then voting to remain would be literial, and not metaphorical suicide because ignoring the people on this issue would cause severe social unrest on a level we haven't seen in the UK since 1642"

              That's pitching it a bit strong. It certainly wouldn't be the entire population rising up against Parliament given that there have already been demos against the result. You'd also have to take into account the individual strengths of feelings about those who voted Leave - which seem to extend right down to "OMG what have I done?" and "Was that for real?" and probably including "meh".

            3. organiser

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              The European Union Referendum Act 2015 is silent on how the result of the referendum should be interpreted so Parliament must decide on whether to use a simple or a qualified majority.

              In company law a qualified majority is required to change a company's constitution and it could be argued that the same principle should apply to the EU referendum.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

                > In company law a qualified majority is required to change a company's constitution and it could be argued that the same principle *should have applied* to the EU referendum.

                FTFY

                The time to argue about how the result should be determined was before the referendum, or at the very latest before the votes were counted. It's a bit late to try and argue it just because you feel like the result was in some way wrong.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

            "Forcible repatriation is not going to happen."

            Agreed, but health care coverage could be withdrawn, restrictions on land ownership and changes to land taxes could be introduced as well as changes to how income is taxed. Hopefully nothing like this happens but it is all a matter of goodwill and how much is left.

            1. Stork Silver badge

              Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

              I only expect Brits with money still being welcomed here in Portugal - the country had been handing out golden visas to rich Chinese, Angolans and others for a few years.

              I also think Brits who are just normally self-financing will be ok, there are plenty of Ukrainians, Brazilians and other non-EU citizens around.

              The weak point is likely to be pensioners

            2. M.Zaccone

              I'd love to know who is paying the lawyers' bills.

              ", restrictions on land ownership and changes to land taxes could be introduced as well as changes to how income is taxed. "

              Yeah,- it is a rather specific example this - but if you want to tempt US and Far Eastern Banks to move their operations from London to Paris, behaving in such a way to their UK employees relocating to France is not a good way to get them to go there instead of Frankfurt.

              Really , everyone should step back , take a deep breath and stop running around like chicken licken saying the sky is going to fall. There's going to be a lot more trash talking from all sides before this is done.

    4. Howard Hanek
      Childcatcher

      Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

      Apply a 'British' solution......

      ''The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,''

      Dick the Butcher in ''Henry VI,'' Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

        Lawyers only act on instructions from clients - kill all the clients. Oh, wait...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

        "Dick the Butcher"

        You do realise that Dick the Butcher is not being presented as having a good idea? Mob rule is exactly what we are worried about at the moment. I prefer Francis Bacon:

        "These swelling tumours that arise in men's proud affections must be beaten flat with justice." "Proud affections" describes people like Burnham, Watson, Cameron, Johnson, Gove and Farage very accurately.

    5. Bob Vistakin
      Headmaster

      This "Parliament" you speak of

      Since we're talking about ignoring the democratic will of the people, we must apply this new rule to the last general election, in which case none of them are MP's any more.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: This "Parliament" you speak of

        "To summarise: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it."

        1. fruitoftheloon
          Pint

          @Stoneshop: Re: This "Parliament" you speak of

          Stoneshop,

          I'm with you on that, pls accept a bevy!!

          On a related note I think Groucho Marx said 'i would never join any club that would accept me as a member', or words to that effect, it was so long ago when I read his biog that I had hair.

          Cheers,

          Jay

      2. KeithR

        Re: This "Parliament" you speak of

        "Since we're talking about ignoring the democratic will of the people"

        We're doing nothing of the sort - democracy - in the UK - is electing MPs and empowering them to make decisions on behalf of the electorate.

        This referendum is no more constitutionally binding or democratic than the opinion polls run by Ipsos Mori and the like.

    6. streaky Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

      Constitutional issue which was put to the people by parliament and apparently parliament needs to look at it again because unspecified reasons. We used to call these lolsuits.

      Not for nothing but referenda has the same force and effect as general elections - if that result isn't followed we have a name for that. It's amazing how real life makes the NWO nutties look a bit more sane every day.

      I do hope the news media is putting some effort into the actual story here and figuring out the shady characters behind this action and also this isn't America so piss off anyway?

      1. KeithR

        Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

        "referenda has the same force and effect as general election"

        Yeah, you made that up...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zoopla has been outed as one of the tech companies. No idea if it's correct.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Joke

      Oh, so here is the "follow the money" link between immigration and housing shortage

  3. Peter Prof Fox

    Bollocks

    BBC Radio 4's Law In Action looked at this last week.

    The PM doesn't need parliament's approval.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07kdsdl

    1. John H Woods

      Re: Bollocks

      Yes, I heard that too, but Mishcon de Reya are a serious force and it is hard to dismiss them out of hand. Perhaps the point is that the Prime Minister absolutely can use Royal Prerogative but that it might also be unconstitutional of him or her to do so. More popcorn, please ...

      1. hoola Bronze badge

        Re: Bollocks

        And that is the true crux of the problem, some shady consortium hiding behind a (foreign) law firm believe that they can overrule democracy because the do not like the outcome. If this gets anywhere near a judge, God help us. Ultimately, if this goes anywhere we may as well just do away with the entire UK parliament and let a group of unelected, very rich self-serving elite (CBI?) run the Country as an unaccountable dictatorship.

        We would back in the Victorian age within months, either that or civil war.

    2. gv

      Re: Bollocks

      For a suitable fee, I'm sure there will be other lawyers who would contest that view.

    3. wolfetone

      Re: Bollocks

      "The PM doesn't need parliament's approval."

      True, but Parliament only need a 2/3's majority vote to call a general election.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bollocks

        True, but Parliament only need a 2/3's majority vote to call a general election.

        Not so. One vote is sufficient to carry a vote of no confidence, and an election must then follow. Maybe you're too young to remember the final day of Callaghan's government? MPs carried through the lobbies on stretchers, and the vote carried by 311 to 310.

    4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Bollocks

      Right or wrong, the process could be tied up in litigation for years.

      1. streaky Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Bollocks

        Right or wrong, the process could be tied up in litigation for years

        No because Parliament is sovereign to the action either way; they have a debate and any MP in England who wants to get re-elected goes with the vote or they make this nonsense illegal and the courts throw it out. Either way it's a huge fail of the actual intent.

        Also not for nothing but it's a constitutional issue and the power in law is held by the crown and loaned to the government vis-a-vis the prime minister. It's a fundamental misreading of UK constitutional law to think otherwise. This stuff isn't even difficult.

        Non-natural persons don't get to decide the outcome of votes, natural persons do; the end. We operate a one person one vote system here, the very idea that a few (I'm guessing mostly foreign) corps can control the outcome is offensive to the very idea of democracy and must be stamped out with the maximum of force that the state can bring to bear.

        It doesn't pass the laugh test and I can't imagine any court entertaining it for more than 5 minutes (courts AFAIK aren't allowed to control parliamentary business directly regardless) and ignoring all that they need to grow up anyway.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Bollocks

          "We operate a one person one vote system here, "

          Where's that then? Israel? (I *think* they operate a fairly pure form of PR. I don't think many, if any, other countries do.)

          1. streaky Silver badge

            Re: Bollocks

            Where's that then? Israel? (I *think* they operate a fairly pure form of PR. I don't think many, if any, other countries do.)

            Uhm. The outcome wouldn't be any different regardless?

            Plus not for nothing but PR is insanely bad for democracy. People already cry like babies that we don't elect our PM - imagine a world where you don't elect your MP either. Like we don't have enough problems with politicians who haven't actually worked in their lives.

            Also it creates an environment where parties can stack members who agree with them which is incredibly dangerous.

          2. Arion

            Re: Bollocks

            "Where's that then? Israel? (I *think* they operate a fairly pure form of PR. I don't think many, if any, other countries do.)"

            What would you consider deficient about PR STV as exercised in Ireland?

        2. KeithR

          Re: Bollocks

          "No because Parliament is sovereign to the action either way"

          Nope. Parliamentary sovereignty DOES NOT substitute for lawfulness - that is, Parliament can do nothing that isn't in accordance with the applicable law.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Bollocks

      That program missed the key detail.

      That the ratification of the Lisbon treaty in UK law should have specifically granted the power to the prime minister to suspend and revoke the 1972 law and any law that amends it. The executive branch in UK (and most countries actually) law NEVER EVER gets implicit powers to revoke laws. Any such power has to be explicitly named and explicitly enumerated, period.

      The parliament _DID_ _NOT_ give the prime minister that power when ratifying the Lisbon Treaty. He has the power to serve the notice, but he does not have any of the powers required to prepare that notice so it is legally binding.

      So frankly, a well supported legal challenge will very quickly find to that result. The fact that two of the prime contenders for the crown of the Tory party have spent a significant time in the the last two governments massively pissing off the members of the legal profession by trampling the law any way they can has nothing to do with that... Or may be not...

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Bollocks

        >[The PM] does not have any of the powers required to prepare that notice so it is legally binding.

        Is that relevant?

        The question is whether the rest of the EU decides article 50 has been invoked and from their point of view, a simple statement is sufficient. Assuming they think its been done, it happens automatically. I don't see how what the UK courts think is relevant or what they could do - impose their will on the French and the Germans? What would they do? Interfere with internal UK affairs? I think we just had a referendum about that.

        1. Uplink

          Re: Bollocks

          > The question is whether the rest of the EU decides article 50 has been invoked and from their point of view, a simple statement is sufficient.

          It's that phrase: "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements". If the notification is not given "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements", then it's null and void and they have to try again.

          There's no indication what can happen while a legal challenge is under way after a notification (that is later declared void) is served. Will the notification run its course until voided, wasting everybody's time? Will it be suspended until the judicial review finishes? What does the UK law say about such things? Because it's the UK law that declares if the notification is valid, and Article 50 proxies that.

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

            Re: Bollocks

            I can only assume that mr. Slant would say: "That is an interesting grey area" which is legalese for: "That will be expensive". Legalese has many phrases that boil down to that.

          2. veti Silver badge

            Re: Bollocks

            So who decides if the notice is "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements"?

            Basically, the Germans, although everyone else in Europe can put a fair bit of pressure on them (and by the looks of things so far, that pressure will mostly be in favour of Brexit). A British court may provide a figleaf to either side, but it's up to the Europeans whether they want to respect that figleaf. Ripping it off and throwing it in the gutter is a perfectly viable option for them.

            1. Uplink

              Re: Bollocks

              > So who decides if the notice is "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements"?

              Well... I'm thinking that the ECJ would. But if I were a judge* of the ECJ I'd probably look at that article and ask: "What does the UK law / What do the UK courts say?" The ball is then thrown to the UK, where it will probably end up with the Supreme Court - civil track. Then the ECJ will take the ball back and say "The UK Supreme Court says this, so that's that." While that was happening, I would probably issue a stay order on the notification too - which would make Farage pull a Lazarus and come back among us to squeal.

              *Disclaimer: I have no legal training beyond watching "The Good Wife" and other stuff like that :)

  4. nuked

    From another angle...

    It cannot be the case that a referendum which claims to determine the future of x, does not in fact have any actual power to do so; instead relying on a vote elsewhere involving circa 400 people to mirror the public opinion.

    Not a legal argument, but put simply, there would and should be an uprising if this proved to be the position.

    1. John H Woods

      Re: From another angle...

      "It cannot be the case that a referendum which claims to determine the future of x, does not in fact have any actual power to do so" -- nuked

      Sorry but that is absolutely the case due to UK Parliamentary Sovereignty, whether you or I think it is right or wrong.

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: From another angle...

        Sorry but that is absolutely the case due to UK Parliamentary Sovereignty, whether you or I think it is right or wrong.

        Isn't parliamentary sovereignty supposed to be the question at issue? Those who say a Prime Minister can act without it are denying that sovereignty.

        Under UK law, only a court can say who's right. Not the PM, nor parliament, nor the people. Indeed (shock, horror) not even Reg commentards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Megaphone

          Re: From another angle...

          Commentards should have the final say.

          Upvote me for remain, Downvote for exit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Down

            Re: From another angle...

            Upvote me for remain, Downvote for exit.

            But that would be a conflict with my natural reaction to the cheek of your post!

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: From another angle...

          "Under UK law, only a court can say who's right. Not the PM, nor parliament, nor the people. Indeed (shock, horror) not even Reg commentards."

          Parliament IS the supreme and ultimate court in the land.

          1. KeithR

            Re: From another angle...

            "Parliament IS the supreme and ultimate court in the land."

            Just... NO. Parliament can do NOTHING which is explicitly unlawful, and it's the courts that decide on lawfulness.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: From another angle...

              "Just... NO. Parliament can do NOTHING which is explicitly unlawful, and it's the courts that decide on lawfulness."

              Of course Parliament can't do anything which is explicitly unlawful. I didn't say that. What I did say is that Parliament is the ultimate court of the land. Some people seem to think the Supreme Court is at the top of the tree, but Parliament can trump the supreme in some circumstances. And it's Parliament which makes the laws in the first place. UK law still currently needs to be compatible with EU law and the decisions of the ECJ, but Parliament can still change things even against the decisions of the supreme court.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: From another angle...

        "Sorry but that is absolutely the case due to UK Parliamentary Sovereignty, whether you or I think it is right or wrong."

        Moreover those MPs were voted into office little more than a year ago by the same electorate - give or take a year's deaths and 18th birthdays.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: From another angle...

        Parliamentary Sovereignty stems from Cromwell's victory in the civil war. It isn't very different from William taking over "by Right of Conquest". However, times change. I doubt it has been true for a very long time that Parliament, or anyone else, could dominate this country by force. In practice, then, absolute power rests with the people as a whole and Parliament *remains* Sovereign because it suits us to delegate the job.

        On this occasion, however, Parliament punted and gave us the job back. It would be unwise to turn round and tell us that we gave the wrong answer.

    2. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: From another angle...

      The Act of Parliament that led to the referendum explicitly states that the referendum is non binding on Parliament. In effect it was nothing more than an opinion pole.

      1. GrumpyOldMan

        Re: From another angle...

        Hi - Grammar Police here.

        Pole? Don't you mean poll? Different words, different meaning. Er... On the other hand.......

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: From another angle...

          "Hi - Grammar Police here."

          Hi - Vocabulary Police here. You're stepping outside your jurisdiction.

      2. Kane Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: From another angle...

        "In effect it was nothing more than an opinion pole."

        What? Like this one?

        Sorry, couldn't help myself.

      3. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: From another angle...

        In effect it was nothing more than an opinion pole.

        Some would say we already have too many Poles in this country.

      4. Spudley

        Re: From another angle...

        > In effect it was nothing more than an opinion pole.

        Spelling correction: You meant "opinion poll".

        Your alternative spelling is ironic because Poles weren't able to give their opinion.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: From another angle...

        "In effect it was nothing more than an opinion pole."

        I doubt it reflected the opinion of many Poles.

        Binding or non binding under law, we voted out, so that's what must happen.

      6. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: From another angle...

        nothing more than an opinion pole

        How about an opinion spaniard, or an opinion greek, dutchman or estonian (as opposed to etonian, we've seen their opinions)?

        1. cortland

          Re: From another angle...

          Now, don't go throwing a spaniard in the works.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: From another angle...

            "Now, don't go throwing a spaniard in the works."

            Otherwise you might need to Greece them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From another angle...

      It was an advisory referendum - of itself it confers no power nor to do anything.

      We put military involvements in other countries to the vote, or at least debate, in parliament before sending the (more?) aircraft in. Why wouldn't you do same with something that represents a major shift in geopolitical alignment?

      The PM that pushes the Article 50 button and doesn't come out of the negotiations with a good position will find themselves marked down by history. And anyone who aims to be PM and says that they don't want to be fondly mentioned in the history books is either lying or so egotistically cocksure of their divine right as to be dangerous.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Marked down by history

        The referendum also says nothing about timescale.

        Even assuming that parliament does nothing else (except perhaps pass the occasional budget) it would take at least 5 years to disentangle all the EU legislation - perhaps closer to 10 if we expect the government to have some vestige of a domestic legislative programme as well. It hardly seems advisable for us to press the Article 50 button before we've got the legislation in place and some idea of the shape of the likely EU deal. Given that the EU won't talk to us (allegedly) until we invoke Article 50 and we won't invoke it until it's in our best interests, we could still be debating this in a generation's time.

        Several prime ministers may have come and gone by that time and been entirely forgotten by history.

        1. bed

          Re: Marked down by history

          This is perhaps a key, much overlooked point. In over forty years’ worth of legislation there must be much which contains within some phraseology along the lines of, “in accordance with European Directive blah blah blah” and finding, cancelling, untangling, rewriting, tabling, amending and then passing reworded legislation is not something a couple of civil servants are going to do one quiet afternoon. But then the Brexit crowd had this all thought it beforehand, hadn’t they? Or perhaps that may explain why most of them have subsequently buggered off.

      2. captain veg

        Re: From another angle...

        Not only did the enabling legislation specifically state that the referendum was advisory, the wording of the question makes it pretty clear.

        Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union

        Should. Not shall or must.

        It's like the Ask the Audience lifeline in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Their opinion informs the decision, it does not dictate it.

        -A.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: From another angle...

        "so egotistically cocksure of their divine right as to be dangerous."

        The number who meet that criterion are a bit of a worry.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: From another angle...

      It can be in two countries in the world which have no written constitution:

      1. United Kingdom

      2. Saudi Arabia

      In these counties, anything and everything as far as the rule of the game can be changed mid-game by the "house". The sole difference is that in the first case it is changed by the MPs, while in the second the ruling member of the Saud dynasty. They can however change and rig the dice any way they like and plebs like you and me should just shut the f*** up.

      Further to this, by default a referendum as a concept in the UK has no legal power whatsoever, unless legal power has been specifically delegated to it by the act which sets up the referendum. Surprise, surprise, the act setting up the "Referendum of Infamy" did not do that.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: From another angle...

        "It can be in two countries in the world which have no written constitution"

        AFIAK the UK having no written constitution is a bit of a misnomer.

        We do have a written constitution. However, it is not in a document labeled "The Constitution", it is scattered through dozens of different statutes throughout history, with several pieces coming from judgments in common law, too.

    5. Wolfclaw

      Re: From another angle...

      Never mind an uprising, just shoot all the lawyers and politicians, reboot Democracy v2.0

    6. organiser

      Re: From another angle...

      A referendum is a consulting exercise. It is there to provide some input to Parliament for Parliament's sovereign decision making.

  5. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

    Nigel Farage resigns.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36702468

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

      Again?

      He's going to have more comebacks than Mandelson.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

      Brave Sir Nigel ran away! When reality reared its ugly head, Sir Nigel turned his tail and fled, brave brave brave Sir Nigel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        I'm really disappointed. I thought he would have become a co-prime minister, sharing the post with Teresa May, Boris Johnson and the Gove fellow. It would have been a marriage made in heaven.

        p.s. if I were David Cameron, I would resign immediately, again. Just in case.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          "Brave Sir Nigel ran away!"

          Or he is freeing himself up for the task of joining the Brexit negotiation team.

      2. Ucalegon

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        Just seeing, "Sir Nigel", one wondered if he will make the Queen's list this Christmas....

    3. Baldy50

      Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

      Well he kept to his word that if a vote to leave was won he would sack himself, so maybe regardless of your personal opinions of him a lot more honest than the rest.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        When did he promise that? And even if it shows he has kept that promise, how about his promise to resign as UKIP leader if the 2015 election results didn't show a significant breakthrough for them (which they didn't).

        Never mind that pro-Brexit ended up being a pile of half-truths, numbers-finagling and plain impossible items, going into the Euro Parliament with an exit speech consisting of lies and insults ("none of you have ever had a proper job") doesn't make his promises any more valuable.

        Not that I'm directly affected by Brexit; if I was I'd be seriously miffed by all this. And not just Farage and Johnson for running away from what I consider their responsibility, also the major clusterfuck that the referendum was: lack of clearly defined procedures (if it's advisory, don't act as if it's binding; how and when to invoke A50, and by whom; some kind of contingency planning for both outcomes, etcetera)

        1. ToddR

          A50

          Is that A50 that links the M1 and M6?

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          "how about his promise to resign as UKIP leader if the 2015 election results didn't show a significant breakthrough for them "

          AFAICR he did. Then he unresigned.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        "his word that if a vote to leave was won he would sack himself"

        Does that count as bribing the electorate?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        Oh, has he resigned as a MEP too? No, he's going to see out his term as a paid MEP still? whats this about sacking himself?

        Sounds like he's given up the charity side of things though.

      4. KeithR

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        "Well he kept to his word"

        That's a first, isn't it?

    4. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

      "Nigel Farage resigns."

      Truly a loss to the public. He was a good representative for the majority of the country who wanted out and he did all he set out to achieve. Considering the uselessness of the current lot and the confusion of how to proceed I would have liked him to be at the front of the negotiations.

      However hats off to him, he has done well and regardless of our liking or hating him he has delivered the referendum promised for over a decade. Unlike most politicians he can exit on a good note instead of turfed out.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        He has no more idea than Boris or Gove. Between those three, there should have been at least one exit plan. And Cameron should have had a contingency plan given that he called the referendum.

        Is this the best education that public schooling can give us? Ye gods, the country's up shit creek.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          @ Dan 55

          "Between those three, there should have been at least one exit plan"

          The tories are in power and Cameron is in charge so UKIP having an exit plan (fairly sure they do) is irrelevant especially as Nigel has been excluded from the leave talks. Since Cameron was going to remain in charge Cameron should have had a backup plan, but his plans ended at shouting the end of the world, and unless he vanished nobody else would get a look in. Can you imagine any tory crowing about an exit plan, Osborne and Cameron would do anything to scupper it.

          The good news is we just need them to execute the will of the people (exit the EU!) and come the next GE we have reason to actually vote for someone competent. Looks like labour are trying to shake up their ranks and maybe the tories will too. And whoever we vote will be able to actually run the country and be accountable.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            The tories are in power and Cameron is in charge so UKIP having an exit plan (fairly sure they do) is irrelevant especially as Nigel has been excluded from the leave talks. [...] Can you imagine any tory crowing about an exit plan, Osborne and Cameron would do anything to scupper it.

            There's nothing to stop you from preparing an exit plan even if you expect not needing to use it, and equally, not being able to crow about it doesn't excuse you from preparing one. On the contrary, having one and presenting it once it's become necessary shows you as being prudently prepared (at least if the plan is halfway realistic, anyway). This holds for Farage too; even if he was excluded from the official campaign, there's nothing barring him from having a plan ready for the event of Brexit. Stating clearly and unequivocally beforehand that he won't be making one, instead considering a win to be all he wants and that's it would be fine too.

            For quite a few of those involved, it has shown them for what they are.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            > Looks like labour are trying to shake up their ranks

            Or "self destruct" is another way of looking at it.

            It seems they can't come to terms with having a socialist as a leader.

            1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: "No, No, No..." Now Chris Evans has resigned from Top Gear...

              Crikey, this BREXIT is causing everybody to resign.

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

              Well Labour is another kettle of fish.

              A leader supported by the "members"; a useful number of whom joined so that they could support Corbyn, rather than having any affinity with the Labour party as such.

              It is not the first time that "entryists" have taken the reins of the Labour Party and made it unelectable. But these people don't care about being elected into power. They are waiting for the masses to rise up and take control of the means of production. They want to "raise class conciousness". And anything that gets the workers stirred up is grist to their mill. Come the revolution they expect to be marching at the front carrying the banners. It's the Marxist view of History.

              Unfortunately the normal view of history tells us that if the moment did come they are more likely to be among the first hanging from the lampposts.

              1. KeithR

                Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                "a useful number of whom joined so that they could support Corbyn, rather than having any affinity with the Labour party as such."

                Care to cite a source for that?

        2. Paul Shirley

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          @Dan 55: "Cameron should have had a contingency plan given that he called the referendum"

          ...but he did and unlike Farage he implemented it immediately. That it's not the plan leavers wanted is not something I'm going to lose sleep over.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            Cameron's true plan was rather last-minute and he forgot to infom the electorate about it. Before the referendum date he was saying that he was best placed to negotiate the exit with the EU, indicating he had some and of contingency plan when he hadn't. Not the best way to keep the protest vote down (not that there is such a thing as a protest vote with a referendum}.

      2. David Webb

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        @codejunky - what he has done is lie his way into a leave vote using fear, hate and a complete lack of anything other than contempt for truth. We're now facing leaving the EU, with the leavers pulling back on every promise with a "well, it wasn't really a promise, more a something that might maybe happen if maybe we voted to leave, also it wasn't me that said it".

        No party had an exit plan, no party expected us to leave, the entire thing was a "lets put it to the vote to try and get a few more concessions out of the EU", I'm sure the look on Boris' face when he found out he won was "oh fuck".

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          @ David Webb

          "what he has done is lie his way into a leave vote using fear, hate and a complete lack of anything other than contempt for truth"

          That might be your interpretation but his honesty over the EU got us the referendum and for those interested in facts instead of the official campaign FUD (of both sides) he was about it. The remain campaign existed entirely of fear, hate and complete lack of truth so thats not really much of an argument beyond how embarrassing this referendum was.

          "with the leavers pulling back on every promise with a "well, it wasn't really a promise"

          The official camp did yeah. UKIP aint in charge. They cant make promises unless they are voted in. UKIP and Nigel were excluded from the official campaign. Didnt Cameron promise to execute the will of the people once the vote was made? Didnt he promise us WW3? What time does that start? Or maybe we should trust the EU president who claimed its the end of western civilisation? Didnt Osborne promise to punish the wrong answer with an emergency budget he absolutely needed to do?

          "the entire thing was a "lets put it to the vote to try and get a few more concessions out of the EU""

          I am not convinced since Cameron tried that and throughout has been told- No. The EU didnt want to budge nor fix their crisis and we voted out. Now they are hoping to hold things together.

          You can be bitter about the result of the vote, plenty of us are irritated at the lack of political spine to do as was promised and brexit. Nigel did as he set out to do and got us a referendum.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            On the topic of hate, I think hate crime against ethnic minorities and foreigners is on the rise.

            http://bfy.tw/6aFF

            So much about Remain campaign being based on hate and Leave campaign being based on kisses and cuddles.

            Or is this another media campaign by the Remain?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

              Keep downvoting and in the meantime go and write more anti-Polish graffiti, toss a brick through a Spanish deli shop and on the way back kick a foreign-looking student in the face.

              That would of course prove your point.

          2. whatevs...

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            "...his honesty over the EU" And you wonder why Bremainers are treating you as a fool?

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            "Nigel did as he set out to do and got us a referendum."

            Several did that. But they should have come clean beforehand and told everyone that it would lead to problems they had no idea how to fix.

          4. KeithR

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            "That might be your interpretation but his honesty"

            Oh, DO fuck off - you clearly don't know what the word "honesty" means if you think Farage has EVER got within a country mile of it.

            Seriously? Are you THAT gullible? Or did you just like his brand of "civilised" bigotry?

      3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        He certainly did what he set out to do, which was to get the UK out of the EU, despite not having a majority. He frightened Cameron into a referendum, so on sheer power politicking, he won. But that he stood as an MEP and took money for somethign he professes to despise makes him look less than honourable. He also slandered his fellow MPs, which the Guardian neatly demonstrated. Being 'effective' in getting your way does not mean admirable. You can be effective as a a liar and a bully.

        1. fajensen Silver badge

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          He certainly did what he set out to do, which was to get the UK out of the EU,

          Nope. Not even close. The UK need to activate "Clause 50" for the "get out of the EU"-part, but, it seems increasingly clear that not a single one of the buffoons, who presumably wanted Brexit, are actually up for delivering it.

          Come September, all of that heady posturing will have been walked back. Just wait and see.

      4. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        You're joking right?

        Regardless on your position on the referendum he went before a whole bunch of MEPs right before we are going to start negotiating with them on terms for us leaving the EU and insulted each and every one of them.

        Basically :

        Farrage : "Right, Your all a bunch of scrounging twats, Britain hates you and you can all fuck off"

        MEPs : Face palm (Literally - watch the video)

        Farrage : *Claps hands* "Lets get down to negotiating trade agreements".

        Im paraphrasing but not by much. The man is a cockwomble of considerable magnitude.

        I only hope that his leaving UKIP doesnt mean that he is defecting to the conservatives where he might end up in a position with some influence.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          Essentially then, the referendum achieved its primary, and only achievement. Farage stepped down/UKIP imploding. Pretty sure the Tories are grateful for that. After all they have been hanging on as a pseudo-party with hordes of potential Euro-sceptic mutineers for years. Pity they had to f**k Blighty over to get to that goal.

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          "bunch of MEPs right before we are going to start negotiating with them on terms for us leaving the EU and insulted each and every one of them."

          Who cares MEPs have no real power they are a waste of space and money. Farage knows that he has been one for years.

          1. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            "Who cares MEPs have no real power they are a waste of space and money."

            Dear Inmypjs, where are you based? Presumably not in the UK as earlier you assumed that Westminster MPs can propose bills (which they can do in theory, but not effectively in practice). Now I get the impression that you're not based in the EU either as you seem to be unaware of the fact that the MEPs will (as I understand it, but I'm no expert) have to vote on any post-Brexit deal.

            "Farage knows that he has been one for years."

            Incidentally, has he resigned from the EU parliament? Is he still collecting his EUR 8,200/month salary?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

              @ H in The Hague

              "Incidentally, has he resigned from the EU parliament? Is he still collecting his EUR 8,200/month salary?"

              Out of interest what is the complaint against this? Right now we are still in the EU and the anti-democratic are looking to override the result of the democratic 1 man 1 vote. If we actually leave as was the point of the vote and the expressed wish then he is out of a job. If we are to remain then he is the elected representative for a lot of people all over the UK in the EU.

              I laughed when Junker asked him why he is still there. He is still there because we are yet to leave.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                Holmes

                Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                Out of interest what is the complaint against this?

                Do look up the words "opportunist" and "hypocrite".

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                  @ Stoneshop

                  "Do look up the words "opportunist" and "hypocrite"."

                  But it is our remaining in the EU which keeps him employed in the EU. The vote was cast, the result in. So if we remain in the EU then the remain crowd want him (as well as all MEP's) to be employed there. And if we leave then he will be out of a job when we actually do what we said we would. He is not opportunist or hypocrite, he is holding the UK gov to account over its promises.

                  You want him out then tell your MP to kick the gov to get us out. He shouldnt need to quit unless the democratic vote is being ignored. Should he?

                  1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                    So if we remain in the EU then the remain crowd want him (as well as all MEP's) to be employed there

                    Given his recent speech, do you really think his fellow UKMEPs still want him there? And I doubt that any BRemainer has had positive feelings about him anyway.

                    You want him out then tell your MP

                    Who would that be?

                    He shouldnt need to quit unless the democratic vote is being ignored.

                    Out of principle would be another reason. But that's a word that's apparently not in Ravage Farage's vocabulary.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                      @ Stoneshop

                      "Given his recent speech, do you really think his fellow UKMEPs still want him there? And I doubt that any BRemainer has had positive feelings about him anyway."

                      Is it up to them? I thought we voted for MEP's, it was one of those claims of democracy. And since he is employed to be there and is so until we leave the solution is simple. The promised referendum which will be carried out once the result is in should be carried out. Then he is out of a job. Or if we remain then so does he, representing 52% of the population.

                      "Who would that be?"

                      I dont know who your MP is.

                      "Out of principle would be another reason. But that's a word that's apparently not in Ravage Farage's vocabulary."

                      You dont seem to understand principle. If he is a man of principle then he is right to wait there until we actually leave the EU as the vote is to leave the EU and apparently the result of the referendum would be followed. So he should not resign because his job should come to an end due to the referendum. As an elected representative with a majority backing for his position (52%) he would be wrong to leave the post.

                      Talking of principle that would be following the promises of the referendum. So the gov should get on with it.

                      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                        Headmaster

                        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                        Your reading comprehension is beyond abominable.

                        Is it up to them? I thought we voted for MEP's, it was one of those claims of democracy.

                        Regardless of whether one's elected democratically into a council or parliament (and through whatever method, FPTP, PR or Preference Voting) anyone in that assemblage can have their personal opinion on whether to like or dislike a particular member, considering him or her worthy of a seat or not, and wanting that member to stay or leave. And I doubt there's much love lost between MEPs with BRemain leanings and Nigel Ravage. I do doubt that quite strongly.

                        The promised referendum which will be carried out once the result is in should be carried out.

                        You had your referendum already, and I gathered the BRexiters didn't want another one.

                        I dont know who your MP is.

                        I already mentioned that I am not directly affected by BRexit, but to help you grasp what I mean by that: I am neither an UK resident nor an UK citizen, and ergo I do not have a "my MP".

                        If he is a man of principle then he is right to wait there until we actually leave the EU

                        One may take that view, yes. Another is that he's involved in, and paid by, an organisation he despises, an attitude one may well call hypocritical and dishonest.

              2. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                "Out of interest what is the complaint against this?"

                It was a question (has Farage resigned as an MEP or not?), not a complaint.

              3. KeithR

                Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

                "Out of interest what is the complaint against this?"

                So you don't understand the word "hypocrisy" as well as the word "honesty".

                Is it words beginning with "H" in general?

          2. KeithR

            Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

            "Who cares MEPs have no real power"

            So how are they a "problem", then?

            Jeez...

        3. Nick Kew

          Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

          I only hope that his leaving UKIP doesnt mean that he is defecting to the conservatives where he might end up in a position with some influence.

          What, and be expected to kowtow to another leader? I think that calls for a milliner to do the catering.

      5. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        I read your post. Nobody is laughing.

        A maniac with a fixed idea. Complaining how the EU is run by unelected bureaucrats, when UKIP's fearless leader has been elected for 17 years, but instead of doing his job he has been working hard to destroy everything.

        And then he showed them in the EU parliament. Well, nobody was laughing. And what he said will be remembered. That little speech will cost the UK billions in lost goodwill and lost negotiations.

      6. KeithR

        Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

        "Truly a loss to the public. He was a good representative for the majority of the country who wanted out and he did all he set out to achieve"

        He was/is a hypocritical self-serving twat who only EVER represented his own xenophobic fucking bigotry.

  6. Matthew Smith

    And the house of lords?

    Even after a vote, would the house of lords have to review it, and send it back to paliament if they didn't like the outcome? (And the brexit people complain about the EU being full of unelected law makers. The EU is far more democratic than Her Maj's government).

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: And the house of lords?

      Lords can only comment and delay on certain matters. They cannot veto the will of the Commons indefinitely - 2 years at most.

      Parliament Act 1911 and all that

    2. nuked

      Re: And the house of lords?

      "The EU is far more democratic than Her Maj's government" -

      You cannot be serious.

      The EU laws are decided upon and drawn up by an unelected council. The elected members only get to vote on whether it passes or fails (they might have a right to amend, I'm not sure).

      But given that they are all career politicians (at best), looking for a notch up the ladder of the bourgeoisie, nothing ever gets rejected.

      So no, it's the opposite of democratic in practice when it comes to legislation.

      Neither was it democratic for the EU council to insist on the removal of the greek prime minister during the financial issues, and instead replaced him with one of their own people without a democratic election.

      It also wasn't particularly democratic to ignore several countries "NO" to the very first nation state referendums on the Lisbon Treaty, and bring it in via the back door anyway. Not to mention that all of the UK ever voted for was a single market. And on the back of that 'vote', we've been signed up to the European Court of Human Rights with no control over the majority of the laws imposed upon us, and are (were?) on a course for 'ever increasing political and fiscal union', with Germany apparently in control of pretty much everything.

      This is not democracy.

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: And the house of lords?

        The EU laws are decided upon and drawn up by an unelected council. The elected members only get to vote on whether it passes or fails (they might have a right to amend, I'm not sure).

        Bit like Westminster then. Or would be, if "EU laws" existed.

        People have tried to improve democratic accountability within the EU, but UK governments (of both parties) have blocked such attempts. Perhaps the reason we can get out now is because eastward expansion has made it unlikely they'll get agreement on that kind of reform any more even without the UK to block it?

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: And the house of lords?

        "But given that they are all career politicians (at best), looking for a notch up the ladder of the bourgeoisie,"

        Wait...are you talking about the EU or our lot?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: And the house of lords?

          @ heyrick

          "Wait...are you talking about the EU or our lot?"

          They are in bed together and even now we have them looking to ignore the people and keep the gravy train running.

      3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: And the house of lords?

        "The EU laws are decided upon and drawn up by an unelected council. "

        Being "unelected" is not a synonym for "lacking democratic legitimacy".

        The European commission is appointed by elected governments and approved by the European parliament. So you have two ways to influence it. And this has parallels in both the UK and the US. In the US, the whole "cabinet" is unelected - appointed by the elected head of state. And the British government can appoint ministers by making them members of the House of Lords.

        And while, yes, only the Commission can initiate legislation, the European parliament can ask the Commission to draft legislation as, apparently, can we - if we can get a million signatures on a petition. This was decided upon to stop the kind of chaos you see in the US where both houses start bills and then fight over whose bill gets through.

        1. ToddR

          Re: And the house of lords?

          But in both the UK, (MPs) and USA, (Congressmen and Senators), your elected representatives, can table bills to their parliaments. This is the basis of electing MPs in the first place to support/help/improve your/their constituencies.

          MEPs CANNOT suggest legislation, but can only debate and reject it just like a member of the House of Lords. If you can't see the difference then shame on you.

          1. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: And the house of lords?

            "But in both the UK, (MPs) and USA, (Congressmen and Senators), your elected representatives, can table bills to their parliaments."

            Yes, in theory. In practice private members' bills don't stand a chance of becoming law, unless they're supported by the government. You have to win a lottery to get a chance to present one, or use the ten-minute rule. Basically, that ain't going to work.

            http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/bills/private-members/

            Hence in practice there's little difference in this respect between the EU and the Westminster parliaments.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: And the house of lords?

          "The European commission is appointed by elected governments and approved by the European parliament."

          In practical terms, is anyone ever going to be appointed by their elected government if they're not sufficiently communitaire? And even if they did what would their influence be?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And the house of lords?

        "And on the back of that 'vote', we've been signed up to the European Court of Human Rights with no control over the majority of the laws imposed upon us, [...]"

        The ECHR is not part of the EU. It was set up much earlier - just after the war - with the express support of Winston Churchill.

        Are you perhaps thinking about the European Court of Justice (ECJ)? That is part of the EU.

      5. JetSetJim Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: And the house of lords?

        >we've been signed up to the European Court of Human Rights with no control over the majority of the laws imposed upon us

        Ahem - didn't we at least help shape it, if not provide the driving force behind the contents:

        More eloquently put by Jean-Luc Picard in disguise

      6. whatevs...

        Re: And the house of lords?

        Did you not think that having an understanding of the basics was a good idea before spouting this nonsense?

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: And the house of lords?

          Democracy in the UK? Let me see now.

          Like around 75% of the population I live in a safe seat so right from the off my vote is basically worthless. In fact right now my MP (by which I mean the MP that was foisted on me) is trying vainly to become Prime Minister(*). That's a process over which I (like probably 95% of the population) have absolutely no say in.

          So it's possible that the most important decision to affect the UK in my lifetime is going to be taken not only by someone over whom I have no control whatsoever but someone who I didn't even know was going to be in the position to make that decision.

          Meanwhile when it comes to the EU my vote counts as much as anyone else'. I ended up with a nice representation of two Conservative, two UKIP and one Labour MEP this time around.

          (*)In the unlikely event that she succeeds I'm going to write to her and ask if she finally has enough power to give the go-ahead to the Farthinghoe bypass. Last time I enquired I was told she had no control over local transport policy :-/

          1. lucki bstard

            Re: And the house of lords?

            Your vote is not worthless, it is instead worth the same as everyone else's. That you live in an area where the majority of people disagree with your point of view does not make your vote worth less.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge

              Re: And the house of lords?

              Your vote is not worthless, it is instead worth the same as everyone else's

              This isn't sour grapes talking. I'm not objecting to the result as such because I would normally rather help the Conservatives than any other party. In practical terms I get the MP I'd vote for anyway most of the time. However I don't see why I should ignore that fact that were I to change my mind it wouldn't make any difference. Whether I vote or not and who I vote for in a general election is irrelevant to the outcome.

              Where is the democracy in that?

            2. MrZoolook

              Re: And the house of lords?

              Quote: "Your vote is not worthless, it is instead worth the same as everyone else's. That you live in an area where the majority of people disagree with your point of view does not make your vote worth less."

              Funny, I think exactly this can be said of the referendum.

          2. IsJustabloke

            Re: And the house of lords?

            "So it's possible that the most important decision to affect the UK in my lifetime is going to be taken not only by someone over whom I have no control whatsoever but someone who I didn't even know was going to be in the position to make that decision."

            hmmm... I wonder if we can find any parallels in recent times.... like perhaps when Blair handed the reigns of government to Brown but I'm guessing you think thought that was ok.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge

              Re: And the house of lords?

              hmmm... I wonder if we can find any parallels in recent times.... like perhaps when Blair handed the reigns of government to Brown but I'm guessing you think thought that was ok.

              You'd be guessing bloody wrong then, probably because you have absolutely zero data to work with. I detest Gordon Brown with a passion and since that was a Labour government I didn't want any of them to be in a position of power in the first place.

              My dislike has nothing to with political leanings. It's a complaint about political process. I have always disliked mid-term changes of PM going back to Thatcher->Major. Not because of the change (Maggie needed to go) but simply because whilst none of us elect the PM we do have a certain expectation when we vote and it feels wrong.

          3. KeithR

            Re: And the house of lords?

            "Like around 75% of the population I live in a safe seat so right from the off my vote is basically worthless."

            Are you SERIOUSLY saying that an MP having a large majority is somehow a failure of democracy?

            Fecking hell...

      7. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: And the house of lords?

        "we've been signed up to the European Court of Human Rights with no control over the majority of the laws imposed upon us"

        EU != European Court of Human Rights

        The UK signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights twenty years before we joined the European Union (before the EU existed); it owes much of its existence to Winston Churchill, and other allied leaders, who wisely concluded that Nations could not be trusted to put their citizens interests above national interests and might, when it suited, deny them basic human rights. They created the ECHR as a way of imposing oversight on would-be Hitlers, Stalins and Mussolinis.

        Seems like you want Brexit to mean it's OK to deny people their human rights; disappointed eh?

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: And the house of lords?

          @Anonymous Blowhard:

          Theresa May: "I remain of the view that the Human Rights Act needs to go."

          See you in joycamp.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: And the house of lords?

          "Like around 75% of the population I live in a safe seat so right from the off my vote is basically worthless."

          People keep coming up with this nonsense. In as far as a seat is safe it's only so because of the people who vote. If sufficient of you who aren't content with your MP actually go out and vote in elections you might effect a change (you don't say whether you voted or not but, assuming you did, I'm sure you realise that there will be a good many constituents who didn't "because it won't count").

          FWIW the constituency where I live has returned MPs of all three major parties in my lifetime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And the house of lords?

            "People keep coming up with this nonsense. In as far as a seat is safe it's only so because of the people who vote. If sufficient of you who aren't content with your MP actually go out and vote in elections you might effect a change"

            Unless, of course, your district or whatever is stuffed full of party-loyal zombies (meaning people who will vote their party even if their representative turned out to be a child-molesting goat-screwing closet Nazi). And you're too poor to move.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: And the house of lords?

          "Seems like you want Brexit to mean it's OK to deny people their human rights; disappointed eh?"

          I'm sure Theresa May's working on it.

      8. jonfr

        Re: And the house of lords?

        @ nuked, The EU council is appointed by the governments of EU member states (elected) and approved by the European Parliament (elected). Since EU is not a country this is the way things are done.

        The EU Commission has limited power in suggesting legislation (since EU parliament and the Council of the EU can also make law suggestions) and legislation can only be approved by the European Parliament by a majority. Most of the EU laws come from the member states them self, the elected leaders of the member countries (depends of the ministry what laws are suggested to be made EU wide). Those legal suggestions are done in Council of the European Union.

        The only country the hold referendum on Lisbon Treaty was Ireland, due their own legal requirement on such agreements. The rest of the EU member states at the time just got parliament approval for it. It was approved after Ireland got legal opt-outs regarding some matters they considered important.

      9. Fr. Ted Crilly

        Re: And the house of lords?

        Ah yes the majority of laws...

        Presumably you mean the dull stuff, you know, about what carcinogenic substances you can/cant put in paint, what kind of plastic insulation can be used in fire detection systems, car tyre construction standards, safe(?) food additives, fire retardant qualities of soft furnishings, and on and on and on.

        cant remember a Euro law that digs into our domestic criminal law system directly, apart from that nasty Human Rights stuff about treatment of prisoners, still they cant have any need of rights can they eh.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the house of lords?

      Two problems with that:

      Firstly the commons can invoke the parliament act and overrule the lords.This takes a year but is possible.

      Secondly the government was elected with the referendum as part of their manifesto. By tradition (but not by law) the Lords doesn't block anything that was in the ruling parties manifesto. They can ignore that but to do so would risk their existence, you can't have an unelected house try to block something that the elected house made as a commitment in order to be elected. You could argue that the manifesto only promised a referendum, it didn't promise to act on the result but that's splitting hairs a little too thin.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: And the house of lords?

        "the government was elected with the referendum as part of their manifesto."

        The referendum as held wasn't binding. If the government treats it as it was I don't see that it would be outside the HoL's role to send it back to the house, especially given the small majority for change. This ability to impose a cooling-off period is an important one.

  7. Josco

    Vote Again and get it right this time

    This is all part of the establishment's campaign to have another referendum and get the sheeple to vote remain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vote Again and get it right this time

      @Josco

      "This is all part of the establishment's campaign to have another referendum and get the sheeple to vote remain."

      In that case call me Sheepy McSheepface.

      Oh, while I'm at it, as if a political party with an MP and several MEPs isn't part of the 'Establishment'. You'll be telling us to take pens to polling stations next, just in case the Establishment want to rub out your votes one X at a time.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Vote Again and get it right this time

      Let me remind you that the petition was started by a Brexit campaigner pre-referendum in case his side lost by a couple of percent the other way. And that Farage was the first to suggest a second referendum if his side were to lose by a couple of percent.

      So Leave campaigners wingeing about people wanting this to this happen when the vote went the other way are being, to say the least a bit hypocritical. Especially when that small percentage majority to leave is made up of people who had been told, wrongly, that it would give millions to the NHS every week, though not that this would be a tiny proportion of the NHS budget or the loss to the economy that pays for the NHS, even if it were true. Or that we'd be able to send home lots of foreigners, whose presence they resented and still keep trading the way we used to. Or that industry would be free of "red tape" without being told what that "red tape" was or that it's largely here to protect us. Or that we'd be able to get rid of those European Human Rights, as if they weren't our human rights too.

      1. MrZoolook

        Re: Vote Again and get it right this time

        Quote: "Let me remind you that the petition was started by a Brexit campaigner pre-referendum in case his side lost by a couple of percent the other way. And that Farage was the first to suggest a second referendum if his side were to lose by a couple of percent. So Leave campaigners wingeing about people wanting this to this happen when the vote went the other way are being, to say the least a bit hypocritical."

        They are about as hypocritical as Remain campaigners who shot down any suggestion of a 2nd vote if the Remain win margin were small. The same ones that now, after losing by a few percent, seek to renege on their assertion that there should only be one vote.

        But lets brush that under the carpet, shall we? Along with the wishes of the larger majority, because... you know... democracy!

    3. KeithR

      Re: Vote Again and get it right this time

      "and get the sheeple to vote remain."

      That would be the intelligent sheeple, not the knuckle-dragging, bigoted retard sheeple that voted to leave?

  8. inmypjs Silver badge

    The pathetic whining of the few thousand remainers that managed to tear themselves away from their social media echo chambers this weekend to turn a bit of London into another echo chamber for a few hours will pale compared to full scale rioting that will ensue if politicians ignore the clearly expressed democratic will of the people.

    If article 50 needs a vote or act it will get it or there will be hell to pay.

    1. Jonathan Carlaw

      Its Hell to Pay whatever!

      The 'problem' for the politicians is that the result was close, in % terms, so it's not clear to anyone who is vaguely neutral which option will get them (or lose them) more votes next time an election turns up.

      Add in the media FUD of claims that some who voted leave did so as a protest, and it is clear that to actually do anything will require considerably more backbone than some of our supposed leaders appear to have!

      1. nigglec
        Childcatcher

        Re: Its Hell to Pay whatever!

        Agree politician being the scum they are arn't likely to be sentimental as to the result. I'll just point out though that the Welsh devolution referendum with a turnout of 50.2% and a winning margin of 50.3% to 49.7% was declared a triumph for democracy and a clear imperative to pursue the creation of a Welsh assembly. That was Tony Blair mind.....

        Icon? Well the child catcher told fewer lies than both sides!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "the clearly expressed democratic will of the people"

      52% vs 48% isn't exactly what I'd call clear. On the contrary, it suggests to me that the populace is close to neutral on the issue. I expect a lot of further dithering from those in charge.

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Well...

        "On the contrary, it suggests to me that the populace is close to neutral on the issue."

        I'm fairly sure that's not what this means. While I'm sure some in either camp are not too fussed either way, feelings are generally pretty strong on either side, even if they average out. Running the risk of being gunned down in the street if you piss of the wrong racist nutter* doesn't add to the appeal.

        So if a politician goes strongly one way or another, they can expect to piss off roughly half of their voters. Hence why Cameron and Farage quit, rather than tackle the task, and BoJo was only ever in it for PM, not for any actual work. Farage can't actually build anything, but does a fine line in pissing on things whilst managing a spot of demagoguery.

        What makes the whole mix worse is while Remain has a vague consensus on what they'd like, what "leave the EU" means to Leave voters varies a great deal. I strongly suspect when faced with what the actual deal will be, many of the Leave voters will feel betrayed, and rather than blaming the impossible lies they where sold (or where implied and suggested but totally not actually promised), the blame will fall on whoever got the short stick of negotiating.

        * I don't think Leave voters are generally more racist than Remain voters, but there are certainly racists who are using it as a smokescreen.

        1. KeithR

          Re: Well...

          " I don't think Leave voters are generally more racist than Remain voters"

          Oh, I think there's a lot of empirical evidence to suggest they are...

    3. John 110

      Frozen north

      The clearly expressed democratic will of MY people is clearly different to that of yours...

      1. MrZoolook

        Re: Frozen north

        Quote: "The clearly expressed democratic will of MY people is clearly different to that of yours..."

        You had an opportunity to change THAT state of affairs 2 years ago. Remember to take that chance next time, instead of complaining (by inference) that the rest of the UK is an impediment to you.

        1. Liz 1
          Facepalm

          Re: Frozen north

          "You had an opportunity to change THAT state of affairs 2 years ago. Remember to take that chance next time, instead of complaining (by inference) that the rest of the UK is an impediment to you."

          and at the time, WE were lied to too, and told that the only way to be sure of remaining in the EU was to stay in the UK....

    4. Rich 11 Silver badge

      full scale rioting

      At least the repair work will keep the Polish builders in a job as the country slides into recession.

    5. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Ah, rioting

      Nothing like the threat of violence to confirm that the UK has the best form of government ever and is far superior to the talking shop that is the EU.

    6. H in The Hague Silver badge

      "If article 50 needs a vote or act it will get it or there will be hell to pay."

      Dear Inmypjs, I'm not sure which country you're from, but the UK has a parliamentary democracy. I.e. parliament is sovereign (unless it decides to give up some of that sovereignty, usually through a treaty with another country or an international organisation). That means that parliament has to take the important decisions - any other process would amount to a major constitutional change.

      Furthermore, MPs are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents, not their party or anything else. Admittedly I'm a bit hazy about the finer details of that, but it strikes me that their vote in Parliament would depend on the feelings about this matter in their constituency.

      For another take on this: in 1975 Margaret Thatcher commented "Perhaps the late Lord Attlee was right, when he said that the referendum was a device of dictators and demagogues."

      1. KeithR

        " "Perhaps the late Lord Attlee was right, when he said that the referendum was a device of dictators and demagogues.""

        Crikey - Lord Attlee knew Farage was coming, even then...

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do you feel that the Leave campaign should start ethnic cleansing of foreigners, minorities and Remain supporters?

      What next - concentration camps, civil war, death squads?

      Take a reality check.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ....

        They've already started with gunning down MPs in the street.

    8. ToddR

      Isn't Bob Geldof meant to f**k off and rescind his knighthood the irritating irrelevance.

      I wonder if Geldof and Izzard are twins, as both say the same nonsense

    9. gnasher729 Silver badge

      <quote>If article 50 needs a vote or act it will get it or there will be hell to pay.</quote>

      Thanks for reminding us what kind of idiotic thugs have been voting "leave".

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > If article 50 needs a vote or act it will get it or there will be hell to pay.

    Not really - as long as the act is put before parliament and passes.

    Now, if it goes before parliament and is rejected, that is another matter...

    In any case, one presumes that there will be much frantic negotiating with other countries before this button is pressed - so that we know that whatever the outcome over negotiations for access to the European single market, we will at least have some trade deals with the rest of the world in our pockets.

    (The EU have said no market access without freedom of movement, as it's a cornerstone of their political dream; but people who voted to leave apparently did so *because* of freedom of movement. That doesn't seem to leave much room for a settlement. And as for the financial services passport, that's toast too, as the EU won't be able to show anything in return. So we'd better find something else worth having).

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      "at least have some trade deals"

      The EU (and so we) have no trade deal with China or America.

      You do not need trade deals to trade. Wish people would stop thinking/claiming you do.

      "freedom of movement, as it's a cornerstone of their political dream"

      The EU is a customs union created so industry and business in the union does not have to compete with the rest of the world. The free movement of people is there to equalise living standards and so labour costs and so prevent industry and business of member states being able to compete with each other. The blanket regulation on everything from paperboy working hours to curvature of cucumbers is there for the same reason - to ensure no member can have any competitive advantage.

      The EU is very much about non-competition which is why it is failing as the rest of the world driven by competition leaves it behind.

      1. whatevs...

        Both China and America have told the UK, in no uncertain terms that the UK will be at the back of the queue on their own, trade deals or not. Will you Brexiters at least have the decency of getting your facts absolutely straight before ranting feverishly. Also, straw-man arguments ("...paperboy working hours to curvature of cucumbers") are categorically banned. Facts only please.

        1. Mark Harris

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3672815/World-queues-win-trade-deals-Britain-Brexit.html Apparently the Republicans do want a start to trade negotiations..;

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge
          IT Angle

          "the UK will be at the back of the queue"

          What queue? Are you seriously suggesting that countries the size of the US and China can only muster one set of negotiators, so all trade deals have to be done in sequence?

          Icon: we can do parallel now.

      2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Freedom of movement...

        Freedom of movement of people, goods, money... it's what happens within a country (Wales can't block an English person from moving there or selling cheese there) is supposed to happen within the EU, so that it, itself, becomes a manufacturing and trading entity dealing with the global market.

        1. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Freedom of movement...

          "the EU, so that it, itself, becomes a manufacturing and trading entity dealing with the global market."

          I think you will find the EU import tariffs, regulatory barriers, and so call anti-dumping levies are in place specifically to avoid "dealing with the global market".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    huh?

    Why are all the people who voted to "get back control" and "restore the sovereignty of Parliament" suddenly worried about Parliament exercising its sovereignty?

  11. Efros

    Politicians

    Bricking it, left, right and centre. Needs a few with backbone to actually stand up and make the decision one way or the other, unfortunately years of social selection have ensured that parliament is almost entirely populated by spineless gits.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Politicians

      I like spineless gits. Imagine how bad things would be if the clueless twits did something.

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Politicians

        I like spineless gits. Imagine how bad things would be if the clueless twits did something.

        W.S. Gilbert put that point rather well in 1882, taking a long historic perspective.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only true winners in all this:

    Law firm partners.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: The only true winners in all this:

      AC Please be fair. Other winners will be Yacht builders, stockbrokers, Horse breeders/trainers, Michelin star restaurants, High end cruise companies, jewellers, Wine and caviare importers, luxury estate agents, Sports car builders and many others.And of course all the jobs for legal clerks, (wine-) bar staff, etc.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Law firm Mishcon de Reya has been instructed to launch a legal challenge to block Britain from leaving the European Union, in spite of the popular vote to leave the bloc."

    Except they're not.

    "Mishcon de Reya said “legal steps have been taken” to ensure Article 50 will not be triggered without an Act of Parliament."

    That is not the same as "a legal challenge to block Britain from leaving the European Union".

    Leaving it to the tea boy to write these articles again are we? Or just trying to be a troll?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    52 to 48 gives them the authority...

    To negotiate an _actual_ Brexit agreement. Then parliament can vote on the exact deal of what will happen when we leave, not this is what 'we' want, but not what 'they' want over there and certainly not what the remainer's want, although 'they' can't agree with each other either.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: 52 to 48 gives them the authority...

      The UK parliament had the authority to argue with each other about a Brexit plan before the referendum. Lets pretend the Brexits immediately settle all their differences, come up with a plan and present it to the EU. The EU will dump it straight in the recycling because we haven't started article 50. So we pull the trigger and send another copy. The EU tell us what they think of this plan and the Brexits have to reach a consensus again.

      There are three ways this can end. 1: The exit agreement is the one written by the EU in which the UK does as it is told without having any say about anything. 2: Two years pass, no proposal for extension gets a unanimous vote so we are stuck with the WTO agreement (tolerable for goods, poor for services). 3: Before the two years are up, the UK cancels the article 50 negotiations and remains a full member of the EU.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 52 to 48 gives them the authority...

        "There are three ways this can end."

        4. Parliament is dissolved, a general election is fought on the issue and the returned MPs vote against it.

  15. inmypjs Silver badge

    Reg readership

    Capital based ponces sure seem to be overrepresented.

    When the BBC website occasionally let people comment strong leave sentiment was generally up-voted 4-1.

    An observation which left me less surprised than many at the referendum outcome.

    Guess the register is a bit of an echo chamber.

    1. whatevs...

      Re: Reg readership

      Just remember those "Capital based ponces" when the EU funding dries up and you are looking for your next handout.

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Reg readership

      Some of us went where the jobs were. The idea that those outside of London are somehow more authentic and 'real' and stalwart than those of us living here is tiresome.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reg readership

        I'm a Manchester Man by birth and education. I live in London cos that's where I got a job, and I hate the way that Brexit has been passed by a few percentage points based on a bunch of false promises, half truths and downright lies.

        (And a pretty crappy campaign by Remain who spent the whole time in defence and never even got near to the goal - or am I thinking of the football? )

        AC because personal information.

      2. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Reg readership

        "The idea that those outside of London are somehow more authentic and 'real'"

        Those outside London are more, about 56 million or 7.5 times more.

        Something which the population of the capital seem to have trouble comprehending, likewise that any of them could not disagree with your opinion on brexit without them being thick, believing of campaign lies, and at least xenophobic if not racist.

        35% of the capital's population are immigrants which obviously skews opinion, interestingly about the same proportion as Wisbech except all theirs arrived in the last 9 years from eastern Europe.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reg readership

          "... without them being thick, believing of campaign lies, and at least xenophobic if not racist.

          35% of the capital's population are immigrants which obviously skews opinion, interestingly about the same proportion as Wisbech except all theirs arrived in the last 9 years from eastern Europe."

          Said without any sense of irony. Magical.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Reg readership

          "Something which the population of the capital seem to have trouble comprehending"

          Something you seem to have trouble in comprehending is that some of us making comments against Brexit don't live in London.

          I'm not sure what some of those who voted in favour are going to think when not only do the immigrants go back to eastern Europe but their foreign owned car factories follow them.

          1. MrZoolook

            Re: Reg readership

            Quote: "Something you seem to have trouble in comprehending is that some of us making comments against Brexit don't live in London."

            And you seem to have trouble comprehending that some of us making comments for Brexit aren't racist, xenophobic, thugs.

            But, what do I know, I'm only a racist, xenophobic, thug because I make comments for Brexit... right!

            Glass houses, stones, etc...

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Reg readership

      inmypjs

      If you'd ever read the usual BBC comments ( or maybe you do, but don't see the problem) the usual comments there would be enough to make Attilla the Hun seem like a Trotskyite by comparison.If it's only 4:1 in favour of Brexit that's practically a vote of confidence in Angela Merkle.

      1. MrZoolook

        Re: Reg readership

        Quote: "If it's only 4:1 in favour of Brexit that's practically a vote of confidence in Angela Merkle."

        There was a vote with every eligible person being given a single choice on whether we should leave or stay. The majority voted to leave.

        You can slice it however you like, it doesn't change the result one iota. 52% of the British citizenship wish to leave the EU.

        1. KeithR

          Re: Reg readership

          "52% of the British citizenship wish to leave the EU"

          Nope. 52% OF THOSE WHO VOTED isn't - by any definition - the same as "52% of the British citizenship".

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Reg readership

            Those who didn't vote don't care and so be safely ignored. (Top tip for next time: if you care, vote.)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reg readership

      I noticed the same thing and can only assume that as this is a tech website it is out of fear of being labelled as thick, poor or northern which according to the press accounts for 52% of the population. If that is true regardless of brexit it doesn't bode well for the future.

    5. Poncey McPonceface

      Re: Reg readership

      > ponces

      O master, you called?

    6. KeithR

      Re: Reg readership

      "When the BBC website occasionally let people comment strong leave sentiment was generally up-voted 4-1."

      Because upvoting posts that advocate bigotry and xenophobia is about the intellectual limit for most Brexiteers.

  16. Bloodbeastterror

    "popular vote"

    That's "popular" in the strict sense ("of the people"), not in the vernacular, right? It certainly isn't popular with a single person that I know, and even many of the people who voted "out" clearly had no clue what they were voting for and are resiling from their vote.

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: "popular vote"

      I'm guessing that the downvoters are exiteers who aren't really sure what "resile" means...?

  17. Joe Harrison

    What about my EU Citizenship

    I am a dual UK and EU citizen, I know this because it says so on the front of my passport. The EU citizenship is granted by Article 20 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The UK Home Secretary has the power to revoke UK citizenship but not EU Citizenship. I can't figure out whether or not any EU functionary has a similar power to revoke EU citizenship but I don't think so.

    Article 50 is "only" about derogating from the Treaty of Lisbon. Suppose we do eventually leave EU, am I still a citizen, or not, and if not then what exact mechanism could they use to take away my EU citizenship? Discuss.

    1. captain veg

      Re: What about my EU Citizenship

      I wrote to Martin Schultz begging to keep my EU citizenship. He didn't reply. Mind you, neither did the current MP in the constituency where I last lived in UK.

      I wasn't allowed to vote in the referendum. Who, I wonder, is supposed to be representing my interests in the face of losing crucial (to me) rights?

      -A.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: What about my EU Citizenship

      It doesn't exist and never did.

      You are only an EU citizen because you are a citizen of a member state of the EU.

      If you cease to be a citizen of an EU member state, you cease to have any EU status.

      1. Joe Harrison

        Re: What about my EU Citizenship

        Strangely enough here's the answer to my own question - it's a situation nobody ever had to deal with before and there is considerable legal uncertainty. I don't want to give up my EU citizenship and removing it could well be a violation of my human rights. Who knew.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36705580

  18. Andre Carneiro

    Misleading article title

    It would seem that the poor quality journalism that was the hallmark of this campaign (on both sides) lives long and prospers...

    They have been instructed to ensure that should Article 50 be invoked it is done so in a lawful manner which will not be open to challenge.

    SOME people are clearly trying to do something properly instead of the continuous shitstorm we've been having so far, you see...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Misleading article title

      Sadly, it would seem that poor quality journalism is now the hallmark of El Reg.

      Come on guys, stop trying to out-tabloid the tabloids!

  19. Jon Massey

    Worth reading

    David Allen Green aka Jack of Kent on this http://jackofkent.com/2016/07/the-mishcon-de-reya-legal-challenge-on-article-50-some-thoughts/ - it's unclear what Mishcon de Reya actually want from this action

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Worth reading

      "what Mishcon de Reya actually want from this action"

      Er... money...?

  20. cortland

    Plane English?

    "SHOULD the United Kingdom... " is only advisory, right?

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Plane English?

      ""SHOULD the United Kingdom... " is only advisory, right?"

      At the moment there is disagreement about that. But if a few more rats leave the sinking ship, following lying coward Johnson and lying coward Farage, and if there is a bit more good news (1£ = $1.28 = €1.16, share prices collapsing, IT spending for example expected to drop by 10-15%, pension funds in trouble and so on), that disagreement will disappear.

      It's a referendum, not a suicide pact.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: Plane English?

      Plane? Is that BA or ryanair?

      (Other airlines seem more competent IME).

  21. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    What a palaver. A whole lot of Jessies pratting about like pretentious fairies

    Are concerted actions conspiring against the express elected wishes of a clear and accepted majority of peoples, a terrorism and treasonous act, or is such thought to be perfectly normal and crooked par for the course in the soap and sub-prime daytime television show that is modern day politics with right dodgy justice systems?

    It certainly aint cricket, old boy.

    Bloody revolutions have started for considerably less. Is that the cunning master plan? Pitting the disgruntled masses against disgraceful systems? Hmmm? Now there's a novelty.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      @downvoter

      Years ago there was a travesty generator posting as amanfrommars here. amanfromMars 1 is sufficiently more coherent that I have wondered if this is a human deliberately trying to fail a Turing test. My bet is that amanfromMars 1 is a bot, possibly with a human picking the best of three travesties generated from text created by us commentards.

      If I am right, who are you really downvoting?

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        The global fun in Great Games/the deep ducking and raw diving is only started ......

        amanfromMars Mon 4 Jul 09:57 [1607040957] ….. saying an uncomfortable truth unto powers that may wannabe on http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/no-email-charges-for-hillary-in-a-series-of-polarizing-news-reports/

        Conclusion: A lack of legal consequences for obvious malfeasance on the part of Hillary and her husband will contribute to further polarization and loss of confidence in US civil society. It is, in fact, a signal that society is changing rapidly.

        That conclusion, DB, is also the truth for UKGBNI should the shortly to be published Chilcot report not deliver blame and shame where it is due, and prosecutions for malfeasance in office and aiding and abetting war crimes.

        Failure to justly address such issues, is responsible for the inexorable rise of home grown terrorism and the export/import of foreign expertise in the effective strategic and tactical planning against catastrophically vulnerable systems and politically incorrect bodies which can easily also be the clinical targeting of political personnel.

        And, if one thinks logically about such matters, if one has a problem with the likes of a Saddam Hussein, former head honcho in charge of Iraq, get rid of the problem but don't destroy an oppressed nation of forced into servitude innocents in the process, unless you want to prove yourself a war criminal with ulterior motives best kept hidden from mainstream view and general knowledge.

        However, that certainly DOES shift the spotlight of accountability and responsibility firmly onto those politicians and media darlings surely responsible for such shenanigans, where formerly they may have expected a full immunity and the crazy freedom to act with impunity. That aint possible in a smarter world, is it, for such is the height of stupidity, is it not? And it is globally proven to be counter-productive, age after age after age. Wage a war and you are a warmonger. It aint rocket science, is it? And is it foolish and/or madness to not expect to be personally targeted for retribution and punishment, by all and any means and memes possible, if one be guilty of such a crime against humanities, if dodgy established systems in incumbent systems are perversely designed to allow ongoing corruption and future destructions?

        Would bots rule in systems admins and exercise command and control any worse than the pathetic psychopath and apathetic human, Flocke Kroes? And would that be akin to AI flexing its virtual muscles and making itself known to interesting and/or interested parties?

        There's a lot going on out there and in the here and now and nothing at all usual/traditional and conventional.

        Y'all might like to consider that CyberSpace rules the Roost and runs Pilots and Plots, and more than just a lot.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a palaver. A whole lot of Jessies pratting about like pretentious fairies

      "Bloody revolutions have started for considerably less"

      However the English are usually too sanguine to do a proper bloody revolution. Possibly our history, and seeing other peoples', has taught us two things.

      1) use of force for regime change quickly becomes a recurring bad habit.

      2) if you support a revolution you are likely to be up against the wall when your "winner" decides they need to consolidate their position in power.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: What a palaver. A whole lot of Jessies pratting about like pretentious fairies

        We tried a revolution thing in the 17th century. It involved all the nations of GB and Ireland, divided counties and families, killed and maimed, executed a king and put a dictator into place.

        I wonder why the French tried copying it in the 18th century?

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: What a palaver. A whole lot of Jessies pratting about like pretentious fairies

          I think the French were trying to copy the Americans, whose revolution worked out rather better. I would also note that in the American case, some in the North stayed in, which also appears to have worked out alright for them.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: What a palaver. A whole lot of Jessies pratting about like pretentious fairies @AC

        However the English are usually too sanguine to do a proper bloody revolution. Possibly our history, and seeing other peoples', has taught us two things.

        1) use of force for regime change quickly becomes a recurring bad habit.

        2) if you support a revolution you are likely to be up against the wall when your "winner" decides they need to consolidate their position in power. ... Anonymous Coward

        Apparently history teaches nobody, including the English, anything about everything and especially not about those two things, as they are repeated so often by everyone everywhere in violent conflict.

        Are humans best classified and regarded as retarded with learning difficulties if one seeks to explain the difficulty?

        And proper bloody revolution comes in many novel virtual forms nowadays, with the real meat of the conflict delivered without a drop of blood being drawn, and that is terrorising corrupt and perverse systems admins for there is no possible defence against the power and energy of a PACT* to right wrongs, no matter how many layers of obfuscation cover the problem trying to prevent resolution and solution.

        *Persistent Active Cyber Threat

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: the PACT reality

          Technology is creating capabilities that have only been a dream for us as a society in the past, we need to figure out how to deal with that reality ... Director of the National Security Agency Admiral Michael Rogers

          Imagining the status quo with their entrenched establishment interests are in any way equipped to deal with such a reality and virtual reality plays is a classic recipe for austere collapse and escalating disorder in their circles, methinks. Other circles, both irregular and unconventional, revolutionary and disruptive, will be totally unaffected and exercise a surprising novel force and radical energy filling the future intellectual property and media hosted products void[s].

  22. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Oh come on

    This is normally a forum for smart people. The expressed will of the people was a vote of a minority of the electorate and it was largely based on the blatant campaign lies of the leave camp.

    Parliament has been advised that a minority of the electorate have a wish to leave the EU however this desire should be tempered against a need to ascertain what sort of deal we can get and if it is in the interest of the people and meets the terms of the deal offered by the leave camp.

    If the government cannot obtain freedom from EU 'laws', curtailing of free movement (while protecting status of British migrants abroad), £350m extra a week for the NHS and full and tarrif free access to the single market then the deal does not have the mandate of that minority of the electorate because that is what they voted for.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Oh come on

      The Brexiters I have spoken with face to face (not a statistically significant sample) had their own reasons for voting leave (unrelated to leaving or remaining in the EU). Although I believe most of them are capable of reading I am not convinced any of them made the effort to read the Brexit flavoured leaflet. I literally had to show them a picture of the Boris bus before they would believe extra money was promised for the NHS.

      Agreeing a proposed exit deal with the EU, publishing it, giving the people of the UK time to understand it and then having a leave/remain referendum sounds really sensible. The difficult bit will be getting people to read the document and start thinking.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Oh come on

        One example means nothing, but on the morning after I was chatting with a Leaver in the Tesco carpark. He voted leave because he ( "And the people I talk to in the pub") believed that when the immigrants go away the low paid jobs that the English don't want would become higher paid because the employers would have to pay more.

        I aint convinced.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Oh come on

          @Terry 6: next time you meet him in a car park mention 'workfare'. The last incarnation scrapped in Nov2015 but easily resurrected by a brexit friendly gov wanting to please the brexit voting farmers.

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Oh come on

      "The expressed will of the people was a vote of a minority of the electorate and it was largely based on the blatant campaign lies of the leave camp."

      The leave vote was the largest number of votes cast for anything in this country ever. Sure take solace from the fact that counting those that couldn't be arsed to vote (which no one does *ever* you moron) leavers were not a majority.

      And oh how the remainers cling to the idea that beleavers only voted because they believed the lies of the leave side, IMO most were smart enough to see through the lies on both sides with many finding support for leave in the lies and threats from the remain side.

      What an own goal the Obama visit was, if we wanted to be told what to do by politicians we didn't elect we wouldn't want to leave the EU would we.

      1. captain veg

        Re: you moron

        Look up "supermajority", brainbox. It is pretty much universal in countries whose constitutions make a feature of binding referendums. Ours doesn't.

        -A.

      2. KeithR

        Re: Oh come on

        "And oh how the remainers cling to the idea that beleavers only voted because they believed the lies of the leave side"

        No, we reckon that most Beleavers are xenophobic bigots who are happy to fuck the UK and its best interests over in order to exercise their bigotry by disentangling from the EU..

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will be interesting to see if the EU insist on following the legal process, i.e. first we agree how to untangle the UK from the EU under Article 50 then, when that process is complete and the UK is officially exitted, we start talking about a trade deal.

    I must admit at the moment I don't see many aces up the sleeves of the UK negotiators - my bet is we'll import people from the US to help.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Article 50 causes two treaty negotiations: one for how we exit and another for what happens afterwards. The UK remains a full member of the EU until we abandon leaving the EU, abandon the negotiation after two years or reach an agreement approved by the European Parliament (and any member states that get special treatment).

      Take care about asking the US for help: they might send us Donald Trump.

  24. The Godfather
    Facepalm

    Sovereign rules apply n'est pas?

    So, one goes for Brexit to regain 'sovereign power' but one argues sovereign rules requiring the result of a referendum be approved by HM Parliament is not flavour of the month.......

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Sovereign rules apply n'est pas?

      It's as if no one told them sovereignty is something they only borrow for 1 day every 5 years, then it's snatched back in exchange for a few promises our rulers will selectively fulfil.

      The de minimis bit of control those in power needed to share to stay there. Us plebs are supposed to be satisfied with the illusion, after all it's more than most of us had for the last couple of thousand years.

  25. mstreet

    If it is a group of business'...

    If it is a group of business' behind the challenge, I wonder if said business' have thought through all the implications of such a challenge.

    Regardless of whether one is pro-EU or not, wouldn't this prove once and for all, that democracy is just a veneer that can be utterly ignored when the mighty dollar\pound\yen holders of the world are at risk of losing some cash?

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: If it is a group of business'...

      I'll say it again: this will confirm that brexit is performed in a legal manner and reduce (not prevent) the inevitable legal challenges later. Where real reporters dealt with this, it was made clear they don't expect to stop brexit, just make sure it's done properly.

      This is about removing uncertainty, which damages business, the country and it's people - native and migrant. The same reason I want the clueless fuckwits to stop delaying and finish this almighty fuckup quickly, before the enboldened xenophobes turn even nastier.

      I remember what this country was like in the 70's and I don't want those attitudes back.

  26. bombastic bob Silver badge

    we get court challenges a lot in the USA

    We get court challenges to legitimate 'wins' in referendums ALL of the time here in the USA. This is because hand-picked (activist) judges are relatively easy to manipulate, compared to what the PEOPLE want. Expect to get THEIR agenda shoved up/down/into various orifices as a result. It's how "they" get things done. Not by referendum, not by convincing your representatives in Parliament to legislate, but by ABUSING the legal system to block, frustrate, and ram an agenda through. Because "they" are a minority opinion, but "they" won't tolerate not getting "their" way in SPITE of the majority. "They" know BETTER, after all...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sanest comment of all

    "Rallying against the people in order to protect the unelected elite is the new 'smash the system'. I can't wait to hear the protest songs."

    https://twitter.com/GodfreyElfwick/status/749934112367075329

  28. JustNiz

    If ever you needed a sign that big business controls EU democracy then this is it. This is just yet more justification to hurry up and activate article 50 and pull out of the EU as urgently as possible.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      "If ever you needed a sign that big business controls EU democracy then this is it."

      Now I'm confused: I thought the EU was supposed to be some statist/socialist/communist conspiracy?!?

      Incidentally this potential legal challenge is solely concerned with British constitutional law and procedure, therefore nothing to do with the EU.

  29. Bob Rocket

    Brexit is academic

    No consultation until Art.50 is triggered.

    No Art.50 until HoC approves.

    HoC won't approve until certain this is the informed opinion of The People.

    Referendum was advisory and not binding.

    HoC will approve a new binding referendum so they can be sure.

    >50% of electorate (not votes cast) must back Brexit so HoC can be confident.

    It is my opinion that the EU is the Hotel California and Mishcon are being financed indirectly by the EU.

    We ain't going anywhere.

  30. Terry 6 Silver badge

    The honourable way

    The Right Thing, surely, would the MPs to wait until there is an exit agreement to put before the nation and then go to a general election with that as the outcome. It is the single biggest issue and so worthy of a political commitment.

    If the nation's happy to vote for that concrete, specific future they'll still be in charge.

    If not, then parliament will reflect the will of the nation and reject Brexit.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: The honourable way

      Is explicitly prohibited by that treaty.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: The honourable way

      @ Terry 6

      "The Right Thing, surely, would the MPs to wait until there is an exit agreement to put before the nation and then go to a general election with that as the outcome. It is the single biggest issue and so worthy of a political commitment."

      Apart from being against the will and rules of the EU this has a huge problem- it will be another fixed event. In this country we have a majority vote leave. The remain campaign was run by the government, the same institution which has sold us to the EU while offering a referendum nearly every election (then refusing to). Our PM made such extravagant claims of doom if we leave that his claim of WW3 has been almost as funny as Brown defeating boom and bust.

      And then we have the EU who want us to remain. Not enough to change but enough to claim it as the end of western civilisation if we leave. So who will do an honest negotiation? UKIP probably would but they are not in power and Farage excluded explicitly from the negotiations (good job he is still an MEP to hold them to account) and I cant imagine the EU would considering a bad deal is a win for them.

      It would be another dodgy set up from the same group who have lied and ignored the electorate and are still trying to do it. The will of the people was asked and the result is given. How many times must they be asked? Until we give the 'right' answer?

      Apparently we voted exit due to lies. The remain argument was all lies. The remain camp also had the EU on their side and roped in the US president to give a desperate speech. The remain side was the government who promised to punish us with an emergency budget nobody thought necessary at all. The vote registration site crashed an hour early and so had an extra 2 days with even more propaganda pushed and the death of an MP was shamelessly exploited. Various organisations put out amusing and interesting claims of economic doom if we left which all seemed suspiciously similar and fanciful.

      With the scales so badly tilted against the exit side the result still came through. But yet some people still want a rerun or to refuse the democratic vote or somehow impose their vision of the perfect world on all those barbarians too stupid to understand. The result the PM promised to honour as soon as the result was in. The exit he claimed to be able and willing to negotiate.

      We need to invoke article 50. If the current lot are not committed or capable of handling the exit then we need a GE to choose the people to negotiate as we feel is right.

      I have said before that this is the perfect opportunity for the remain people who want to trade with the world (including EU) should get together with the leave people who also want global trade (not just EU) and go for it. Otherwise the remain group are likely to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  31. DougS Silver badge

    This is why you write down your constitution

    Instead of relying on oral history or tradition or whatever the heck it is you lot are relying upon here. I will say you won't have moved much past having a King if the PM is able to undo by himself an Act voted upon by the whole of Parliament over 40 years ago.

    It is one thing for the man in charge to have veto power, as the president in the US does. But his veto power only extends to something passed by congress that is not yet law. If he signs it, it is law, if he vetoes it, it is not law. The congress can override him with 2/3 vote in both house & senate but in today's partisan political world that's almost impossible to imagine. The president most certainly cannot veto something retroactively, which is basically what your PM would be doing if he is determined to have the power to unilaterally serve Article 50 notice to the EU and this is judged to have met the EU's conditions for constitutionality.

    What would the PM who unilaterally removed the UK from the EU do for an encore, repeal the Indian Independence Act of 1947 so the UK legally considers India its colony once again?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: This is why you write down your constitution

      "Instead of relying on oral history or tradition or whatever the heck it is you lot are relying upon here."

      As has been said in other comments the British constitution is very largely written in a variety of documents from Magna Carta onwards, through the Bill of RIghts, various Reform Acts and Common Law.

      What we have here is an unprecedented situation and when that happens there needs to be an evaluation of what is the best constitutional way forward. One way of doing that is via the court system. Doesn't the US also rely on its Supremes to interpret the constitution when the necessity arises?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: This is why you write down your constitution

        Yes the Supreme Court does answer questions about what the US Constitution and its amendments permit or deny, but a basic question like "can the president undo existing law legally passed by congress?" is not something that would ever be at issue. The Supreme Court considers cases regarding stuff that's not specifically covered in our constitution, like the legality of abortion, exactly what limitations can be put on gun ownership, etc.

        I'm sorry, but the question of who has the power to unmake existing law is pretty basic, so if you need a court to determine the answer to that... Like I said, if the PM can remove the UK from the EU without Parliament having any say, then he can pretty much do anything by undoing any previous acts of Parliament. Arguably he could put the Queen back in charge and take both himself and Parliament out of equation setting UK history back 350 years or so.

        For that matter, wasn't it an act of Parliament that stripped Charles II's royal power to arbitrarily suspend laws passed by Parliament? Did they really mean to remove that power from the King, and give it to the Prime Minister? Could the PM undo that, or undo the Reform Act of 1832? If you take the position that the PM can unilaterally pull the UK out of the EU, you pretty much have to concede he has similar power to that of the King after the Magna Carta was signed as he can undo any law he wishes.

  32. JimBob01

    I asked a cat about his views on Brexit...

    He suggested that the UK should repeatedly ask to leave.

    Once the door was open, they should just sit and stare at it...

  33. AlanT1

    what a misleading headline

    as far as I read the law firm is simply ensuring the correct procedure is followed. What is the problem with that? It is not as I see it been instructed to block

  34. veryannoyingname

    Article 50 not the only option

    Greenland did not use article 50 when it left! There are other options like article 48 and also Vienna treaty options and Royal prerogative using new Orders in Council which will be deemed primary legislation over riding old laws. Orders in Council have been used in past and called valid by supreme court in the Chagos case where the govt set aside court orders regarding Chagos island's. Or Parliament could just issue new law breaded on referendum result annulling previous law entering EU which would unilaterally strike this down.

    The government spent £7 million sending leaflets to every home and on it it clearly says the referendum decision is for the people and the govt will implement what ever the people decide.

    Zoopla allegedly is one of the companies finding the legal action. I guess one of the reasons for them is financial reasons to delay knowing property situation now see https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/750045373582966784 and see the article in question http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-04/bear-stearns-20-uks-largest-property-fund-halts-redemptions-fears-vicious-circle

  35. Thatguyfromthatforum

    Quite honestly I don't see why so many reg commentators are pro remain? Surely the fact that centralisation of anything generally increases corruption and makes administration more difficult and therefore less successful is enough to bring people to the obvious leave option? There's also the fact the accounts haven't had a clean audit in decades, or ever?

    1. graeme leggett

      "Is the EU’s budget ‘signed off’ by auditors?!"

      https://fullfact.org/europe/did-auditors-sign-eu-budget/

      And here read one

      http://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/auditinbrief-2014/auditinbrief-2014-EN.pdf#page=10

    2. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Note: apols for a very long post, I didn’t have time to write something more concise.

      “Quite honestly I don't see why so many reg commentators are pro remain?”

      Interestingly, the Remainers are much more visible here now than they were before the referendum.

      Here are some reasons to be pro-Remain, in no particular order:

      The UK has a reasonably strong economy but it still just one of the many players in the global marketplace. It is also an economy which is very reliant on doing business internationally. Being in the EU gives Britain unrestricted access to the EU market. And as a member of the EU we are in a stronger positioning when dealing with much larger entities such as the US and China. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like to negotiate the equivalent of the TTIP between the US and the UK? (Hint: the US is rather larger than the UK.)

      I get the impression quite a number of people voted Leave because they don’t agree with the policies of the current government (which they voted for around a year ago). They’re entitled to that view, but using the referendum to express that is an abuse of the democratic process.

      EU product standards mean manufacturers can now produce one flavour of their product rather than 28 marginally different ones. The larger market makes production more cost-effective (especially for niche products). I gather EU standards for some products are also accepted beyond the EU, further widening markets.

      EU environmental directives have helped clean up Britain’s rivers and beaches. Similar safety standards also mean that when you travel in the EU you can be reasonably confident that tunnels, drinking water, electrical appliances, etc. meet the same safety standards as in the UK.

      From my corner: UK contractors can work on the railways in the Netherlands, London-based consultants can advise on tunnels in Zeeland, and specialist Dutch contractors can work in the UK – all with little more hassle than working in the home market.

      Being able to study and work anywhere in the EU gives people the opportunity to have more interesting lives and careers. It also means you can get foreign labour to do jobs the locals don’t want to train for or aren’t interested in doing (in the UK that’s highly relevant to the construction industry and agriculture, and also healthcare I think).

      Being in the EU makes it easier to deal with international crime.

      Like any member state, the UK is different in many ways from “Europe”. But the similarities between these countries are greater than the differences. We are living in a world which is getting smaller and more interconnected every day – cutting ourselves off from the EU means cutting ourselves off from a large chunk of that world.

      Many of us now look far beyond the village, county or country where we were born. For myself and many of my friends being European is just as important as the nationality of our birth. Perhaps even more so, as our European identity is something we have chosen, while our nationality is an accident of birth.

      Those we some of the positive reasons to be in the EU. Other reasons have to do with the negative impact of leaving:

      Negotiating trade treaties, etc. with the EU and the rest of the world is going to be very time-consuming and expensive and there aren’t enough people around in Whitehall to do it. (See today’s FT: “Britain turns to private sector for complex Brexit talks. Britain seeks consultants to bridge trade negotiator gap with Brussels”). All that will take time and money which would be better spent on the NHS, education, supporting deprived areas, etc.

      If the UK sets its own standards for certain products/services that will increase the regulatory burden on exporters who will have to meet both UK and EU standards. If UK standards are less strict than EU ones then this will reduce consumer and worker protection in the UK. If stricter then costs will rise.

      If I was a farmer or lived in an area where the economy is depressed I would hope that Westminster would give me the same support as the EU did. But I would be very worried as a wobbly UK economy is going to make that impossible. Furthermore, I get the feeling the leaders of the Leave campaign may not be that well-disposed to deprived areas – but I might be wrong.

      Brexit may lead to Scotland voting for independence which would be likely to cause even more economic and political headaches. Issues will also arise in relation to Northern Ireland and may affect the peace process. (Remember the Troubles? I do.)

      Brexit is likely to have a significant impact on the British economy, i.e. on jobs, on the ability of the government to pay for public services such as the NHS (which is not getting an extra 350 million a week). That’s going to hurt young people and those in economically weak areas much harder than most. And this time those young people might not be able to move overseas to find a job. The construction industry is already being hit http://www.constructionmanagermagazine.com/news/brexit-bit1es-construc3tion-activity-hits-low6est/

      ----------

      “Surely the fact that centralisation of anything generally increases corruption and makes administration more difficult and therefore less successful is enough to bring people to the obvious leave option?”

      Any organisation of more than one person brings difficulties like that. But it also brings opportunities as a broader range of views and experience (among MEPs, civil servants, experts) can help reach better decisions and may well reduce corruption.

      Incidentally, many of the directives adopted by the EU do not have direct effect. Instead they have to be implemented in national law by the governments of the member states. Some governments then have a habit of gold-plating them. As far as I’m aware, the EU is much less integrated/centralised than, say, the US.

      Apols for rambling.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        @ H in The Hague

        One thing you didn't explicitly mention is that a good number of businesses represent foreign investments made in the UK specifically to provide an EU manufacturing facility. These include a number of car plants which are in areas which seem to have supported Leave. We once had a largely native motor industry. Its employees pretty well destroyed that. Foreign investment gave us another. It now looks as if that's also being destroyed by its employees. Does anybody think anyone will give us a third?

    3. Paul Shirley

      "Quite honestly I don't see why so many reg commentators are pro remain?"

      It's the contrast in exposure between professionals working with people across the planet and factory/office/shop workers getting drunk in Spanish tourist ghettos for a couple of weeks a year. Creates a more cosmopolitan view of the world.

      That and not sharing the delusion our local chisellers are any more honest than anyone else.

    4. KeithR

      "Quite honestly I don't see why so many reg commentators are pro remain?"

      Intelligence.

      Not being a bigot.

    5. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      > Quite honestly I don't see why so many reg commentators are pro remain?

      Quite honestly, there has not been a single, I repeat, not a single argument brought forth by the leave campaign that was not an outright lie - not a single one.

      When Boris says something, I, like many other comment@rds on here, check the facts ... shit, we are well educated people who have learned to read, been to uni, got highly paid jobs ... we are not bricklayer pensioners with as much common sense as a male praying mantis.

      Don't get me wrong, I hate the posh with a passion and always fight, in my spare time, for the rights of the working class, but in Holland, France, and Germany, too many times, working class people tend to repeat, like the proles in 1984, what they hear "populist" politicians say - it is the same in the UK.

      Even Mr Farage, when confronted with undeniable facts, counter-attacks criticizing his opponents hair cut, attire or sex appeal, the bloke's full of shit! A clown, entertainer, not a responsible elected politician.

      The UK outside of EU does not stand a chance in the global economy. The UK will never again get what it has today, a say (MEP's), access to the common market without taking any risks (euro vs pound), or without paying what it's due, as compared to France or Germany, or, more importantly, refusing free movement of people. The free movement of people and goods is at the heart of the EU, you cannot pick and choose that its either both or nothing.

      What this referendum means is that you do not want to have British MEP's (hence you do not want to have a say), yet you want access to the common market - this means that the UK will have to implement European directives AND accept European immigrants to be able to freely export goods produced in the UK to the EU - note that banking passporting rights are central to the UK's economy, not sure you will retain those, even if the UK accepts to implement European directives to get access to the common market ... just saying.

      Via the EU, a British voter has more "sovereignty" over his country (and the whole of the EU) by electing his MEP than he has his MP, mainly, because, well, in the EU, we do not have houses of hereditary lards, but an elected president of the commission and parliament.

      So basically, if you voted leave, you do not understand the issue, it is as simple as that - don't believe me ?

      From http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36659900

      "Any agreement, which will be concluded with the UK as a third country, will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations. Access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms."

      The "four freedoms" that underlie the EU's internal market are the freedom of movement of goods, workers, services and capital.

      French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told BBC Newsnight that once Britain had made its proposals, "everything" would be on the table.

      "We will negotiate all these aspects with a desire to come to an agreement."

      But Britain would not be in the same position as it was beforehand, he said.

      "We return to zero."

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @ Hans 1

        First I want to say I disagree with you, but your comment is one of the best pro-EU comments I have read.

        "not a single argument brought forth by the leave campaign that was not an outright lie"

        Very true. The official leave and remain campaigns were complete FUD and very shameless about it. Regardless of the result it was an embarrassment. Whoever lost could blame their official campaign for being shoddy but whoever won would surely have the same feeling.

        "Even Mr Farage, when confronted with undeniable facts, counter-attacks criticizing his opponents hair cut, attire or sex appeal, the bloke's full of shit! A clown, entertainer, not a responsible elected politician."

        While I agree with entertaining I do wonder what examples you are thinking of (not saying there wont be any). Out of all he conducted the most honest campaign and pre the referendum it was the truth and honesty from him that forced a referendum in the first place. I dont doubt he has insulted people just as he has been consistently since becoming a threat to the EU and our membership.

        "The UK outside of EU does not stand a chance in the global economy"

        This gets my goat. Why? Statements like this are rubbish but never seem to need qualifying. The EU is faltering in the global economy and is a global economic threat but thats about it. Also we might not get a say in the EU but so what? The EU is a small part of the world. One in perpetual crisis with others looking for the door.

        The rest of your comment I can accept concerning the common market and all that. But do we care? If they dont want us in the common market thats their choice, we can deal with the world. This matters much more than the isolationist EU and while some people want to remain in the cartel, globalists dont. We would like access to the common market to the benefit of us all, but not at our expense. And we still want to trade with the EU regardless, so the terms are their problem.

        "So basically, if you voted leave, you do not understand the issue, it is as simple as that - don't believe me ?"

        Not necessarily. My view on leave is a large range of issues with the EU. Interestingly a lot of the leave views may be incompatible with each other but yet the best option is to vote out as it is the only way to have any hope of making a change in that direction. This is why the argument that it was a right wing Brexit was demolished quickly as the left were also wanting out for the same reasons with different ideas of the ideal outcome. The economic issue was also a huge problem as the EU has a huge economic problem. While some people show no understanding (brexit or bremain) others do. As with your views on the trade area seem informed but a different view to mine. I dont think you dont understand the issue, you just have a different view when you apply your reasoning to it than I do.

        "we do not have houses of hereditary lards"

        I guess thats a spelling mistake but I did laugh. I dont recall voting for a president though. Also his recent comments about brexiters abandoning the sinking ship and not proposing leave terms/article 50 are concerning. Only the PM can do that. But he doesnt seem to understand. Just as Junker doesnt seem to realise Farage is still there because it is his job. And if the will of the people is carried out then he wont be there. Only by the sheer anti-democratic action of others does he keep his job.

        "We return to zero."

        That assumes our position is zero. It really isnt by a long shot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Hans 1

          Everyone with an axe to grind dismisses the indirect influence via our admittedly untrustworthy (but elected) government, choosing who to represent us in the institutions and more directly in the Council of Ministers. We voters are poorly represented not unrepresented. Government usurping the individual sovereignty no ordinary Briton ever really had, in Europe just like they do at home.

          One thing has been consistent though, our gov consistently fights against giving MEPs more power. Any time someone claims the EU is undemocratic look to local gov for the reason. They refuse to loosen their grip on power all the while blaming everyone else. Are they frightened peace might break out or something?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At this point, the best thing that could happen would be for another country to invade us.

    I'm tempted to write to Putin and suggest it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "At this point, the best thing that could happen would be for another country to invade us."

      No need, gospodin, just have a referendum to become part of Russia. There are places in West and North London that wouldn't notice the difference.

  37. Christopher Blackmore

    "... in spite of the popular vote to leave the block."

    52 to 48 isn't a "popular vote". It's a draw, near as damn it.

    1. MrZoolook

      Re: "... in spite of the popular vote to leave the block."

      Quote: "52 to 48 isn't a "popular vote". It's a draw, near as damn it."

      But, this is a referendum, not a neverendum...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "... in spite of the popular vote to leave the block."

        "But, this is a referendum, not a neverendum..."

        It doesn't need to be a neverendum. Set a sensible required majority for a change of this magnitude. Look at the existing referendum results. Do they match this majority? No. Job done.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What would happen if...

    What would happen if someone ran for PM on a platform of NOT invoking article 50?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What would happen if...

      "What would happen if someone ran for PM on a platform of NOT invoking article 50?"

      Not quite the same thing but I can see us having an autumn general election on this question by which time the voters of Sunderland etc will have been clearly informed that after the immigrants return to eastern Europe your jobs will follow them and you won't be allowed to but if you move to Lincolnshire you can have some seasonal outdoor work picking potatoes and cabbages.

    2. M.Zaccone

      Re: What would happen if...

      "What would happen if someone ran for PM on a platform of NOT invoking article 50?"

      I don't think that's how our system works. You don't vote for a PM - you vote to choose your MP - or in the case of where I live - to quote the late great Alan Beresford B'Stard - the hat stand with a blue rosette. Then all sorts of stuff happens that results in someone in a shiny suit that you wouldn't trust to run a bath let alone run a country being put in charge...

      But theoretically, say if you could run it that way - well isn't that what the referendum we just had was all about. David Cameron basically said that a vote for REMAIN was also a vote for him. And look where that got us.

  39. martinusher Silver badge

    The Logical Next Step Would Be a General Election

    Its not just the 'exit' vote, made in the face of exhortations to remain from both political parties, business, and the establishment in general. The subsequent political shambles has left the UK without a government, or rather, has shown everyone what a sham the government has become. The next step should be a general election but I think that's not going to happen because the Establishment fears the outcome.-- there might be significant buyer's remorse from the exit electorate but it might not go far enough to counter the very negative image the EU has portrayed since the vote.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the government wants

    I have a very unofficial opinion from a fairly senior lawyer that plenty in Government want the Mishcon application to succeed. A government which says "No exit" will result in civil disorder, violence from the NF and so on, and major political problems. A government which says "Leave" will be fine till the economy finishes tanking and the Far Right profit from it as they did in Germany in the 30s. But the Supreme Court saying "You have to have a Parliamentary vote" and then losing in Parliament will probably take until after the German and French elections in 2017 - when everything may be very different. (Including new governments being willing to walk away from free movement.)

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