back to article Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

Britain's exit from the European Union could be guaranteed by the Supreme Court if the government has the cojones to appeal Thursday's Brexit-bashing Divisional Court verdict, says barrister Greg Callus. Speaking after the verdict was handed down in the case against the government, Callus told The Register that although the 23 …

  1. MakingBacon
    Angel

    There may be trouble ahead ...

    But while there's Junker

    And Hollande, Merkel and Farage

    Let's begin Brexit and dance

    Before the bankers have fled

    Before they ask us to pay the bill

    And while we still have the chance

    Let's begin Brexit and dance

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: There may be trouble ahead ...

      Have an upvote; your idea is so much the better for the fact that the original was written by Irving Berlin, even if that was his chosen name after arrival in America rather than the one he was given at birth.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: There may be trouble ahead ...

      Upvoted for the rhyming skill, regardless of the sentiment it contains!

    3. Uffish

      Re: There may be trouble ahead ...

      Why does your merry quip remind me of the euphemism for being hung "to dance upon nothing".

      Brexit would be a blessed relief from the bureaucratic quagmire that is the current EU if it didn't have all the slow motion horror of a train crash.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Gareth

      I think your readership would appreciate to know if you have been contacted by Mr Callus offering an "interview", or on what grounds he has been approached.

      I do not disapprove of "collaboration" with media as a way to get free publicity, and we have used it ourselves, but personally I prefer to be straightforward about it, and we won't do it unless we are convinced that we can provide useful, knowledgeable, and relevant insight which is at least as useful to the readers and the journalist as the exposure gained from it might be to us.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Jack 12

      Re: Media and entertainment

      I believe it means that judgments in most courts involve the judge(s) hearing arguments from two sides and then deciding which of the arguments is truest/most persuasive and ruling in favour of those arguments. In the Supreme Court, the judges does not have to decide between the arguments put forward by lawyers on either side in the hearing, they can make up their own arguments and decide on the basis of those.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Media and entertainment

      And what insight has a media lawyer into constitutional law?

      Perry Mason reruns?

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Media and entertainment

        Rumpole

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Media and entertainment

          It means 'thank fuck for my Irish grandfather' and scottish grandmother if it ever came to that.

      2. Random Handle

        Re: Media and entertainment

        >Perry Mason reruns?

        Possibly it's "Incompetent, Irrelevant and Immaterial - not necessarily in that order"

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Media and entertainment

      ""It's not bound by the arguments the parties put forward," continued Callus, of media and entertainment law practice 5RB"

      What does this even mean? And what insight has a media lawyer into constitutional law?"

      It means that the Supreme Court can set judicial precedent, in other words, make law, in cases not foreseen by the body of law currently at hand. That said, I do not think that this situation qualifies as there is a quite clear legal status of the referendum, and that is of expensive opinion poll, nothing more.

      As for lots of people voting, turnout was 72%, lower than elections pre-1997. It's not unprecedented numbers of people voting.

      1. BarryUK

        Re: Media and entertainment

        Yes, it sets precedent - and it's worth noting here that the precedent would be one which granted the government a lot of power to overrule parliament in the future. A very dangerous precedent, in other words.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Media and entertainment

          that the precedent would be one which granted the government a lot of power to overrule parliament in the future

          Indeed, difficult to see that being the majority position and pitting the High Court agains the Supreme Court is not a good idea.

          The government has other ways around the decision which are probably less fraught with danger. To lose in court twice would almost certainly mean no chance of a majority in the House of Lords and hence no chance of meeting the self-inflicted deadline.

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: Media and entertainment

            Keep in mind there's quite a lot of MPs - quite possibly even a majority - who want nothing more than to see the government fail to meet its self-inflicted deadline. Or any other deadline.

            If they can figure out how to torpedo the whole thing while pinning the responsibility on someone else - anyone else - they'll leap at the chance.

            Lengthy arguments before the Supreme Court, missing deadlines, constitutional confusion - it all helps to generate the sort of smokescreen that might give some creative soul the opportunity they're looking for.

            Quite possibly, even Ms May herself would be in that category. If she can inspire her "opponents" to take her to court on cases she knows she'll lose... set deadlines she knows she'll miss... make arguments she knows will be shot down... it is just within the bounds of possibility that she might yet pull off the political manoeuvre of the century, which would be to reverse Cameron's brainfart without pissing off the voters - any more than they already are pissed off, at least.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Media and entertainment

              "Quite possibly, even Ms May herself would be in that category."

              I see her as in the category of closet Leaver but unwilling to declare on the assumption that they'd lose the referendum and she didn't want to be out of a job. Previously she didn't seem enamoured of anything from the EU that impinged on her old job in the Home Office.

            2. JustNiz

              Re: Media and entertainment

              >> it is just within the bounds of possibility that she might yet pull off the political manoeuvre of the century, which would be to reverse Cameron's brainfart without pissing off the voters

              Sorry but anything short of a full Brexit, i.e.what I and the majority actually voted for, will piss me off mightily, because it will clearly prove true what I have long suspected, that the self-interests of a few hundred corrupt politicians actually outweigh the will of millions of citizens, so the UK is actually a dictatorship that is only playing a superficial game of being a democracy.

              The bottom line is that the majority of votes were for Brexit. Now get over it and do it already.

              1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: Media and entertainment

                "Sorry but anything short of a full Brexit, i.e.what I and the majority actually voted for, will piss me off mightily"

                What? You actually still want Brexit? Even now what it's obvious that there aren't any upsides, just downsides! I'm amazed!

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Media and entertainment

                  @ anonymous boring coward

                  "What? You actually still want Brexit? Even now what it's obvious that there aren't any upsides, just downsides! I'm amazed!"

                  I am amazed when I still hear things like this. Maybe you truly do believe that but I still want brexit and your statement but applying to remaining is exactly my opinion. So far there have been no upsides shown to remaining and many downsides.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Media and entertainment

          Yes, it sets precedent - and it's worth noting here that the precedent would be one which granted the government a lot of power to overrule parliament in the future. A very dangerous precedent, in other words.

          I disagree.

          It doesn't really set a precedent, because this is a unique situation.

          So unique in fact that the High Court are already creating precedent, by trying to invent law where there is none - because the law in question was badly drafted.

          Basically Article 50 says we leave automatically in 2 years if no deal is unanimously agreed to extend it (or make it quicker). It also says that it's invoked by the government in question, in accordance with their own rules.

          But when this was put into UK law as part of the Lisbon Treaty (European Constitution MkII), I don't think Parliament bothered to specify what those rules are, as they didn't expect to be leaving.

          So the court had to make up the law, as there wasn't any. It's clear that government gets to negotiate treaties, and so negotiating our leaving deal is down to royal perogative. Parliament can advise, and be kept informed, but get no say until there's a final deal done, to put into UK law.

          But the court asked, is A50 irrevocable? The government said yes. Once triggered we're automatically out of the EU after 2 years. I'm sure it could be fudged, but only if all other 27 members agree - and probably the European Parliament too. That's unlikely, so we'd be out in 2 years.

          Well in that case, the court said, Aricle 50 is effectively repealing the European Communities Act because it inevitably leads to that, once we trigger it. Hence Parliament has to have its say first, as that effectively will be repealing legislation and removing rights from citizens, which must be done with Parliament's assent.

          On the letter of the law, the judgement is dubious - A50 isn't changing UK law at all. It's a use of an exisiting treaty power, already created by Parliament, involving treaty negotiation which is a perogative power. However once the court asked if it was inevitable they went with the logical ruling, that it's effectively changing the law. After all, Parliament could refuse to repeal the act taking us into the EU, but what's the point of that if triggering A50 means they've kicked us out?

          1. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: Media and entertainment

            "It's clear that government gets to negotiate treaties, and so negotiating our leaving deal is down to royal perogative. Parliament can advise, and be kept informed, but get no say until there's a final deal done, to put into UK law."

            Not quite. The government can use the Royal Prerogative to negotiate treaties but this case isn't about a treaty it's about the law. Parliament is sovereign. The government needs to work with parliament when it comes to making and repealing primary legislation which is what the European Communities Act 1972 is. It was that which set up our entry into the European Economic Community as it was then, now the European Union. What the High Court said was as this is a matter of primary legislation it is a matter of law that the government does not have the discretion to unilaterally trigger article 50 but must pass an act through Parliament to undo the ECA as well as giving the go ahead for the UK's withdrawal.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Media and entertainment

      "What does this even mean? And what insight has a media lawyer into constitutional law?"

      I was wondering the same when he was "introduced". There's no mention of him having any specialist constitutional law training or experience. My initial instinct on reading "Callus, of media and entertainment law practice 5RB" is he's either one of those people who stiff artists in the music industry or spend time sending ;letters to alleged copyright infringers. I mean, if a doctor worked at a paediatric clinic, he'd not really be the first one you'd approach .for an Alzheimers diagnosis.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. kmac499

      Re: Media and entertainment

      When I wur a lad; anybody skilled in media entertainment had a dayjob as head of human relations and events organiser in a Bordello\Brewery enterprise. Yes the bunk-up and piss-up merchants.

      I doubt the current crop of far seeing contingency planning politicians could even organise a case of dysentery in a latrine.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parliament must vote

    The argument that Parliament should be bypassed because the referendum happened because of an Act of Parliament seems to mean "because it's convenient to my agenda". Without reading that act, I can imagine that it doesn't authorise the government to take any action based on the result at all. The government is authorised to continue with the current EU dealings only - i.e. carry on with the status quo.

    This is where the fun begins anew: if Parliament doesn't authorise the government to invoke Article 50 then come the 2020 general election expect Farage on TV again, moaning how the will of the people was ignored and you should vote UKIP to carry you out of the EU - on a stretcher if necessary. That would be the counter-referendum. If UKIP wins you all go out (Scotland goes out, Northern Ireland goes out, England builds Trump's wall, Hadrian's wall, and a bunch of new ones too). If they barely get votes this time around you know the people changed their minds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Parliament must vote

      You are correct there is no explicit instruction in the Referendum Act as to the direction the elected government should take on being given the result. It is framed in best "that which isn't explicitly forbidden is allowed" terminology. There's an awful lot of who can spend what and where though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Parliament must vote

      You touch on a key point - a 2020 election.

      May is currently viewed as an unelected PM, and MPs who supported remaining (the vast majority - 479 remainers vs 158 leavers) while they represent electorates that voted strongly in favour of Brexit are likely to want an election as late as possible so that Brexit slows or stops.

      If May does wish to Brexit, this legal case has forced the issue on Parliament deciding, I would expect it to be a conscience vote and that the Tories would lose based on MPs previously stated views. At that point, moving for a vote of no confidence in the government would allow the Tories to trigger an early election and get around the fixed term parliament act.

      Based on the current polls and state of Labour/UKIP/LibDem opposition, an early election would benefit the Tories and effectively provide a second referendum to validate Mays current position while swaying MPs who were unsure how their electorate felt.

      There's a lot of ifs in that and I'm unsure what May actually wants versus what she publicly says, but an early election may help MPs determine if the referendum was a one off or if they were being given a clear message....

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Parliament must vote

        Based on the current polls and state of Labour/UKIP/LibDem opposition, an early election would benefit the Tories and effectively provide a second referendum to validate Mays current position while swaying MPs who were unsure how their electorate felt.

        I'm not sure you could take the recent polls as valid indicators. They might be close for a true "general" election, but an election that was effectively a single-issue contest on whether Parliament should respect the referendum result is exactly the kind of curved ball that makes polls useless.

        After all, if you translate the referendum result into constituencies, instead of a simple headcount, you get around 70% Leave, almost all in England. In the European elections, which are pretty much a single-issue vote, UKIP does much better, mostly neck & next with the Tories. A similar outcome in a general election, from pissed-off Brexit voters, could completely change the Westminster map.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Parliament must vote

          Although the actual reasons many people gave for voting Leave were:

          I hate Cameron

          Give the Tories a kicking

          The Conservatives ruined my town

          I don't have a job

          While it's probable that Hammond and May's current approach to leaving the EU will utterly destroy the Conservative Party for all time, that wasn't really the method the voters expected and it's not going to help the jobless or underemployed.

          1. pop_corn

            Re: Parliament must vote

            I don't agree with that analysis at all. I voted to leave, as did dozens of people I know, and not one of them voted to leave for any of the reasons you just listed.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: Parliament must vote

              Many != All, or even most.

              The polls before and since indicated that at least a couple of million or so 'protest' voted to kick the Tories - well over the margin by which Leave won. A fair few of them were horrified at actually winning.

              Many more who blame the EU for actions taken purely by Blair, Brown and Cameron, when the EU was actually holding the UK Government to account and preventing worse.

              Yet they voted to cut the lifeline, damaging their own interest.

              I find it intriguing that you didn't post your reasons. Would you care to share?

              Have they proven false like practically everything on the official Leave campaign flyers?

              Has Teresa May laughed in your face by refusing to accept the Parliamentary sovereignty you desired, even going to the Supreme court to insist that she is all-powerful and can do whatever she pleases?

              Or something else?

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Parliament must vote

        May is currently viewed as an unelected PM

        No more so than Gordon Brown and he hung on for ages.

        MPs who supported remaining (the vast majority - 479 remainers vs 158 leavers) while they represent electorates that voted strongly in favour of Brexit are likely to want an election as late as possible so that Brexit slows or stops.

        MPs won't stop Brexit. They can't. Best case scenario for remainers is that the current lot vote no. All that will see is a UKIP landslide which will then vote yes. In doing so labour will have destroyed itself as a party, because its Northern heartlands would never forgive the betrayal. Corbyn knows this and has publicly committed to triggering A50 when asked to vote upon it.

        Based on the current polls and state of Labour/UKIP/LibDem opposition, an early election would benefit the Tories

        Doubtless the same thought has occurred to Jez - he'd be wiped out in the election and would, if he refused to step aside, split the party down the middle, quite aside from the lurch to UKIP.

        an early election may help MPs determine if the referendum was a one off or if they were being given a clear message....

        They've never been given a clearer message. The French, Italian, and German counterparts are likely to be given the same message over the next year or two.

    3. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Parliament must vote

      I agree that Parliament must vote, but I don't expect them to actually vote against leaving, that would be political suicide.

      However I do think that it gives Parliament some influence over what kind of Brexit we'll actually get, ideally one with full access to the single market, whatever concessions that requires.

      I think the only, politically acceptable, way to prevent Brexit is for one, or more, of the major political parties to have a manifesto for the next General Election that promises to cancel Brexit**; if that party then wins, then it should be legally and politically OK to ignore the referendum result.

      I detest Brexit, but democracy has to be maintained.

      (** Assuming that there's a way to do this, not sure what the rules are once Article 50 is invoked)

      1. mrjohn

        Re: Parliament must vote

        But in the scenario of a general election which party gets to put "cancel Brexit" on its manifesto?

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Parliament must vote

      There's no dispute that Parliament should get a vote. Just that it should get to trigger A50. Negotiating whatever deal is down to government.

      The sad thing here, is there's no space for democracy. Once article 50 is triggered, we're on a 2 year deadline, then we leave. Unless all 27 other members, and the European Parliament agree unanimously. Unlikely.

      Hence whatever the government negotiate, we're stuck with. Parliament can vote it down, or we can have a referendum on it, but unless the rest of the EU agree - we don't get it. It's a case of competing democracies.

      That's the sad thing for the remainers. The very organisation they want to stay in, is what makes it impossible for us to remaing. They don't seem to want to make that possible.

      So the only way to avoid leaving, is to avoid triggering Article 50. Which would be a horrendous offence against democracy - and I don't think the public would be forgiving.

      It's sad, as there could be a good compromise deal out there. But circumstances make it almost impossible.

      1. isogen74

        Re: Parliament must vote

        Even if you managed to avoid a vote on Article 50, there is a huge amount of EU legislation tied into the UK legal system which would need new UK laws to determine what to do with, and thus a vote and an Act of Parliament to do something about. It's impossible to enact Article 50 without some vote on something with MPs, even ignoring the EU aspect of this, because triggering Article 50 without some plan to clean up the UK side of things would be nuts and leave the UK in a legal limbo ...

        * Note that the current plan of record is "The Great Repeal Act", which actually amounts to "accepting all of the EU always already on the books and worrying about cleaning it up afterwards" rather than actually repealing everything. General legal consensus seems to be that it'll take a couple of decades to review and repeal individual laws (or keep the ones we actually want to keep).

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Parliament must vote

          Well the Scottish MPs will vote against brexit. And there will be a fair few dissenters. The regions that voted leave may not have a large mp presence either.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Should I Stay or Should I Go?

    {with apologies to the Clash}

    Seems more appropriate.

    Inflation is going to rise due to Brexit. Salaries won't. ergo, we won't be better off but just the opposite.

    etc

    etc

    etc

    Just when we'd gotten used to the idea of going this comes along.

    I am actuallyhappy with the judgement. Running rough shod over Parliament is not right and not how we do things. Some may not be happy with that but that is life and we'll just have to get on with it and not let these little 'impediments' get in the way.

    1. drouel

      Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

      i was always under, possibly a false impression, that countries that stuck together, are stronger, more resilient and least likely to suffer immensely during hard times, share the load of burden and success. Are more stable

      can someone explain to me in simple terms, what specific benefits britain would might or will gain by exiting the EU?. to me United is a far better idea

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

        @ drouel

        "can someone explain to me in simple terms, what specific benefits britain would might or will gain by exiting the EU?. to me United is a far better idea"

        Freedom not available within the EU. For example set our own tariffs with the world. To control our borders allowing us to do what has worked in developed countries- to choose who enters based on our needs. Related to those 2 is the safety of distance from a political project which is failing and critically unstable. And of course freedom from the power grab that is the EU amusingly demonstrated by the banana law which some remain voters seem to think is a lie because it is so unbelievably stupid. The freedom of democracy where votes relating to the EU have typically been ignored if they give the 'wrong' answer. And so on.

        On the plus side of remain they have the single market. On balance of that against the down sides is up to people to judge. Which they did. And voted leave.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

          the banana law which some remain voters seem to think is a lie because it is so unbelievably stupid

          It's a lie, because Boris Johnson made it up and it has no basis in fact.

          Those other things are all things we could, if we wanted to, manage through the EU, by engaging with Brussels via the means of electing sensible MEPs, rather than sending UKIP fuckwits who seem more interested in claiming that the heart surgeon sat behind them has never done a useful days work in their life (Nigel Farage's 'maiden' speech), or reverting to their early years as schoolyard bullies and fighting each other.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

            @ Loyal Commenter

            "It's a lie, because Boris Johnson made it up and it has no basis in fact."

            You really dont have to prove my point. Just because it is stupid does not mean it isnt true.

            "rather than sending UKIP fuckwits"

            Nope, sorry the UKIP people are the only ones to represent me and 52% of the referendum voters in the EU. We didnt get a choice to be in it so why should we vote for the people you want as MEP's? We exercise our only option of electing the MEP's that represent us.

            1. nematoad Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

              Isn't it wonderful, the Leave campaign was all in favour of Parliament's supremacy when it suited them. Else what did "Take back control." mean?

              Now, when it looks like parliament might actually have the opportunity to influence the way the UK exits the EU, the leavers are all shouting about "Defying the will of the people." What about the 16 million who voted to remain? Or are they now just "Unpersons" whose opinions can be ignored and who are fair game for all the vitriol and bile directed at them by the likes of the Mail and Express?

              What about a bit of magnanimity? Or are the leavers so concerned that their "victory" will somehow be stolen from them so that they need to keep attacking those who disagree and who are, after all, still their fellow citizens who will be just as badly affected if things turn sour due to the result of the referendum.

              1. Olius

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                Absolutely.

                The "Leave" commentary I read online mostly has all the maturity and nuance of a toddler with an uneaten ice-cream screaming blue murder because their brother just glanced at it.

                Leave people: You won. Get over it. Now, pretty please let's have a constructive chat about how we best do this thing you want.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                  @ Olius

                  "The "Leave" commentary I read online mostly has all the maturity and nuance of a toddler with an uneaten ice-cream screaming blue murder because their brother just glanced at it."

                  Then

                  "Leave people: You won. Get over it. Now, pretty please let's have a constructive chat about how we best do this thing you want."

                  I actually read the lower section first and thought finally someone who is actually willing to think about the future and discuss real options. Someone willing to consider the outcome in a way to benefit the UK in a mature way. Then I read from the start of your comment.

                  I suggest you read the remain commentary which typically refers to leave voters as stupid, ignorant, xenophobic etc. It isnt us having to get over the vote, we are sick of tolerating sore losers stomping their feet like the toddler you talk about.

                  Any time I write a comment about the remain voters working with the leave voters to ensure we are not some xenophobic little island but instead looking at Europe and beyond as we never could before I typically get the toddler. So I am sure leave voters would love to read something constructive from the remain side but the answer usually comes back as 'we dont like democracy, the vote doesnt matter, the gov should ignore the people if they agree with me, only a low percentage voted leave so lets claim its invalid, I dropped my rattle' and so on.

                  I would very much appreciate a constructive discussion with remain voters, we need them and they need us. Lets ignore the extremists on both sides, those who would cut the island off and those who would sell this country to the Euro.

                  1. MJI Silver badge

                    Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                    @codejunkie

                    Leave voters acting like toddlers with ice creams.

                    Ollius has a point, try reading anything from the news sites of the tabloids and try to find anything not doing it.

                    Most common thing I have read is the insultive "you lost get over it". Then the term "Remoaner". And they have to cheek to moan about being compared to toddlers, if they want to be treated as an adult, act like an adult.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                      @ MJI

                      "Ollius has a point, try reading anything from the news sites of the tabloids and try to find anything not doing it."

                      That is why I was disappointed at his comment. If he skipped the first bit it would have been a fantastic comment and hopefully inspire others to engage on both sides.

                  2. Pete4000uk

                    Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                    I agree. There is equal amounts of igroants on both sides but some like to trott up the high road and look down on others.

                    Remember the EU constitution farce? Three countries rejected it bit it went through under a different name.

                    Countries working together is a great idea, the EU had gone to far which is why I voted out.

                    Another view -not really my own but said to me by a friend- was 'The posh nobs have had a dump taken on them from the rif raf and they don't like it'. I don't subscribe to the class system but I can almost see where SHE was coming from.

                    Still, Trump might distract us later this month

                    1. Can't think of anything witty...

                      @ Pete4000uk - Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                      It's nice to hear someone give an honest reason (that you think that the EU has "gone too far").

                      My question to you is if you think that a full withdrawal is the answer to your concerns.

                      Your statement also suggests that at some point the EU had gone "just about far enough". Do you think that some middle ground would be a better solution (i.e. some version of stay in and fix our problems as opposed to leaving entirely)?

                      Not trying to change your mind, I'm just interested to understand other points of view.

                      1. Toltec

                        Re: @ Pete4000uk - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                        "Your statement also suggests that at some point the EU had gone "just about far enough". Do you think that some middle ground would be a better solution (i.e. some version of stay in and fix our problems as opposed to leaving entirely)?"

                        The Common Market (EEC) was a reasonable club to belong to, it started to go wrong with the Maastricht treaty really. This is a great shame as, though I was far too young to have had any say about entering, having grown up with the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation it seemed a good thing for countries to increase cooperation.

                        This latest development is really very interesting as I was very surprised when the rest of the EU immediately pushed for Cameron to activate Article 50 as soon as the result of the referendum was known. As mentioned earlier other EU referenda have been re-run until the 'correct' result has been obtained or simply ignored. It is almost as if they want us to leave...

                        1. Can't think of anything witty...

                          Re: @ Pete4000uk - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                          Something a bit like Norway, with access to the market?

                          by the way, i agree with you the nuclear annihilation bit (just watching Deutchland 83 at the moment and it's hard to believe that world was in my lifetime...)

                        2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                          Re: @ Pete4000uk - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                          "As mentioned earlier other EU referenda have been re-run until the 'correct' result has been obtained or simply ignored. It is almost as if they want us to leave..."

                          Have you seen and heard Farage?

                      2. pop_corn

                        Re: @ Pete4000uk - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                        > Your statement also suggests that at some point the EU had gone "just about far enough".

                        What we joined was a good idea. We joined the EEC or Common Market, which at the time was 9 very similar "western" countries in terms of economic and political development. It was a simple agreement on the trade of goods and services (a common market and customs union).

                        It all started to go wrong in 1993 with the creation of the European Community, which significantly extended the group's remit to include politics, not just economics. It was at this point that there should have been a 2nd referendum.

                        Once the free movement of labour principle was established, combined with the EU's aggressive expansionist policy of hoovering up as many disparate countries as possible, irrespective of their match, and ultimately the introduction of the Euro, the writing was on the wall for the EU. It's break up and ultimate demise became inevitable.

                  3. smartypants

                    No getting the dogshit of xenophobia off your shoes

                    "Lets ignore the extremists on both sides, those who would cut the island off and those who would sell this country to the Euro."

                    1) Like it or not, the leave campaign ONLY won with the help of a large number of people voting for reasons of xenophobia and racism. We know this, you know this, and the leave campaign knew this, which is why their chief messages featured 'hoardes of brown migrants' (Farage's famous poster) the threat of Turkey (brown foreigners again) and so on. It might have been just 20% or 30% of the leave vote, but it was (and continues to be) the top motivator behind all the headlines in the tabloid press.

                    So fine. You and millions of other leavers aren't xenophobes. But don't kid yourself that your 'non xenophobic leave' view is what won Brexit. You have made your bed with the worst in our society. How do suppose to lie in it? The rest of us see the danger of May giving in to these most shrill, stupid and hate-filled. Which is why it is VERY important that parliament - which represents us ALL - gets a say on *what* type of brexit we get. The referendum said NOTHING about the terms of exit.

                    2) "Euro extremists" - what are you going on about? The referendum wasn't about joining the Euro, and the vast majority of the population are very happy not to have anything to do with it.

                    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
                      Unhappy

                      Re: No getting the dogshit of xenophobia off your shoes @smartypants

                      Thank you for eloquently saying exactly what I had thought about this total balls up.

                    2. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: No getting the dogshit of xenophobia off your shoes

                      @ smartypants

                      "Like it or not, the leave campaign ONLY won with the help of a large number of people voting for reasons of xenophobia and racism"

                      That is one hell of an assumption. For all the many reasons of not wanting to be in the EU to assume it must be for those 2 simple and distasteful reasons is either misinformation or straw man. The EU isnt some utopia, or even a good idea. Amusingly a lot of the arguments to remain started with 'it is broken'. The primary advocates in the referendum being shown at best to be dishonest (of course the official leave campaign lied too before someone mentions that).

                      "You have made your bed with the worst in our society."

                      This is interesting and very honest. From what I see very few of the remain voters seem interested in actually being outward looking. They fear the foreigner and the world. Instead of standing with the many leave voters you recognise as not racist a lot of remain comments seem to have given up if they cannot undo a democratic decision. They fear joining the whole world and instead want to hide in the cartel. Yet together we would make a majority that was outward looking and more capable than the EU. We didnt make our bed with racists any more than you guys made your bed with the euro extremists who would join that awful currency.

                      "2) "Euro extremists" - what are you going on about? The referendum wasn't about joining the Euro, and the vast majority of the population are very happy not to have anything to do with it."

                      This would be called a double standard. If we made our bed with the fewer extremists then you made your beds with those who want to join that currency. This is why I keep saying the leave and remain voters who would honestly want to be part of the world could get together then we could leave the EU but focus on being part of the whole world including the whole of Europe.

              2. mrjohn

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                You might ask why the same Parliament passed such a poorly thought out bill to hold the referendum in the first place. Was it deliberate that the bill gave no mechanism to follow through on the result?

                Makes you wonder about other legislation.

            2. Cynical Observer
              Facepalm

              Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

              @codejunky

              the UKIP people are the only ones to represent me and 52% of the referendum voters in the EU.

              That would be the collection of MEPs that missed over a third of all votes. And you wonder why the UK might not achieve things in Europe.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                @ Cynical Observer

                "That would be the collection of MEPs that missed over a third of all votes. And you wonder why the UK might not achieve things in Europe."

                No I dont wonder why we might not achieve things in Europe. We have achieved the thorn in the side status while others agree with us but prefer we take the flack for it. Germany wants us to remain because we are a voice of support for them against the opposing ideals within the EU. And yes that would be the collection of MEP's who represent us who dont want to be in the EU. The EU we never had a choice over.

                1. nematoad Silver badge
                  Stop

                  Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                  "The EU we never had a choice over."

                  Sorry to butt in again but I must correct this erroneous statement.

                  You may not have had a choice over whether we are in the EU due to your age, either not yet born or too young to vote in the referendum called by Harold Wilson in 1975. 67% voted in favour of staying in the EEC and 33% voted against. So we did have a choice. Obviously not one that you or the "leavers" have accepted hence all the "Sturm und drang" to quote the nations favourite Brexiteer that is now happening as a result of a much closer referendum result.

                  What about accepting the result of the referendum and getting on with things?. It hasn't worked after 40 years so why the surprise that something that people feel really strongly about refuses to go away this time?

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                    @ nematoad

                    "You may not have had a choice over whether we are in the EU due to your age, either not yet born or too young to vote in the referendum called by Harold Wilson in 1975"

                    But the EU didnt exist then. As you say that was about the ECC. The problem is the EU and nobody got a vote although it was offered regularly at elections then dropped because the 'wrong' answer would be given.

                  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                    Sorry to butt in again but I must correct this erroneous statement.

                    It is not an erroneous statement.

                    You may not have had a choice over whether we are in the EU due to your age, either not yet born or too young to vote in the referendum called by Harold Wilson in 1975. 67% voted in favour of staying in the EEC and 33% voted against.

                    That was a vote about the EEC, not the EU. Personally I'd be happy to remain in the EEC today, and think it's a great pity that it was unnecessarily transformed into the EU against the wishes of huge numbers of Eueopean citizens.

                    Denmark voted against the EU, and had to be asked again before the Danes gave the "right" answer. France only passed it by 51%, despite being one of the most pro-EEC countries. John Major signed the UK up to it without a referendum, which opinion polls showed he would lose. Even his own MPs were against it, he only got it passed by turning it into a confidence vote. Polls at the time showed that 70% of Spaniards wanted a referendum as well. When the EU treaties were amended by the treaty of Lisbon Tony Blair promised a referendum, then reneged on that when polls again showed that he would lose..

                    The UK voted to be in the EEC, it has never voted to be in the EU.

                    1. Roland6 Silver badge

                      Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                      The UK voted to be in the EEC, it has never voted to be in the EU.

                      And that fundamentally summarizes Nigel Farage's original UKIP campaign position before things got out of hand in more recent years and Nigel started his transformation into a caricature little Englander ...

                      Ardent 'hard' Brexit supporters perhaps should think about this: Farage accepted the 1975 referendum result and the UK being in the EEC, but did not accept Westminster taking it into the EU without the British public being consulted. Whilst it was obvious that the EEC was just the starting point to greater European integration, there was also a reasonable expectation that the British public would be consulted as and when. However, as we've seen successive governments declined to use their rights and put the EU treaties to the British public, even though some other member nations did. Instead the government seemed to treat the ratification of such treaties as demonstrations of macho virility by also making their ratification a confidence vote on the government thus Farage was right, in that the mess the UK government (ie. Westminster) finds itself in now, is wholly of it's own making. In view of this, I doubt Farage will want to be in any position (eg. leader of UKIP) that could result in him being called upon to sort out the mess. Beyond this, much of what Farage (and his followers) has said and done, particularly in recent years, has been highly damaging to UK interests.

                      So whether you voted Leave or Remain, I think you should be applauding the high court decision as it is forcing the Westminster crowd to govern according to our constitution and ensuring that Parliament retains (and exercises) its powers to call the Crown/Executive to account; something that will be even more important when there is no higher authority to appeal to.

                      Hence it will be a victory for democracy if May finds she is unable to meet her self-imposed deadline for invoking Article 50 because of Parliamentary action. Whilst this may delay our leaving the EU, I don't actually see that as necessarily a bad thing. Whilst the EU currently may not be to everyone liking, we know we can live with it; with the UK situation unresolved, I suspect no one will be wanting to push ahead with further transfers of powers to Brussels...

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @codejunky

                the UKIP people are the only ones to represent me and 52% of the referendum voters in the EU.

                That would be the collection of MEPs that missed over a third of all votes. And you wonder why the UK might not achieve things in Europe.

                That would also be the group of MEPs who when they did attend and vote, tended to vote against UK interests...

                Farage in his 'victory' speech to the European Parliament did a wonderful job (not) of diplomacy and preparing the ground for formal Brexit negotiations, so once again acted against UK interests...

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

              I don't know if the banana law, or cucumber law, or any similar law is true or not, and I really don't give a flying frack. I do know that the UK is fully capable of making simlar stupid laws on it's own. And worse, fully capable of making no laws at all where it REALLY matters, such as environmental ones.

              But let's turn back the clock to the 1970s, why not, because the Sun has pointed out (kept hammering in into slow minds) how silly some fruit laws can be. Do make that fist in your pocket at the gross injustice of such silly laws! Don't worry all OAPs, it will soon be just like when you were young again. Just you wait and see!

          2. mythicalduck

            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

            > It's a lie, because Boris Johnson made it up and it has no basis in fact.

            Well, it kind of does...

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_Regulation_(EC)_No._2257/94

            Only Extra class bananas have to comply fully with the shape specifications. Class II bananas, for instance are permitted to have "defects of shape"; Class I bananas are permitted only "slight defects of shape"

            This regulation requires that bananas of the highest quality classification not have "abnormal curvature"

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

              Should be noted the banana law is not a law really it's guidelines for retailers to class quality, you can still buy misshapen bananas just they can't be sold as class 1. Half this sort of regulation bollocks on things like bananas as well is driven by the supermarkets idea of perfect fruit and veg.

              Also Farage was no bloody help in the EU, because things like fishing quotas which he should have been present to vote about (since he showed how much he cared about them during the Brexit campaign), he didn't even bother to turn up.

              1. veti Silver badge

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                This is the era of consumer protection. We need a law describing what can and can't be sold as a "top-class banana".

                The only question is whether we should make that law ourselves, or outsource it to some other body. To me that's an easy choice. If I don't give a s*** about the shape of my bananas, then let me outsource it - I don't want any more of my tax money spent on thinking about the question than absolutely necessary. It's far better for the UK that the EU makes decisions like that, because it cuts costs for the exporters (in banana-producing countries).

              2. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                @ Triggerfish

                "Should be noted the banana law is not a law really it's guidelines for retailers to class quality, you can still buy misshapen bananas just they can't be sold as class 1."

                Which has the force of law. So it is a law. With the penalty of up to 6 months in jail. For selling a bendy banana as class 1. However as I understand it they didnt actually define abnormal curvature so the law is probably more bendy than some interpretations.

                "Also Farage was no bloody help in the EU"

                Nor for the EU, nor to the EU. Helpful to all of us who actually wanted a vote on our participation in the political project.

                1. Triggerfish

                  Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                  Yes Codejunky

                  But it's not forcing the non right shaped banananas to be thrown out.

                  It was sold like this was some draconian law that says bananas can't be sold if they are not of this standard. It is a good example of the leave campaigns use of misinformation. The law actually being broken btw is a consumer protection law, not a banana law. Triggered by the bananas not being of correct standard but sold as such.

                  And a note on standards, weirdly enough they are good things. I have worked in manufacturing of duvets, pillows etc, lets address that because one of the other lies was about all the regulations on pillows. You know what? Some of those things are handy, for example if you do not have standards then you can get some really dodgy fills, I have seen pillows where weight is made up of dust, or they use chciken feather that has not been properly cleaned or curled. This means you get chicken feather rather than what the standard might say for example duck, you may even get broken chicken feather where the shafts are broken, good for causing allergies, good for attracting dust mites. How about thread count on ticks (outer fabric casing on pillows and duvets, basically the fabric that holds the stuffing in), to low you get dust mites through, lets not have standards requiring that to matter.

                  Course we could get rid of these daft standards and consumer protection and just go rogue on it all, should be fun next time you plug in something electrical without standards I reckon.

                  As for Farage, when your EU MP is interested in leaving the EU, does not vote on any issue that he then gets on his high horse about claiming we have no say when we would if he actually voted, and you still hold him up as a shining example of honesty and have no doubs about his ulterior motivations then I have to wonder how? why? Surely thats like saying I know he did it to sell these lies and I am cool with beliveing them? Thats just nuts.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                    @ Triggerfish

                    "But it's not forcing the non right shaped banananas to be thrown out."

                    No its enforcing potential imprisonment for selling a curved banana as class 1. How many people cry against those in jail for not paying the BBC license?

                    "And a note on standards, weirdly enough they are good things."

                    And previously existed due to them being good things, but not by law and interfering bureaucrats but by those who dont follow the standards just being ignored on the market. Infinitely more adaptable than the gov to changing circumstances (such as disease killing off a genus of banana).

                    "Course we could get rid of these daft standards and consumer protection and just go rogue on it all, should be fun next time you plug in something electrical without standards I reckon."

                    Yes because before the EU we couldnt plug anything in. Then the EU came and saved us with electricity and their safety standards of plugs. Erm no.

                    "As for Farage, when your EU MP is interested in leaving the EU, does not vote on any issue"

                    This shows a good misunderstanding of his purpose. WE DO NOT WANT TO BE IN THE EU. So why would we want interaction with the political project which we are forced to be under? He does show up other leaders for sitting around and letting crisis happen and particularly causing such crisis. So he does a good job.

                    1. Triggerfish

                      Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                      No it's enforcing a consumer proection law, same one that covers those plugs you were talking about in the last half of your post.

                      1. Toltec

                        Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                        The plugs are/were covered by British Standards long before CE arrived, most plug systems in other countries look downright dangerous in comparison. Clearly they aren't that bad or everyone would have died from electrocution or fire, perhaps it is simply that killing yourself by doing something unbelievably stupid does not require a change in standards to prevent it as it does here.

                        1. katrinab Silver badge

                          Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                          But before CE arrived, most products were sold without plugs. They had a bare wire, and you had to attach your own plug to it. Leaving plug installation to people who don't know how to do it is not a good idea.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                            "Leaving plug installation to people who don't know how to do it is not a good idea."

                            In an effort to stave off compulsory plug fitting and a price increase of 60p, the manufacturers got together with the Civil Service and started a committee to establish a convenient guide to wiring plugs for Joe Public.

                            After the second meeting at which the convenient guide had swelled to 16 pages and there were arguments about whether or not you should tell people not to use a sharp object to cut insulation, I told my project manager that I wasn't going to any more meetings, because they didn't even have very good biscuits at the DTI.

                            One of the silliest proposals was that the live and neutral pins should be sleeved in brown and blue respectively to match the cable colours. The problem is that when wiring the back of the plug you can't see the sleeving. And then there was the earth pin which was redundant on 90% of cables.

                            Remarkably few people were killed by miswired plugs, though. They mostly got away with it because a miswiring of earth and neutral in a non-RCD environment had little effect, and most of the other errors would blow the ring main fuse.

                          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                            But before CE arrived, most products were sold without plugs

                            More FUD. It's nothing to do with CE, which only came into force in 1993. The requirement to fit approved BS1363 plugs to appliances in the UK comes from the "Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1987".

                            The reason it wasn't required before was that even up into the 1970s quite a few older houses still had the pre-BS1363 style of round pin plug (familiar to anyone from India, where they still use them) and leaving bare wires to which a plug had to be fitted was considered to be safer than having people use adapters.

                            Back then most electrical shops would fit an appropriate plug at the time of sale if asked.

                        2. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                          "The plugs are/were covered by British Standards long before CE arrived, most plug systems in other countries look downright dangerous in comparison. "

                          The Schuko variants are far from dangerous - well implemented they are if anything safer than BS1363, especially with all the clever Far Eastern manufacturers making plugs to the absolute minimum required by the standard. But, and this is perhaps not generally well known, it was the British system that scuppered the Europlug because it was too easy to create a babykiller with a British socket outlet and a Europlug. Everybody who curses the sheer size of multiway adaptors should think about what would have happened if the Europlug hadn't had this problem - multiway adaptors would be less than half the size.

                          I was involved at the time and I remember how frustrating it all was. British plug and socket manufacturers wanted to keep BS 1363 because their machinery was suited to rectangular prongs, and they thought the Chinese wouldn't want to tool up for them.

                          And they thought wrong.

                          1. casinowilhelm

                            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                            Doesn't make much sense. Hong Kong uses the same plugs as the UK, so I should think the Chinese (or specifically all the cheap manufacturers in HK) were already tooled up for making them anyway.

                          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                            it was the British system that scuppered the Europlug because it was too easy to create a babykiller with a British socket outlet and a Europlug.

                            I'm curious, how would that happen?

                            The Schuko plugs are smaller because they aren't fused, but with most sockets being rated at 16A and fused (at the distribution panel) at 20A that creates a potential fire hazard when they are used with flexible appliance cords rated at 3A or 5A. That's a risk that the BS1363 systems doesn't have, assuming the plug has a correctly-rated fuse.

                            Schuko plugs and sockets are also much more flimsy than BS1363 ones. I've never had a standard UK socket pull out of the wall when unplugging a cable, it happens with Schuko. The lack of a switch on most Schuko sockets also makes it too easy to violate the rules about switching off appliances before disconnecting them. Plugs are not meant to be interrupters in the technical sense, and it's all too easy to draw an arc when unplugging a high-current appliance like an iron from a non-switched socket.

                            The figures are interesting. In the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics, 22 people died as a result of electrocution or fatal electric burns in 2010, while there were 20,403 accidental electrical fires in homes, resulting in 48 deaths

                            In France (same population as the UK) estimates are around 200 deaths due to electrocution each year, with 80,000 electrical fires.

                            1. MJI Silver badge

                              Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                              Our cleaner killed 2 sockets by unplugging the vacuum cleaner without turning the cleaner off.

                              I really cringe when she does it.

                              I make sure there are plugs in everyone of my sockets.

                    2. John H Woods

                      Banana law stupidity

                      Why the hell can people only see the banana regs in terms of what Mr(s) Consumer can buy from Supermarket corp? FFS If you are a buyer for Supermarket corp and you buy a container of Class I bananas that has to mean something specific. The reason there are banana regulations is that they are traded: it has very little to do with protecting consumers from the wrong shape bananas.

                      You know what? In a Brexit world where we decide to trade goods with e.g. Canada, there will be regulations affecting the classification of every single type of thing that we trade with them.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Banana law stupidity

                        "You know what? In a Brexit world where we decide to trade goods with e.g. Canada, there will be regulations affecting the classification of every single type of thing that we trade with them."

                        Yeah, but the the Murdoch trash-press won't bother mentioning it any more then, so it's not a problem any longer. We are in the driving seat now, not some 'forriner' with an accent trying to speak English. Why did they even bother? Go away, all stupid Europeans with your stupid laws!

                  2. Lars Silver badge
                    Happy

                    Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                    Up-voted for standards. I remember some nice and cheep pillows my young wife bought. But next morning my face was deep blue as all that colour came off. Add to that toys with lead paint. Should I point out that Britain was one of the last countries in Europe to skip arsenic in paint. How damned surprised should one be if there are regulations when, on one side you have manufacturers who cheat as much as they can, and on the other side you have consumers without any ability to know what they buy or eat or take or use and so on.

                    What a bloody mess you Brits have made for your self for so dubious reasons.

                    But I agree people vote according to the information/dis-information they have and believe in, and with their "feelings". There is no need for name calling on either side. The only positive I can come up with is that it seems to me that you have started to have the discussion now you should have had before the referendum.

                    The reality has woke you up. And yes I suppose I refer more to the leavers but to all of you regarding the name calling.

                    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                      Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                      How damned surprised should one be if there are regulations when, on one side you have manufacturers who cheat as much as they can, and on the other side you have consumers without any ability to know what they buy or eat or take or use and so on.

                      What a bloody mess you Brits have made for your self for so dubious reasons

                      Do you have the slightist idea how insulting and offensive that sort of generalization is? Every country in Europe has flaws, it wasn't Britain that was lying about horsemeat in ready meals or furniture-store meatballs. It wasn't a British manufacturer that was cheating on car emissions. It wasn't a British manufacturer making breast implants out of industrial silicone, etc.

                      Put your own countries in order before lecturing others.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                        "Do you have the slightist idea how insulting and offensive that sort of generalization is? Every country in Europe has flaws, it wasn't Britain that was lying about horsemeat in ready meals or furniture-store meatballs. It wasn't a British manufacturer that was cheating on car emissions. It wasn't a British manufacturer making breast implants out of industrial silicone, etc."

                        Bit touchy, are we?

                        We here in Britain just settle for going out in the world making things right instead. After being told what to do by the US of A, of course.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go? @ Codejunky

                          @AC

                          "We here in Britain just settle for going out in the world making things right instead. After being told what to do by the US of A, of course."

                          Does that not count as xenophobic? The argument levelled against leave voters is that we are apparently xenophobic yet what about the leave voters who want to participate in the world and not restrict ourselves to the EU? You do realise that Obama told the UK to remain. And being in the EU means that the EU tells us what to do.

                          Your comment has a lot of holes for being so short.

              3. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                And bananas tend not to be sold as being "Class 1" anyway, see for example - http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=266419328

            2. Paul Hampson 1

              Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

              As that page states, clearly there never was a plan to ban any shape of banana, only to classify them using shape as one of the criteria (with highly curved being less good) as you explained.

              Unless the leavers were actually not indignant because they thought the EU were trying to ban curvy bananas, but rather were upset that the poor defenseless fruit were being maligned, ..

          3. Dave 15

            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

            Pardon...

            Regulation 2257/94 says something on the lines of "free from malformation or abnormal curvature."

            Now what abnormal curvature is I don't know (I am sure that if we drop the banana part of this then we could have much more fun with the meaning

        2. Gordon Pryra

          Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

          @codejunky

          Someone else posted the history of Europe in a few lines

          War

          War

          War

          War

          War

          Argurments about bananas

          By the way, the banana I brought a few minutes ago is definitely curved. Whats up with that?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

            @ Gordon Pryra

            Sounds about right for history. What has that got to do with the EU? Rising nationalistic tensions were related to a lot of those wars and yet that is what the EU is causing. And well done with your curved banana, wtf is that have to do with the discussion?

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                @ Voyna i Mor

                "But those who know no history are condemned to repeat it.'

                Well said. Thats why it is so hard to understand why the EU is making the mistakes of the past and forcing it down peoples throats. The Euro is an amusing disaster as long as your not in one of the damaged countries. And what makes them think an EU army is a good idea? These people cant even agree a trade treaty and thats what the EU is for. And the increasing gap of leadership and the people has finally been recognised (particularly since brexit) but the EU think the solution is more EU? I would prefer to be on the outside as they repeat the mistakes of the past.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

                But those who know no history are condemned to repeat it.

                How do you reconcile that position with the complaint that Leavers are all foolish old people, and that we should take our lead from the 18-year-olds who want to stay?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

            Where did you bring it?

          3. smartypants

            Re: Arguments about bananas

            The thing about bananas is that it was never about bananas. It was about undermining the concept that pan-european laws could be agreed by countries working together. Some people cannot stand the idea that foreigners somehow have a say in the laws that govern them, even if they can't really come up with a reason for those laws being wrong.

            So it didn't even matter to these people that the examples given by the press of this 'eu madness' were usually either lies or misrepresentations. The papers were feeding what these people wanted to hear - i.e. that foreigners are unfit to have a say in the laws we live under. They aren't, of course, because they're just people like us... something that casual xenophobes try hard to ignore.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Arguments about bananas

              "They aren't, of course, because they're just people like us... something that casual xenophobes try hard to ignore."

              The French are NOTHING like us! NOTHING!

              You traitor! You should be hanged, drawn and quartered for even implying that the forriners are like us!

              They know where they can stuff their straight bananas! I'll have a bent one any day of the week, I tell you!

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

        can someone explain to me in simple terms, what specific benefits britain would might or will gain by exiting the EU?. to me United is a far better idea

        The EU is a one-size-fits-nobody straitjacket. It attempts to create a single framework for political, economic and fiscal union that applies to all 28 countries. Those countries are so very different in political and social viewpoints that it simply cannot work properly. You end up aiming for the lowest common denominator, mediocrity, with as much ambiguity as possible to prevent it collapsing. Of course, some people are happy to tolerate mediocrity as long as it gives them an easy life, but most are learning that it's a short term solution which can't support itself.

        The Euro zone is a clear example. Those countries that entered it have (with the notable exception of Germany, which controls it) high unemployment, close to zero growth, and little monetary stability. Even the architects of the single currency now recognize that it was a mistake to rush it, and that it will fail without rigid fiscal union. That union is unpalatable to a majority of EU members.

        It's clear that fiscal policy that works for, say, Germany and the UK will never work for Italy and Greece. Social policy that works for Sweden won't work for the UK or the Netherlands. Economic policy that works for France won't work for UK or the new ex-eastern bloc members. Politics vary widely, France may have it's left- and right-wing parties, but even their right is to the left of most British parties. The gulf is too wide.

        The countries are simply too different in their economic, political and fiscal preferences for them all to fit into one framework, yet without that common framework you can't have a political union with it's own parliament and laws. Just look at the Apple/Ireland issues as one of the problems.

        The old EEC (the "common market") worked because it recognized the differences and just created a level playing field where those differences could be allowed for, even the most controversial part, the CAP, sort-of worked. It was an economic union that mostly worked. The EU is a political union, and that cannot work, but the people who run it can't accept that, and cannot agree to go back to a union that did work.

        1. smartypants

          Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

          "The EU is a one-size-fits-nobody straitjacket"

          Odd statement that, because the french appear still to be french and the germans appear to be german. The english also continue to be english within the EU. Leaving the EU won't make us more so.

          So what precisely is the effect of this EU 'straitjacket' on the UK? Clean beaches perhaps? Or is it the easy business - tariff-free access to the most valuable markets on our doorstep? Or perhaps it's the freedom of movement that allows hundreds of thousands of brits to spend their final years in the sun. Or maybe it's the access to large research funds?

          Some 'straitjacket'.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

            So what precisely is the effect of this EU 'straitjacket' on the UK? Clean beaches perhaps?

            Read the rest of my post, if it's not too much trouble.

            As for "easy business - tariff-free access to the most valuable markets on our doorstep", "access to large research funds" etc, those all existed before the EU, since they were part of previous agreements from before the EU, and/or outside the EU.

            By "clean beaches" I presume you mean the "Blue Flag"? A moment's research would show that it's an international organization with over 60 members worldwide, and not an EU initiative.

            But hey, let's not stop facts getting in the way of remainer FUD.

        2. captain veg

          Re: "The old EEC"

          Why is this rubbish still repeated?

          The "old EEC" was a political union, not merely an economic union. The most casual skimming of the 1957 Rome treaty sets out almost all of what we now recognise as the EU. It is an insulting myth that voters in 1975 were somehow fooled into signing up to something different.

          -A.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: "The old EEC"

            The most casual skimming of the 1957 Rome treaty sets out almost all of what we now recognise as the EU. It is an insulting myth that voters in 1975 were somehow fooled into signing up to something different.

            I suspect the vast majority of voters hadn't read the 1957 Rome treaty and relied more on what the media and politicians told them... Not much different to the recent referendum, although back in 1975 we were a little more 'British', civilized and stiff upper lipped about things.

            But yes, my parents, who hadn't read the Rome treaty, knew the EEC was just the first step on a long path of European integation and voted for it. I think the surprise has been the speed at which those translocated to Brussels have been wanting to proceed with creating a 'Union', rather than biding their time...

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "The old EEC"

            The "old EEC" was a political union, not merely an economic union. The most casual skimming of the 1957 Rome treaty sets out almost all of what we now recognise as the EU.

            If that were true, why would we have needed Maastricht and Lisbon to modify it to create the EU?

            A more in-depth reading makes it clear that is is first and foremost an economic union, with political agreement required only where it is necessary to achieve economic stability.

            Some things do look a bit sad now:

            Article 6.2

            The institutions of the Community shall take care not to prejudice the internal and external financial stability of the Member States.

            Ah, I bet Greece would laugh at that, if it weren't so unfunny.

            Even the free movement rules are clearly based on employment and economic grounds:

            It shall entail the right...

            to accept offers of employment actually made;

            to move freely within the territory of Member States for this purpose;

            to stay in a Member State for the purpose of employment in accordance with the provisions governing the employment of nationals of that State laid down by law,

            to remain in the territory of a Member State after having been employed in that State

            All of which seem entirely reasonable.

            Even the definition of "The Assembly [European Parliament]" only requires it to meet once a year, on the second Tuesday in March. It was clearly not intended to be a day-to-day controlling Parliament, just an oversight body.

            It was only Maastricht which extended the economic provisions into the areas of criminal law and foreign policy, and extended the economic provisions into the creation of a single currency, none of which was necessary to maintain a sound trading community. Even then, in those few countries which actually got a vote on it it was either rejected it (Denmark), or barely scraped through (France).

      3. pop_corn

        Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

        I completely agree that countries working together is the natural and proper progression of civilisation. We should do it as a country, and need to do it as a human race.

        BUT I don't believe in Unity for Unity's sake, no matter the cost.

        The artificial political construct that's overlays Europe called "The EU" has shown itself to be a morally and fiscally corrupt-to-the-core organisation, more interested in the power wielded by individuals than actually improving the lot of its constituents.

        It was a good first attempt, I'm glad we joined all those decades ago, but it's time to call it quits.

        Brexit is the first step in a 100 year journey of disbanding the EU version 1, and starting again, wiser and with lessons learned, with EU version 2.

  5. Steve Evans

    This uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy than a leave or remain could ever do.

    Whatever you're going to do, just get on and do it!

    1. Nick L

      Actually, this brings legal clarity...

      So it would have been better to have triggered article 50, then have someone bring this challenge at that time, pointing out that Article 50's first sentence is "Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements", and our laws state that only an act of Parliament can alter an act of Parliament? That would have been more damaging.

      What's the problem with asking parliament to vote on this?

      Sovereignty is sovereignty.

    2. Jess

      Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

      I partially agree with you.

      Simply leaving the EU (as was asked in the referendum) would really do little damage to the UK.

      Leaving the EEA would do serious damage to the uk, and leaving the customs union too would be even worse.

      Letting people think the latter is going to happen could eventually cause almost as much harm as actually doing it.

      Had on the 24th June Cameron said we will be triggering article 50 very shortly with the intention of remaining in the EEA, no-one would even be talking about it now.

      Had he said we are triggering it shortly with a view to quitting everything, at least we would be benefiting from the two year firesale already.

      However the result we have is a slow erosion, that potentially could leave us not knowing whether we will be in or out of the free market until long after businesses need to start re-organising to cope with a full exit, so they will assume the worst and move.

      At that point the only real difference in outcomes would be the potential for them to come back and the right of our citizens to follow them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

        Please explain how we could leave the EU and remain in the EEA, AND fulfil the xenofobic wishes of the Leave campaign?

        1. Olius

          Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

          "Please explain how we could leave the EU and remain in the EEA, AND fulfil the xenofobic wishes of the Leave campaign?"

          Well, we can't, can we - Which is what makes the referendum question we were asked so odd (in hindsight, unfortunately)

          1. Toltec

            Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

            "Well, we can't, can we - Which is what makes the referendum question we were asked so odd (in hindsight, unfortunately)"

            Personally I thought the question was pretty obviously the wrong one, no hindsight required. I only voted to leave because I no option to say anything else to express my reservations with the EU as it currently exists.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

              The terms "baby" and "bathwater" come to mind.

              Bit like saying we must blow up / fill in the subway, because the trains don't run on time (and the drivers have the occasional strike).

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

          Please explain how we could leave the EU and remain in the EEA

          The UK can't remain in the EEA, as the UK is not presently a member of the EEA; the EU, however, is a member of the EEA.

          For the UK to become a member of the EEA, it has to first leave the EU and then, being able to negotiate its own trade agreements, can apply to join the EEA. However, the EU will have a say in approving the UK's application and setting its membership fee - don't expect it to be too dissimilar to what the UK pays the EU today, just without a seat and a voice at the EU policy setting table...

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

            The UK can't remain in the EEA, as the UK is not presently a member of the EEA; the EU, however, is a member of the EEA.

            The EU is not a member of the EEA, since EEA members have to be states and the EU is not a state.

            The UK is a member of the EEA because it is a member of the EU. There are also three non-EU members of the EEA: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

            Whether leaving the EU results in automatic expulsion from the EEA is still unclear and under discussion.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy @Phil O'Sophical

              Re: UK membership of the EEA.

              The question your comment raised was whether the UK signed an EU treaty/trade agreement, namely the EU signed by having all member nations sign and hence the UK's membership is effectively conditional on it being a member of the EU.

              I therefore decided to do a little digging...

              Wikipedia provides the following interesting statement: "Croatia acceded to the EU in July 2013, which obliged them to apply for EEA membership." [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Area ]. Which directly states EEA membership is not included in EU membership.

              After visiting various sites where I thought those with greater knowledge than myself would be able to clarify matters, I finally got to the EFTA website (the EFTA manages the EEA agreement) and pulled up it's version of the EEA Agreement main text, as amended over the years. [http://www.efta.int/legal-texts/eea ].

              It would seem very few, if any commentators have actually looked at this document...

              Because from p4 it would seem that indeed the UK and all other signatories, signed in their own right as a "contracting party".

              So it does seem that currently, the UK is a member of both the EU and the EEA, with only the EU membership requiring the UK to be a member of the EEA. I can find no text to indicate that leaving the EU via Article 50 would have any direct impact on the UK's continued EEA membership. Although potentially it will change the monies the UK pays, as my understanding is that currently the UK only pays 'membership dues' to the EU, rather than dues to the EEA and to the EU, hence on exit from the EU, there will have to be a recalculation of the UK's EEA membership dues.

              So if the UK really is a member of the EEA, wholly separate to its EU membership, it totally changes all the arguments about 'Hard' and 'Soft' Brexit and whether the UK should become a member of the EFTA or EEA etc. Hence why I'm am more than a little surprised that those that we would trust and expect to know better seem to be totally unaware of our existing EEA membership position.

              I think we and certainly myself, overlook the fact that the EEA Agreement was signed when we were a member of the EEC, ie. before the EU came into existence and took on the responsibility for the negotiation of trade agreements on behalf of it's members.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy @Phil O'Sophical

                So if the UK really is a member of the EEA, wholly separate to its EU membership, it totally changes all the arguments about 'Hard' and 'Soft' Brexit and whether the UK should become a member of the EFTA or EEA etc

                Precisely. It would be ideal to clarify the question of whether leaving the EU voids our EEA membership before starting negotiations but, since the commission president has forbidden EU commissioners from having such discussions before Article 50 is invoked, this is difficult

                I think some people confuse EEA with EFTA (just as they confuse EU with EEC). The UK was a founder member of EFTA, but had to give that up to join the EU and EEA. Any question of "rejoining" applies to EFTA, not the EEA, and Norway at least has expressed reservations since it may complicate the situation with existing EFTA trade agreements outside the EU. If the UK leaves the EU, and does not (or cannot) join EFTA, the issue of continued EEA membership then comes up. EEA rules say that only EEA and EFTA members can apply to join, they say nothing about whether leaving one of those groups requires immediate expulsion from the EEA.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy @Phil O'Sophical

                  EEA rules say that only EU and EFTA members can apply to join, they say nothing about whether leaving one of those groups requires immediate expulsion from the EEA.

                  Personally, I would exploit this lack of an explicit rule.

                  Some years back I was elected to the board of a French company, I was eligible to stand because I was at the time an employee. Whilst holding this post I changed employers and whilst my French (ex)colleagues tried to persuade me to stand down on moral grounds, I resisted in part because the role was to represent the interests of both employees and ex-employees, and there was nothing in the rules that prohibited my continuing in the post, once appointed...

                  So perhaps the best thing the government can do is to test the water by suggesting "the UK can continue being a member of the EEA after leaving the EU" and see who can actually come up with a legal reason as to why it can not, before we invoke Article 50 or decide to utilise the Vienna Convention to exit the EU... I think with such an open and provocative statement (to the EU hardliners), the EU will want to respond regardless of whether we have invoked Art50 or not.

                  Interestingly, this would "honour" the referendum result as the UK will be leaving the 'EU', whilst retaining full access to the single market. I also find it amusing that the EEA was the idea of Jacques Delors whilst president of the European Commission, who it seems whilst architecting the single currency and greater monetary 'co-operation', also foresaw the need for a "two-tier" EU, yet subsequent presidents have opposed the whole idea of a two-tier EU...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: uncertainty and procrastination is doing more damage to the UK economy

          The "xenofobic[sic] wishes of the Leave campaign" exist only in the tiny bigoted minds of the remoaners.

  6. Smooth Newt
    Meh

    Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

    The result wasn't so much explosive as predictable. Prerogative powers cannot be used to contradict a statutory provision, the Government has to act within the laws passed by Parliament and can't just change the law as they want. The European Union Referendum Act 2015 takes 67 pages to say "we're gonna have a referendum", and says absolutely nothing about what happens with the result.

    There should have been a clause saying that the result was binding on the Government, as that would have given the Government permission by Parliament to act on it, but there wasn't, so that is where we are.

    1. Paul 25

      Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

      Indeed. This seems to have been the big problem. It was only ever an advisory referendum.

      This whole farce has just been a massive pile of political miscalculations stacked one on top of the other, from Cameron assuming he'd win, to Boris assuming he'd lose but become leader, to assumptions about how the other EU countries would react, to the government's assumption that it would have the power to act on A50.

      Despite all that, and me being a (reluctant) remain voter, I do wish this would all get settled one way or the other and we can get on with sorting out what the world is going to look like for the next decade. The uncertainty is screwing everything up.

      Personally I think the only way to settle this properly would be a second referendum that's actually binding. If we stay because of legal wranglings and political screwups then the damage could be immense. At least with a second binding vote, whatever the descision, we might get some kind of closure.

      1. theModge

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        Personally I think the only way to settle this properly would be a second referendum that's actually binding

        I was with you right until that point. Personally I think we should go with mud wrestling as the sensible dignified alternative to what's currently going on. Assuming however that isn't allowed at least allowing MPs to decide the manor of the brexit - which would I suspect make it a lot softer than may otherwise be the case.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

          "Personally I think we should go with mud wrestling as the sensible dignified alternative"

          Theresa May for Leave and Nicola Sturgeon for remain, wresting in the mud pond, winner takes all?

          (Now see if you can UN-see that!!!)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

      "There should have been a clause saying that the result was binding on the Government"

      Why? Because Smooth Newt thinks so?

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        If it was Government intention to have no Parliamentary vote they needed to make that clear, it's not that Smooth Newt thinks so.

        Ultimately it's not about Exit or Remain, but is UK ruled by Referendum, whim of PM or Parliament?

      2. Smooth Newt
        Meh

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        "There should have been a clause saying that the result was binding on the Government"

        Why? Because Smooth Newt thinks so?

        If the Government intended to act without Parliament's approval in the event of a Brexit win, then the Act should have contained a clause giving the Government the legal power to do that.

        The Government's counsel probably thinks so too. Paragraph 105 of the judgment says "[The Secretary of State's] counsel makes it clear that he does not contend that the 2015 Referendum Act supplied a statutory power for the Crown to give notice under Article 50."

    3. David Pollard

      Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

      The "once in a generation decision" leaflet that was sent to every household in the country to explain the referendum had been quite clear. It read:

      "The referendum ... is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union." ...

      "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide."

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515068/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.pdf

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        @ David Pollard

        That only applied if we got the right result. Then it would have been considered a legally binding and unquestionable position. This is why when people insist the vote should be ignored because leave lied I laugh at their ignorance of the remain campaign and even the government they are siding with to ignore the people.

        1. Gordon Pryra

          Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

          @codejunky

          Surly we vote for our MPs so that they can represent our best interests in Parliment.

          This allows the undeducated masses to have some form of protection and gives them a voice on subjects on which they would not have any understanding.

          I would say that you could argue any MP who voted to sign Article 50 would actually be commiting treason by expressly NOT acting in their constitutes best interests.

          Saying "its the will of the people" is meaningless, if we had asked people if they want to pay tax or not and the answer would have been "No!!"

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

            @ Gordon Pryra

            "This allows the undeducated masses to have some form of protection and gives them a voice on subjects on which they would not have any understanding."

            And of course we can take this further to justify dictatorship. Or pretty much whatever we want depending on the views of the ones who are considered 'educated'. The interesting problem being that the so called educated promoting the remain arguments were shown to be corruptly biased and untrustworthy (the leave side came out with equally bad bull).

            "I would say that you could argue any MP who voted to sign Article 50 would actually be commiting treason by expressly NOT acting in their constitutes best interests."

            This is an interesting issue because I would argue forcing us into the EU was treason, as would forcing us to join the Euro (if blair had his way), the constant offering of a referendum to get elected but then refusing to and finally promising the result of the referendum would be enacted only to again refuse to. That to me is treason. That is acting against the people for personal gain with repeated betrayal.

            "Saying "its the will of the people" is meaningless, if we had asked people if they want to pay tax or not and the answer would have been "No!!""

            We elect parties based on their intentions for the country. When they lie about those intentions then we cannot trust them. The tories lost support to UKIP until the promised referendum with promise to act was offered and so they were elected. If the will of the people is meaningless then I expect people will shut up about labour and tories, NHS, PR, voting rights and everything else politican but most of all to stop voting. Because if the will of the people is meaningless then elections are meaningless and we shall live under the dictatorship. Cant have it both ways.

          2. Toltec

            Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

            "Surly we vote for our MPs so that they can represent our best interests in Parliment."

            I tend to vote for the one I think will do the least damage, if they end up doing something which represents my interests then that is an unexpectedly pleasant surprise.

      2. Smooth Newt
        Happy

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide."

        By putting legislation before Parliament, in the same way that they implement other policy decisions. There is nothing there about changing the constitution.

      3. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        The government will implement what you decide.

        I bet you believe everything you read in party manifestos too, not to mention Blair's charming little 'let me invade Iraq' leaflet which was also pushed through everyone's door.

      4. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        "The "once in a generation decision" leaflet that was sent to every household in the country to explain the referendum had been quite clear. It read:"

        Again, yet again, that was a Government leaflet. Like a manifesto promise. The Government can only carry out things that it has the legal authority to do. It doesn't have the legal authority to execute A50 without Legislative approval, as was clear before the judgment, and has been confirmed now.

      5. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide."

        And did that leaflet have the authority of an act of parliament behind it to say that what it promises must be enacted?

        Didn't think so. That makes it worth exactly the same as every other four-colour-glossy piece of junk mail being pushed through my letterbox. Possibly less, as it seems politicians don't have to obey advertising regulations.

      6. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

          I have no firsthand experience of the Eton debating society, but based on the products that it puts out, I think its standards must be considerably higher than what we saw during the referendum.

          Yes, both Cameron and Johnson were duplicitous, deceptive c-words. But neither one was doing anything even remotely like their best work. Why not, we can only speculate.

        2. Just Enough

          Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

          ""This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.""

          The majority of what came through my letterbox on leaflets about the referendum was lies, misinformation and scaremongering. I see no need to believe a word of any of them.

          Thank god, but government policy isn't, and shouldn't, be determined by what leaflets say.

      7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide."

        Marketing bumf cannot override law. As The Supremes have declared.

        1. BlokeOnMotorway

          Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

          What have Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross got to do with it?

          1. Kurt Meyer
            Thumb Up

            Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

            @ BlokeOnMotorway

            "What have Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross got to do with it?

            "I remember mama said:

            You can't hurry love

            No, you just have to wait

            She said love don't come easy

            It's a game of give and take

            You can't hurry love

            No, you just have to wait

            You got to trust, give it time

            No matter how long it takes"

            You Can't Hurry Love - 1966

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        Political bollocks doesn't make things true.

        Haven't you noticed that people say and print a lot of stuff to get elected, get mandate, etc?

        Then reality sets in.

      9. Wyrdness

        Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

        @David Pollard

        Yesterdays judgement contained the following statement, "The 2015 Referendum Act was passed against a background including a very clear briefing paper to Parliamentarians explaining that the referendum would have advisory effect only."

        So Parliament were told that the referrendum as only advisory whilst, as you state, the leaflet that went out to households suggests the opposite. So someone has most definitely been misled.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

          Much of the pro and anti brexit commentary is getting boring for me. The polarised parties are never going to agree, whether you are a "remoaner" on one side, or an "uneducated chav fuckwit" on the other it seems nobody is getting anyhwere.

          It seems to be shaping up to be a total disappointment for everyone, regardless of how they voted.

          1. LHGFLICOD

            Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

            "It seems to be shaping up to be a total disappointment for everyone, regardless of how they voted."

            Democracy working as intended, as long as everyone is unhappy its probably all working correctly.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

            "It seems to be shaping up to be a total disappointment for everyone, regardless of how they voted."

            I agree with you, but I've never meat anyone who voted remain who would like to change their vote. On the other hand, I've met a (vary small) minority who voted leave and now wish they hadn't. Of course, the difference between leave and remain was also very small.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

      There should have been a clause saying that the result was binding on the Government

      Why?

      The government were expecting a vote to remain and hence no action necessary as its business as usual.

      Also you've forgotten the path to the referendum bill - to get the bill through Parliament, ie. to actually hold the referendum, the government had to make it advisory and not binding, hence why any wording that might 'bind' Parliament to the result was expunged.

  7. Chris Harden

    "The current position after Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment"

    How many times did the rather senior judge in this case point out that this isn't a political procedure, it's one of constitutional law in this country. We live in a parliamentary democracy, thus the government doesn't have the right to change parliamentary law without their permission.

    It's Brexit-agnostic.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: We live in a parliamentary democracy

      And parliament asked the people of the country to decide. Well I was in a minority it seems, the country voted to leave. Now it seems we no longer live in any sort of democracy at all, we live in a country where unelectable judges see fit to disregard the will of the people, who were asked by parliament to decide.

      The thing about living in a democracy is accepting when you lose otherwise democracy has no point.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: We live in a parliamentary democracy

        And parliament asked the people of the country to decide. Well I was in a minority it seems, the country voted to leave. Now it seems we no longer live in any sort of democracy at all, we live in a country where unelectable judges see fit to disregard the will of the people, who were asked by parliament to decide.

        The Referendum was Advisory. The people were asked the opinion.

        The judge has not seen "fit to disregard the will of the people", he has seen fit to ensure the laws of the land, passed by Parliament by the will of the people, are followed.

        He has not said "Brexit cannot happen". He has said that, in order for Brexit to be legal, the law must be followed. Only Parliament can override an Act of Parliament.

        Do you want the Government to be able to change laws willy nilly without Parliament? That way Dictatorship lies.

        1. David Pollard

          Re: We live in a parliamentary democracy

          Only Parliament can override an Act of Parliament.

          The major problem with membership of the EU, as the notorious Factortame case demonstrated, is that UK statutes do not apply where they conflict with EU law. This is the main reason why, irrespective of Article 50, we need to repeal the European Communities Act, 1972, which presently gives precedence to the EU.

          1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: We live in a parliamentary democracy

            The major problem with membership of the EU... is that UK statutes do not apply where they conflict with EU law.

            This is the simplistic way of looking at it.

            In reality, it is that UK statutes do not apply if they conflict with our obligations under the European Communities Act, 1972.

            Parliament is still sovereign, but it has agreed to abide by the rules of a club (the EU) in order to gain the benefits of that club. This agreement is on our statutes, passed by Parliament in accordance with our constitution.

            In addition, many of the EU laws are actually also in UK law, also passed by Parliament.

            It always irritates me when I hear about how Parliament is no longer sovereign* due to our membership of the EU. It is, and "EU laws" are only valid here due to Parliament agreeing to it. In any free trade agreement, a country must agree to certain rules in order to join. Those rules are agreed by Parliament and only have weight where Parliament agrees.

            If we end up with FTAs or other trade deals after Brexit, we will have to agree to rules. OK, there may not be as many, or be in the same depth, as the EU rules, but it's all part of the negotiation of a treaty with another country. Does this mean that the UK Parliament is no longer sovereign?

            * @David: I know you didn't directly make this claim so, if this was not your intent, this does not apply to you. It is a general comment about the fact that many make this statement and are, IMHO, wrong.

      2. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: We live in a parliamentary democracy

        "Now it seems we no longer live in any sort of democracy at all, we live in a country where unelectable judges see fit to disregard the will of the people, who were asked by parliament to decide"

        How many times, the High Court did no such thing. It merely pointed out that the government needs to ask Parliament and we don't have divine rule by the monarch any more.

        ...and haven't had since the Bill if Rights 500 years ago.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

    I think it was.

    So then turning around and saying "No,. you're not really needed to do any scrutiny here" might leave the MP's a bit miffed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

      Of course it was.

      You can't vote en masse to return power to Westminster and then throw a fit that Westminster get to use it.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Wasnt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

        Yeah - but we didn't vote for them to go "actually, it's too hard , we want to remain in the cushy, no-responsibility status quo ante". The request that we be governed by our own government kind of implies that the Government doesn't get to decide not to do it.

        Bloody entitled Establishment. I get tired of being told it's all a big mistake, and we'll get back to normal soon, and sod the "knucke-draggers".

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

        "Of course it was.

        You can't vote en masse to return power to Westminster and then throw a fit that Westminster get to use it."

        The problem is that Downing Street is attempting to usurp the power of Westminster. How come you can't see that returning the power to Westminster and confirming they actually have it was the whole point of this case? Or do you prefer to be ruled by a small minority (PM + cabinet) who issue statutory instruments every week instead of debating policy in Parliament?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

          @ John Brown (no body)

          Not sure why you're quoting me in that, since we seem to agree. Brexiters are up in arms about Westminster getting a vote on something after they voted in huge numbers to give Westminster more power.

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

      "No,. you're not really needed to do any scrutiny here"

      That's an obvious straw man - nobody is saying that. There's a Parliamentary Committee sitting on Brexit for heaven's sake!

      The 16-page propaganda leaflet sent to every household before the referendum said:

      "The referendum on Thursday, 23rd June is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union." and "This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."

      IANAL but that seems pretty bloody clear to me and any attempt by an unelected cabal of lawyers and bankers to overturn the democratic result is likely to go down very badly.

      1. Mr Anonymous

        Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

        News at 10, Chris Miller proposes law by pamphlet.

        I think they have to be on velum deposited in the commons library.

        Nobody is above the Law, it's either legal or illegal for queen May to do A50 or it's not legal, then Parliament must do it. If they don't, vote them out and then next lot will do it.

        It's a pretty simple principle, now where's the technology news?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

          "It's a pretty simple principle, now where's the technology news?"

          A satisfactory non-animal replacement for vellum would be a start.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

        IANAL but that seems pretty bloody clear to me and any attempt by an unelected cabal of lawyers and bankers to overturn the democratic result is likely to go down very badly.

        Good thing all they've done is clarify how to legally deliver on this promise then.

      3. veti Silver badge

        Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

        I agree, if unelected judges try to overturn the referendum result that would go very badly.

        What they can and should do, however, is make sure that all the obstacles are properly addressed and all the hoops jumped through. In the end it'll be Parliament that makes the decision either way; and if the obstacles and hoops prove too difficult for Parliament to overcome then so be it, but that's still Parliament's decision, not the judges'.

      4. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

        IANAL but that seems pretty bloody clear to me and any attempt by an unelected cabal of lawyers and bankers to overturn the democratic result is likely to go down very badly.

        The problem is that people forget: the 'Government' is answerable to (or "held to account" by) 'Parliament' ie. Parliament is not the "Government" and effectively sits above the 'Government' even though members of the 'Government' also sit in 'Parliament'.

        The courts and the "unelected cabal of lawyers" is a fully recognized part of the check and balances in our democratic system.

        As for the bankers, perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with the real costs of putting a case before the courts. Basically, if you don't have deep pockets you can forget about it.

        As the judgement makes very clear, I suspect you haven't read it, it wasn't about the referendum result but about how the government was playing fast and loose with our constitution.

      5. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

        "The 16-page propaganda leaflet sent to every household before the referendum said:

        "The referendum on Thursday, 23rd June is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union." and "This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."

        IANAL but that seems pretty bloody clear to me and any attempt by an unelected cabal of lawyers and bankers to overturn the democratic result is likely to go down very badly."

        Indeed, you are not a lawyer. If you were, you wouldn't spout such rubbish.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

          Indeed, you are not a lawyer. If you were, you wouldn't spout such rubbish.

          Or you are being paid by 10 Downing St. to spout such rubbish...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

          The point that most seem not to have noticed, is that they didn't say Article 50 couldn't be invoked, but that it could only be invoked if through an Act of Parliment.

          Not quite the same as saying they've "over-ruled the will of the people".

  9. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    EU Switch - Sign up Today!

    We take the pain out of changing the focus of your sovereign constitutional and legal frameworks. Want to change today! No problem, just phone or sign up on our website and we will arrange for either joining or leaving the political union of your choice. It really couldn't be easier! Fed up with threats and bullying from all sides, just make your mind up which way you want to go and leave the rest to us.

  10. Forget It
    Coffee/keyboard

    A real dogs' brexit

    if you ask me

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    The Great Repeal Bill

    Slightlly off topic perhaps, but there is much talk of how we can be outside the full single market, and negotiate a trade agreement like loads of other countrees. Out of curiosity I recently read some of these treaties, with Albania, Azerbaijan, Chile and the recent Canada one. Boy are they fun! The Canadian one is 1600 pages. (Yes, I know I should get a life, but I believe it's helpful to actually know the facts rather than listen to Farage/Johnson/Davies/Gove etc.)

    And all the treaties spend a lot of pages talking about common standards and regulations etc. i.e. if we are outside the EU and want to trade with them, it's on their terms and we'd have to ensure that all those irritating EU regulations will still have to apply, but of course we don't get to influence them any more, other than 'take the lot or forget it'.

    The Great Repeal Bill could be a couple of paragraphs.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: The Great Repeal Bill

      Half way there, and not a bad bit of work getting that far yourself.

      What you've missed is that many EU regulations actually just implement international standards where the EU represents us.

      The Leave Alliance have quite a good monograph covering the subject here:-

      http://eureferendum.com/documents/BrexitMonograph013.pdf

      If your interested in more information there is plenty on other related topics here:-

      http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=80999

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Great Repeal Bill

      " if we are outside the EU and want to trade with them, it's on their terms"

      That's not really much different from doing business with *any* trading block. You want to sell to the 'merkins you abide by their rules, the same with Japan, S.Korea etc etc.

  12. JimC Silver badge

    You can check out any time you want

    but...

    s/check/vote/

  13. Dave Bell

    Can we trust Parliament?

    I've worked most of my life in businesses directly affected by EU decisions.

    Before they take effect in the UK, they have to be made into UK law by Parliament.

    I really don't like the idea of Parliament free to act as it wishes. What sort of mess would we be in without the EU? Where would we be without the conflict? If EU law is so obviously bad, why has our parliament put into effect so much of it?

    I know that in some cases, civil servants patiently explained why a particular implementation was silly, and our politicians went ahead and did it that way. And I had to live with the consequences.

    It may be that the core of the problem is the cabinet ministers rather than parliament, but I cannot trust them to do a decent job

  14. teebie

    "if the government has the cojones to appeal"

    Given the track record of several member of the government, I am confident they will appeal.

    I'm thinking of Theresa May's continual appeals against rulings saying she couldn't illegally deport Abu Qatada to Jordan, until she *finally* agreed to try to make the deportation legal and he left on his own.

    "We rule against IDS"

    "I will appeal"

    "We rule against IDS"

    "I will appeal"

    "We rule against IDS, and there is no appeal"

    "Despite what the court said, I have won"

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Cojones to spend our money pointlessly, again and again.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      It is the only way you will ever hear the sentence, "Theresa May is appealing."

  15. R69

    what a farce

    this just needs to happen now - this will be nothing more than a ludicrously expensive speed bump in the process.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: what a farce

      And worst of all the pound has recovered slightly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And worst of all the pound has recovered slightly.

        Ever heard about the dead cat's bounce?

  16. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Now the major parties are over a barrel

    Especially the Conservatives. If the vote on Brexit loses because of opposition from within the Consevatives, you will split the party. UKIP would probably prefer that Britain leaves the EU now, but they won't complain if they can hoover up anti-EU former Labour and Conservative voters.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Looks like Ken Livingstone's observation is spot on.

    "It will take years and you won't get what you want."

    Still sounds pretty accurate to me.

  18. DougS Silver badge

    Are you sure the government didn't WANT to lose this case?

    That way they can abdicate responsibility for pulling the trigger and put it on Parliament. If they feel they "won" from that perspective, it wouldn't make sense to appeal.

  19. Colin Millar

    Gotta love the irony

    LeaveUK

    "We want british judges to decide on british law"

    British judges decide on british law

    LeaveUK

    "Sack the judges"

    I think they got there by applying the "What would Robert Mugabe do?" principle

  20. GeezaGaz

    Well at least...

    ...the government didn't waste...errrr I mean spend £9M of taxpayers money printing and posting leaflets about a referendum and how we should stay in Europe

    O hang on a minute....

  21. Jon Massey
    FAIL

    UK judges

    do not use gavels

  22. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Is this correct?

    "the Supreme Court has very wide-ranging powers to create new law "

    Before the creation of the Supreme Court the Law Lords did not have power to create law, only interpret it as the Court of Final Appeal. A fundamental part of our constitution is separation of Legislature, Executive and Judiciary.

    If the quote above is indeed correct it means that unelected, indeed politically appointed individuals, have the right to make law independently of Parliament. That sounds anti-constitutional to me.

    1. john.w

      Re: Is this correct?

      Court create Common Law.

      Parliament creates statues, House of Lords checks them over, Queen enacts statute, court interprets. Rinse and repeat

  23. Bloodbeastterror

    The bottom line...

    ...is that this catastrophe was wrong and foreseeable from the word go. An over-entitled over-confident dimwit promised a referendum as a soundbite, then went through with it in a half-assed way without putting in proper safeguards (e.g. at least a 60% majority) against exactly what happened - the disaster of being kicked out of Europe by the votes of a bunch of misinformed people who hadn't the faintest idea what they were voting for or what the consequences would be ("I didn't want to support Cameron", "I didn't really think Exit would win", "I wish to God they would give me a second chance to get it right" (OK, I made the last one up...))

    Now we have increased prices, falling pound, and no amount of "the pound was over-valued" and "It's good for exports" will convince me that this is a valid way of running a referendum - or a country, for that matter.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "promised a referendum as a soundbite,"

      Well a bit more than that.

      It was to stop the Conservative party shattering and large parts (as he thought) of it going to UKIP. Risking the shattering of the UK and the EU was a small price to pay. A real upper class hero.

      CMD thought making it first past the post rather than some minimal threshold level on turnout and majority would keep it nice and simple for British citizens and it worked so well on Scottish independence, nicely skewering the Salmond.

      I guess he reckoned a no was such a foregone conclusion planning in the Act for a yes was not needed, although it seems it took 67 pages to say so.

  24. IWVC

    Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

    We have a democracy in which the population's wishes are carried out by Parliament. In order to make representation work in a practical way we elect a number of Members who each represent roughly the same number of people. If we wanted true democracy we'd have to run a referendum on every political decision which is clearly impractical. However, occasionally an issue is so important it is put to the whole (eligible) population. In this case we have a referendum result which says the majority of the population want to leave (52%) whereas we have 75% of MPs who want to remain (using the 479/158 figures from an earlier comment). So either the allocation of MPs to population is badly wrong or we have MPs putting forward their personal views rather than those of their constituents. If it is the latter case then we no longer live in a democracy and appear to be prepared to submit to the will of a political elite. (anyone read "Animal Farm" recently?)

    I'm annoyed by the "new" legal argument that the referendum was not legally binding. I was asked to vote on whether I wanted to stay in or go by the government. No one told me that it was only a glorified opinion poll.

    I do not believe Parliament can overturn the brexit referendum result or at least if they legally can, they should not. However I see the point that Parliament should somehow oversee the terms that are negotiated. That is the difficult point as the Government will be negotiating with a bunch of self interested Commission and national representatives and you can't display your hand in public.

    Maybe it is about time that someone actually set out what staying in actually means (not just laws about bent bananas) - which is what the out campaign should have done in the beginning.

    1. localzuk

      Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

      You weren't told? You didn't do your research then. There was loads of discussion of it before the election, and the introductory text specifically stated it was advisory.

      1. IWVC

        Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

        @localzuk

        Yes I did miss this - as did (I suspect) most of the 70odd percent who voted. Certainly the mainline media reports didn't make much of the non binding nature. Who actually said this is a referendum but we reserve the right to ignore it?

        On the other hand I voted with an understanding of the "sovereignty" issues which are not just immigration. Ground rules of EU: 1. Commission have SOLE power to initiate or amend EU legislation. Council of Ministers have limited scope to amend Commission proposals, the EU parliament even less scope to make changes. If Commission don't like way amendments are developing they can simply withdraw proposal so that nothing happens. Neither the Council of Ministers or the Parliament have the power to TELL the Commission to do anything. 2. Single market sets common standards for everything using the logic that common standards prevent technical barriers to trade. This is OK for large businesses but screws up innovation or small businesses. 3 The Commission can claim "community competence" in any area to set common EU rules and have the power to stop any national legislation they consider contrary to harmonised EU principles. 4. The Commission are hell bent on early adoption of political and economic union and quote the Treaty of Rome in its original and amended versions to support this view.

        I never saw any of this deployed in the lead up to the referendum.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

          "I never saw any of this deployed in the lead up to the referendum."

          You're spot on. Neither side did anything approaching a good job, let alone an outstanding job on putting over the benefits of their chosen position. It was all very "American" in terms of insults flying and pandering to lowest common denominators, especially in regard to creating and/or perpetuating "myths" popularly believed, even though outrageously wrong if not outright lies.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

            "It was all very "American" in terms of insults flying and pandering to lowest common denominators, especially in regard to creating and/or perpetuating "myths" popularly believed, even though outrageously wrong if not outright lies."

            There you go. That's why we have a representative democracy. Imagine the utter chaos if uninformed, intellectually lazy ignorami took the decisions. Oh, wait! Forget the "imagine" part...

        2. localzuk

          Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

          @IWVC - Para 1, Section 5 of the government's briefing document, which was created to convince MPs to vote for the bill:

          "This Bill requires a referendum to be held on the question of the UK’s continued membership of the European Union (EU) before the end of 2017. It does not contain any requirement for the UK Government to implement the results of the referendum, nor set a time limit by which a vote to leave the EU should be implemented. Instead, this is a type of referendum known as pre-legislative or consultative, which enables the electorate to voice an opinion which then influences the Government in its policy decisions."

          So, whilst the media may not have represented things correctly, the information existed and covered things quite clearly.

    2. Xamol

      Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

      @IWVC

      "So either the allocation of MPs to population is badly wrong or we have MPs putting forward their personal views rather than those of their constituents"

      MPs are elected based on a broad range of policy positions. The electorate has to decide which candidate best represents their own positions. In most cases, this will not be a 100% correlation and that has to be accepted. Obviously this gets complicated by additional factors such as toeing the party line but I would argue that this is a well understood modus operandi for non-independent MPs.

      That aside, when they come to vote on this in parliament they will have to decide whether to vote in line with the referendum result in their constituency or vote in line with their own preference (if different). That's when things could get interesting...

      1. IWVC

        Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

        @Xamol

        yes I agree that inevitably the party system that has evolved over many years results in compromises when voting for an MP. However I think that in this case a national picture of 52% out 48% in vs a Parliament of 25% out and 75% in, is a bigger distortion than can be accepted.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

      Maybe it is about time that someone actually set out what staying in actually means

      Your workers rights and pensions are likely to be more secure - there are gleeful right-wing Brexit voices who are looking forward to being able to further reducing employment rights and obligations to fund existing pension commitments...

      You will benefit from an EU wide clampdown on corporate tax avoidance, such as we've seen with many foreign companies registered in Ireland...

      You will benefit (well to a lesser degree now that Brussels have watered things down) from EU wide mobile roaming.

      You will be able to continue complaining about EU bureaucrats and bananas... :)

    4. smartypants

      Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

      @IWVC

      "No one told me that it was only a glorified opinion poll"

      This may not apply to you specifically, but definitely will to lots of others. Many (most?) people get their view of the world from the newspapers they like to buy and the politicians they decide are trustworthy. Mail and Express readers alone account for a significant chunk of the electorate. These newspapers and the Farage-types who supposedly 'spoke up for the small man' are among the worst misrepresenters of the whole issue of the EU. It was absolutely no surprise to see the judges being splashed across the headlines as though they were treacherous criminals by these newspapers. Why would they suddenly stop doing what they have done for years? Take every story and try to convince the readers that something else is happening?

      I would like a law to be passed that if a newspaper prints a provably-misleading story, or an outright lie, that it must retract the story and issue an apology the next week with the same prominence in the paper, and that perhaps after 10 or more in a given year they are closed down.

      Then perhaps the public would start to get the information it needs to make informed judgements.

  25. localzuk

    It all seems clear in law to me to be honest. The referendum act didn't include anything saying the outcome was binding, and the reference notes with the law specifically stated it was advisory.

    I don't see what the government's angle is to be honest. The parliamentary system has worked for the UK for hundreds of years, why does this government think it suddenly has the right to do things differently with something so constitutionally important?

    1. IWVC

      @localzuk

      " I don't see what the government's angle is to be honest. The parliamentary system has worked for the UK for hundreds of years, why does this government think it suddenly has the right to do things differently with something so constitutionally important? "

      So you want a Government that has conducted a nationwide survey to ignore the results and do something different? Really sounds like democracy in action.

      As I said earlier the Brexit decision has been made (whether you like it or not) and the difficulty is how Parliament can oversee the terms that the Government negotiates without revealing their hand to others in the process. As I see it this will require Parliamentary scrutiny of the deal on the table before final ratification of the UK's position. At that stage at least it will be clear on what the actual position is and then the "informed" commentators can have something to comment on. However the obvious bias of the current set of MP's views which do not reflect the population's overall view still has to be addressed.

  26. Fading Silver badge

    The joys of the law

    Got to love the judges on this one - though it seems a quick vote in parliament on the activation of article 50 is all that is needed. Given as the EU will not negotiate until then there is nothing to debate - a simple can the UK Gov activate article 50 as advised by the majority of the UK population or do we acknowledge we have no mandate to rule and therefore resign our seats with immediate effect....

  27. Planty Bronze badge

    problem is...

    "'Actually, you know where more people have voted on this than anything before, they should have parliamentary sovereignty..."

    People voted on a pack of lies. There is no NHS funding, if anything, our economy is now so broken, there is likely LESS money for the NHS than there was before Brexit...

    So the lies have essentially made any referendum result meaningless.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: problem is...

      @ Planty

      "People voted on a pack of lies."

      No emergency budget as it was nothing more than a threat to inflict unnecessary damage. No WW3. No end of western civilisation. No isolation from the trade community. No problems with WTO membership. No instant apocalypse. No Cameron sticking around to negotiate. No immediate implementation of the result.

      So if the creator of the referendum and definer of its rules which were used and abused to stack the deck against a leave vote fails to win after creating the situation of a democratic vote but only if it returns the 'correct' result. Should we just ignore the lies and jack it all in? If thats the case then we have been lied to about the EU from the start so left jack it in.

    2. Toltec

      Re: problem is...

      @Planty

      Are you telling me your vote was based on what all of the campaigners were spouting rather than going and doing some research?

      You do know that most of the campaigners on both sides were politicians so by definition what they say is at best a partial truth, a distortion or straight out lie they hope will not be discovered until they have your vote?

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: problem is...

      "there is likely LESS money for the NHS than there was before Brexit.."

      Our local borough no longer has a maternity ward at the general hospital. A population of of over 153,000 is now served by a maternity ward in a hospital in another town over 10 miles away. Way to go NHS!!

  28. zorrodp

    Yer man seems to be referring to the 'basic rule is that a court must follow the precedents from a higher court, but they are not bound to follow decisions from courts lower in the hierarchy.'

    So as there is no superior court to the Supreme Court in the UK they are not bound by previous decisions. They may, if it is an open question, refer the interpretation of Article 50 to the European Court.

    And yes they would be able to take into account arguments that may not have been advanced in the High Court, tho' most that has been challenged since the High Court decision were grounds and matters that were commonly accepted by the parties including the Government at the Hugh Court.

    They will though surely feel bound by custom, practice, precedent, and authority since the Civil War that Parliament is sovereign - not the people however a view has been expressed - and cannot be overridden by the Crown.

  29. John Watts

    Theresa May said Article 50 would definitely be triggered. The last time I remember a PM saying something would definitely happen was David Cameron saying he definitely wouldn't resign if he lost the referendum.

    The only time a politician says something in black and white terms is when they know it's not true.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No IT angle

    Snore

    1. gh4662

      Re: No IT angle

      No IT angle?

      A massive impact on IT given that most technology companies have put up their prices by 10% because of the £/$ exchange rate.

      You have to wonder why the Government didn't check that acting on the referendum would meet legislation before they kicked it all off.

  31. Bibbit
    Childcatcher

    The UK on the international stage

    Ever get the feeling that rest of the world are looking at us as if we were an obnoxious, spoilt, loutish child at the zoo, that has just climbed into the hyena enclosure?

    "We could raise the alarm, but I think on balance it would be better not to."

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    '"Like it or not, the leave campaign ONLY won with the help of a large number of people voting for reasons of xenophobia and racism"

    That is one hell of an assumption.'

    Oh, come on! We all know that to have ANY chance of winning, the fear of the effect of immigration was absolutely pivotal. It was pretty much all the Leave side talked about, and it's all Theresa talks about as the stumbling block for any kind of trade deals.

    We all know that immigrants working in the UK are contributing a lot more than they take out of the system. A lot more. It's pretty obvious that the scare mongering about pressure on the NHS etc is just total and utter bollocks.

    Why would you fear immigration of working people if it wasn't for a certain xenophobic element?

    We all are more or less xenophobic -it's just the question of whether or not we accept it as useful, or dismiss it as a stupid phobia, just like most phobias. Some just seem to think they are perfect as they are, xenophobic, small minded, uneducated, or whatever. Just can't be wrong, can they?

    It must be those Eastern Europeans that have taken all those attractive jobs, mustn't it? There is only a limited amount of jobs after all, and the economy never shrinks or grows.

    Now, let's deport that wife of that slimy toad.

    1. smartypants

      "Now, let's deport that wife of that slimy toad"

      "Coming over here, taking our nationalist leaders (as spouse)"

      What about english women who want to be wife of Nigel Farage? It's time we stopped ignoring their plight. There are only so many venal nationalist leaders to go around. Why do immigrants get first dibs?

      And anyway, I read in the Daily Mail that foreign wives are more likely to kill you*.

      Let's start a campaign to win back Our Nige's hand in marriage for a proper decent english gal! Preferably one who can't speak silly foreign languages.

      *(Not actually true, but I went to a journalism training weekend recently, and this is what they do, because a hysterical readership is good for circulation figures)

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      "Now, let's deport that wife of that slimy toad."

      I hope you are not talking about Mrs. Farage here? Or maybe that was his master plan all the time?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To AC above

    I call BS.

    The world is filling up with people, Many parts of the world govern/unable to govern their lands worse than us. A referendum was offered people voted with their gut and now woe about the result.

    Come on the world is changing and this Brexit is minor compared to the rest of the changes we are mucking up.

    Cough climate change targets not going to be met? This is the least of our worries.

  34. Indolent Wretch

    I have to say well done Reg... going to an expert on Media and Entertainment law sounds like a quality piece of investigative work. Meanwhile I'll go and get a plumber to fix my broken exhaust pipe.

  35. Old Englishman

    Time to hang the lawyers

    It is extraordinary that we are asked to vote, and then told our vote is conditional upon whether some lawyers - read the establishment - decide that it counts.

    The reason that we have votes as a way of changing things is that, in a oligarchy, things change only by violence. I would suggest that the mad remainders consider whether they really want tyranny tempered by assassination as a form of government.

    1. smartypants

      Re: Time to hang the lawyers

      The referendum act only got passed *because* it was non-binding. That's why is explicitly said 'advisory'.

      Forget the lawyers. They aren't to blame. Politicians duped you into thinking the referendum was binding. Be angry at them. Or the paper you read.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Time to hang the lawyers

        @ smartypants

        "Forget the lawyers. They aren't to blame. Politicians duped you into thinking the referendum was binding. Be angry at them. Or the paper you read."

        I do agree with you on that. This is one of the worst 'crimes' of the referendum that it was our choice and would be implemented immediately yet as far as our participation in the EU has been nothing but lie upon lie. While the official leave campaign lied the remain campaign wasnt just built on a lie but they rigged the game every step. That shows serious contempt for the electorate and if the electorate dont matter any more then we might as well end voting.

        However your other comment mentioning Farage and the 350 million a week, it wasnt his claim. That was the official leave campaign.

        1. Cynical Observer
          Holmes

          Re: Time to hang the lawyers

          @codejunky

          the remain campaign wasnt just built on a lie but they rigged the game every step.

          Would you substantiate that please - it's a strong claim that is surely deserving of supporting evidence.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Time to hang the lawyers

            @ Cynical Observer

            "Would you substantiate that please - it's a strong claim that is surely deserving of supporting evidence."

            Can you not just go through the many comments already posted? The game was rigged considering-

            >The result will be carried out as soon as the result is in. Still waiting.

            >Government spending taxpayer money on that outright lying leaflet (the gov outright lied due to its unashamed bias) to sway opinion.

            >Cameron will stick around to negotiate. Left day after the result.

            >The punishment budget threat which served no purpose at all but to threaten. Its sole design was to cause the crippling of the economy which was claimed by remain.

            >Mark Carney conveniently forgetting the positives of leaving in his reports.

            >Claiming a number of effects due to brexit and claiming them to be negative, yet the same things the gov and BoE have been trying to achieve since the last recession.

            I think that will do for now.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Time to hang the lawyers

              @ Cynical Observer

              Damn I also left out that the only person in any position to do any negotiating with the EU was Cameron. He refused to negotiate the possibility of a leave vote and then of course people complained there was no plan to leave. There couldnt be as it was the PM who refused.

              1. Cynical Observer
                FAIL

                Re: Time to hang the lawyers

                Damn I also left out that the only person in any position to do any negotiating with the EU was Cameron. He refused to negotiate the possibility of a leave vote and then of course people complained there was no plan to leave. There couldnt be as it was the PM who refused.

                Oh I readily accept that CMD was an abject failure in this entire process. He went into a set of compressed negotiations having declared that it had to be sorted over one weekend - Fuckwit!

                He came back with a meaningless set of "Compromises" that wouldn't convince a six year old high on blue Smarties that anything had really be achieved - Fuckwit!

                He called a referendum on June 2016 that did not need to be called before December 2017 in order to hold the manifesto commitment - Fuckwit!

                He fought a campaign based on selling the negatives of leaving instead of the positives of staying - Fuckwit!

                The only thing he did that I can hat tip for is his resignation. He clearly couldn't negotiate his way out of a paper bag so better off gone - and in the process he screwed Boris and Gove. I must admit I took some small enjoyment from that.

                So all in all - I'd allocate the grade shown.....

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Time to hang the lawyers

                  @ Cynical Observer

                  I wish I would give you an upvote for every time you call him fuckwit and an extra one for the knocking off of Boris and Gove. I am glad neither official campaign ended up leading. They both brought serious shame on the country.

        2. smartypants

          Re: Time to hang the lawyers

          "However your other comment mentioning Farage and the 350 million a week, it wasnt his claim. That was the official leave campaign."

          @codejunky. Perhaps you never saw my response to you 3 months ago when you'd claimed the £350 million claim wasn't his. Perhaps he didn't coin it, but just for the record, here he is on telly defending it.

          Nigel Farage, Question Time, 9 June: "Can we just get to the truth of this - £350 million a week is wrong, it’s higher than that,”

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-eu-referendum-nigel-farage-nhs-350-million-pounds-live-health-service-u-turn-a7102831.html

          If Farage had any second thoughts about that point of view, he didn't express them until 2 hours after the result was announced. Please do watch it. I'd be interested in your view.

          (My original posting of this evidence to you was in this thread: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/08/05/brit_scientist_exclusion_from_eu_funding/)

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Time to hang the lawyers

            @ smartypants

            "Perhaps you never saw my response to you 3 months ago"

            Did I not respond to you then. The article itself is amusing as he doesnt make the claim even on the video clips they present. He does speak about the £350 million a week and states that is the net figure (feel free to dispute that figure I dont really care about it particularly) but he does not say give it to the NHS. He does say he would prefer it spent here on the communities damaged by mass integration. Amusingly the last clip shows him saying it wasnt his claim but the claim of the official leave campaign (he wasnt part of the official campaign and they tried to block him. It was their bus not Nigel's).

            Sorry I thought I had responded last time to point this out.

    2. Cynical Observer
      Mushroom

      Re: Time to hang the lawyers

      "I would suggest that the mad remainders consider whether they really want tyranny tempered by assassination as a form of government"

      Decorum stops be calling you a ..... but it sure as fuck doesn't stop be thinking it.

      One of the main planks of the Leave argument was about taking back control and making the UK parliament sovereign once again. (Leave aside the fact that it never stopped being sovereign.)

      Going back though history there are documented instances of the courts ruling that when rights have been granted to citizens through an Act of Parliament, those rights cannot be negated through the use of Royal Prerogative. The court determined that as a result of the European Communities Act, we had gained rights that cannot be directly replaced once we leave the EU. Therefore Prerogative is not appropriate for starting an irreversible process that will result in the removal of said rights. The process can only be started via an Act of Parliament. (Section 94 of the Judgement makes this clear.)

      In a nutshell - the court declared that the UK Parliament is Sovereign. It became apparent during his stint on the BBC yesterday that Blessed Nigel doesn't now want this. He now wants the people to be sovereign now - something that has not been the case in the UK. Now we hear that he will lead 100,000 in a march on the Supreme Court on the day of the appeal. Presumably to give the judges moral support.

      And in all of this - the people who have threatened and incited are the factions/media intent on stirring up ill feeling for getting exactly what they asked for. The rule of law has prevailed and yet you threaten tyranny and assassination as consequence.

      The mad remainers as you term us will go no where and will not flinch from the Bridiot Brexiteering Bullies.

      1. Toltec

        Re: Time to hang the lawyers

        @ Cynical Observer

        Have an upvote, we may fall on opposite sides of the referendum, however a voice of reason is always welcome.

        From what I understand in the news the decision does not mean parliament can reject activating A50 rather terms of leaving must be ratified. How exactly this will work since the EU will not discuss this before I'm not sure. Perhaps a vote on what we will ask for prior to A50, then further votes on whether we accept what is offered etc.

        The membership of the EEA raised above offers interesting possibilities.

        1. Cynical Observer
          Pint

          Re: Time to hang the lawyers

          @Toltec

          And one in reciprocation.

          My posts leave little in doubt as to where I stand! And while a piece of me died inside on the night of the referendum, I came to the conclusion after a period of mourning that there was no going back. That does not mean that I will change my opinion, it does not mean that I will quietly accept the removal of rights that I currently enjoy. And I most certainly will not cheer as we make our Titanic voyage into uncharted waters.

          But I will respect the right of all - on either side of the debate- to voice an opinion, calmly, considerately and without incitement. And I will happily engage in considered debate with anyone operating on that basis.

          Have one on me! ---->

      2. smartypants

        Re: Time to hang the lawyers

        Farage:

        Wants parliament to be sovereign / doesn't want parliament to be sovereign

        Angry at Obama for 'interfering with domestic vote' / Appears at Trump rally to help him win

        Claims that the NHS would get even more than 350 million a week / 2 hours after the referendum, describes this as a 'great mistake'.

        And now he is attacking the judiciary - the cornerstone of a civilised nation.

        Honestly, he looked better with the moustache... perhaps needs trimming a little.

  36. waynecarr30

    Smokescreen

    I am intrigued by the self imposed deadline of 31st March 2017. Is there any relevance or relationship to the fact that the 'old' Treaty of Nice rules on QMV are now dispensed with and 'only' the 'new' Treaty of Lisbon rules of QMV and 'double majority' apply ? Or is this all just in the minds of internet conspiracy theorists ? After this date most of the members vetoes go out the window and so the UK (or anyone else for that matter) would find it hard to block anything, or in the case of the UK win another argument inside the EU. Perhaps better to leave the EU now, I don't know. Very nasty things would happen once we lose control of our economy and borders. We would then just be a province within Europe. The good news would be that we wouldn't need those wasters in Parliament any more.

    1. smartypants
      Alien

      Re: Smokescreen

      I was on holiday in France recently and there was a flotilla of around 2000 warships hiding under a big sheet painted to look like a lovely beach resort. Perhaps this is how they intend to take control of our borders. And to think I always thought of Europe as a collection of proud nations begrudgingly trying to cooperate and make things better for everyone when all along it was a brilliantly-executed covert dictatorship hoping finally to take control of our blessed shores and finally - and forever - finish what the romans started.

      Chilling. Thank you waynecarr30 for speaking the truth.

    2. Cynical Observer
      Holmes

      Re: Smokescreen

      @waynecarr30

      You sure it's not something else you're smoking?

      In relation to Brexit and QMV.....

      Regarding the deadlines, the extension process has to be unanimous. Art. 50 makes this clear.

      Regarding the exit criteria, QMV would probably be of help to the UK. Firstly, remember that the remaining 27 sit on one side, the UK on the other. Among the 27, QMV might help to mitigate against some refuseniks who will not agree to the exit deal save for concessions that are unpalatable to the UK. An extreme example might be Gibraltar Sovereignty in return for the Spanish agreement. Essentially QMV makes it easier to react a threshold that allows an exit agreement to be signed.

      The Internet Conspiracy that cropped up from June 24th onwards was that QMV would in some way prevent the Brexit process from proceeding once the UK government delivered a valid notification in accordance with the UK's constitutional requirements. This is simply not the case.

  37. Joe Gurman

    Erm....

    Mr. Callus, whatever his qualifications may be (and however appropriate, nay, Dickensian his name may be for a member of the bar), he clearly reads only hyper inflated news of US Supreme Court cases. Far more of those are decided by 9-0 votes (or at least were, back when there were nine Justices) than by 5-4 ones: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_breakfast_table/features/2014/scotus_roundup/supreme_court_2014_why_are_most_cases_either_9_0_or_5_4.html .

    Just like UK Supreme Court Justices, the Chief Justice of the United States and the other Justices of the Supreme Court, whatever else they may be, are supremely knowledgeable about the law. The US Supremes have it slightly easier, of course, because, well, we have a written constitution they can use to crib from.

  38. technoise

    The judgement

    Having read most of the judgement, having temporarily stopped because it is a tough read and secondly by a certain stage there wasn't much except more examples and citations of law, I came to the conclusion that an appeal has little chance of succeeding.

    I also came to the conclusion that the text of this judgement demonstrates at length why shouldn't have joined the EU in the first place, as it enmeshes itself so much into our already rather piecemeal constitution. Seeking to bind so many disparate countries so strongly together as this political union does, will create a "one hoss shay" that when it finally tears itself apart will be far more disastrous than a looser union which would contain the means to heal itself by allowing breakages at the weaker points.

  39. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Joke

    It would be greatly appreciated if Justice Thomas could return our doormat, I can recognize it among a 1000 as it has dogs mess on the right hand side (left side, on photo).

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