Brexit - Article 50. A deeper issue

I am a number of blogs that discuss Brexit. The one that is most active is the legal action regarding Article 50.

If you go to this link you will see the latest briefing that has been put out which sets out not only why this action to make the Gov’t come before Parliament as its actions (those of the Government) have potentially very serious impacts on our rights (in the UK of course).

I am not suggesting that this Government might follow this route of removing “our rights” but I can envisage Governments of other political persuasions might be tempted.

So basically the issue seems to be that the UK voted Brexit because it wanted change, and now people are panicking because Brexit will change things…

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Your statement is of course correct, that (your statement) is almost always true.

But this article suggests that if the Gov’t gets its way, then it has the authority to remove your basic rights that we take for granted but are not actually written down anywhere since the UK does not have a Written Constitution.

So potentially if the Gov’t decided that say that:

a) Women should not be educated as their duty is to have children and stay at home and look after them…

b) “waterboarding” is OK, then they can start that practice on anyone they choose.

There is nothing written down which says “we have these rights” so if the Government’s legal position is upheld, then they can do pretty much what they like as and when they decide without any discussion in Parliament.

I cannot speak for anyone else but I am quite certain I do not want to give the Gov’t that power over its citizens.


In a situation when the Government has a significant majority (which has been usual until recently) isn’t the point irrelevant as it could change the law by an Act with little more difficulty, but somewhat more delay, that by executive order.

In reality “freedom” and “independence” is a little more fragile than most of us would like to think.



Yes of course you are correct in making that point.

Arguably the Scots and Irish will be suffering from that power and we know how they feel about that.

But here’s the difference.

In the normal course of time, any legislation passed by one Government can be repealed by another (for example the European Act 1976??) but in this case we are taking a step that is absolutely irreversible and our rights are being given away, not least some of yours, mine, all expats and all Brits.

We have the right and duty to challenge, not the decision, but the process and objectives.

The Government’s strategy is:

a) being gradually exposed by leaks some accidental, some deliberate, some through discussions “we are not having” with ministers in EU member states, etc.

b) being modified step by step as the political and economic consequences of the referendum is filtering thru to the so called “Brexit Ministers”

Was this avoidable? Of course it was. Maybe we will all prove to be wrong but the legal opinion that I have received is that this is case the Gov’t will lose and I am sure they have been told that by their legal advisors.

In a different life I spent some time in litigation in the High Court and was told by both sets of counsel, that they “usually knew” the result before going into court but their “clients” wished to carry on for various reason.

In this case the Gov’ts cannot be seen to be soft on Brexit and so we plough on wasting time and money just so nobody can say “you didn’t try”.

On the same basis, we have a trio of “Brexiteers” as ministers so again when the deal is done which is no way will match the campaign rhetoric nobody can say Mrs M didn’t put the “1st team” to do the negotiations.

I guess that now that Parliament has considered the timetable for invoking Art 50 and has supported this with an overwhelming majority we may hope that the Referendum vote will now be accepted.

In any event he Referendum was not about process but outcome.

For those living in France who are concerned about their future situation I see no special difficulty. They have the option to become French citizens, they live in the EU, they have demonstrated that they do not wish to remain associated with UK (apart perhaps form financially) why do they imagine that they retain any rights to determine the future of those who remain in UK. “Cake and eat it”? Certainly. Its going to happen and, in my view, it will turn out quite well for UK. For the EU it may do so as well as long as the un-elected apparatchiks in Brussels stop thinking about their own interests and start to focus on those of the people of Europe.

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Not everyone has the option to become a French citizen, that is too simplistic. No doubt the UK will come out of this OK but the real proof will come after the lifetime of many of the posters on these pages.


Michael, there never was any doubt that the referendum vote will be followed only the process. The Government for reasons that defy logic chose to enact the invoking of Article 50 by Executive prerogative rather than through the democratically elected parliament, some thing the Brexit supporter including you as evidenced by your post have long complained about.

May I suggest you reflect on the values you place on democratic rights, which form your post suggests that you approve of these when you agree with them but not otherwise.

As for your last paragraph, to call it arrogant would be generous.

How dare you tell me how to live my life and prescribe my choices.

How dare you tell that I do not wish to be associated with the UK. My grandfather gave his life for the UK so that today you can write as you do and live your life as you choose without fear or hindrance from others and my children and grandchildren live in the UK.

I live here because it is my choice and it will be my choice should I wish to return to the UK.


“Calm down dear”

Unlike the “remoaners” I would have accepted the outcome of the referendum
whatever it had been. Actually I expected it to go the other way and was
resigned to a dismal future as UK became trapped in a failing EU as it fell
apart. Now I expect to observe it as UK occupies a much better position
outside. Personally it will, and already has, cost me a little financially
which is irrelevant to its importance and a price I am more than happy to

Christoper Booker has raised an interesting point about Article 50 in his
comment in today’s Telegraph which you may like to read.

You don’t know anything about me, what are my views or why I form them.
You are presumptuous in claiming that you do.

I haven’t the least interest in how you choose to live your life nor in how
or why you choose your “associations” and would not presume to advise you
about it.

We certainly live in interesting times and debate and discussion is
appropriate and useful. Prejudice and offensive remarks are not.

To quote Dave Allen “May your god go with you”. Enjoy your Sunday. I will
certainly enjoy mine.


If you genuinely believed that you were, ’ resigned to a dismal future as UK became trapped in in a failing EU’, I don’t believe that you would have accepted a remain result graciously. If you really care that much your beliefs would not have stopped with the result, that’s a weak arguement. I would imagine that there were a great many voters on both sides who voted the way they did without too much knowledge or understanding who would have gone with the result without too much worry. However those who had researched their cause and believed passionately in their choice would be unlikely to change their strong views overnight. They might have lost the battle but that does not mean that the war is lost as well.
As you are a passionate Leave voter perhaps you can answer a couple of questions that other Leave voters still haven’t managed to respond to;

  1. How is the UK as a small independent entity going to compete on the world stage?
  2. If life is going to be so much better after Brexit where is the money going to come from? Please explain the maths it’s beyond me.

Well having decided to take off my blinkers and widen my reading on Brexit to get the bigger picture, this morning I came across this little gem:

Which in a way seems to answer your question David. The hows and the wheres and the maths are not problems that voters should have to think about. You just tell the government to sort it. Don’t care how, just do it. England Expects.

Regrettably I do not have your insight into the brains of “a great many
voters”. I am clear as to the reasons for my choice it was based on my
assessment of a number of factors and not influenced by “passion”.

My decision was not based on what I thought would be best for me but for
the future of the country in which my children are bringing up their own
families. I may live to see the benefits or I may not. I will survive and
would have done more or less unscathed by whatever the outcome had been.

You are wrong in your assessment of my attitude to the alternative outcome
which reflect your own opinion not mine. As I spend very little time in
the UK it would not have affected me either way.

The answers to your two questions will be provided by those who will be the
drivers of the UK’s future not by me as I will not.

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Perfect, another person who cannot explain their vote. Ask any remain voter, they will tell you the advantages of voting their way because the advantages are real not rose tinted dreams and wish lists.

that’s a little condescending David, there’s a lovely YouTube video where a young Remain voter explains her choice as “we will lose the NHS because the EU set it up” so her choice is inexplicable if that’s the information she’s got from her education. I’m with Michael - my choice was based on what the future generations will benefit and not from the viewpoint of what will happen to my health rights and pension, which is a selfish choice, selfish because that’s a choice for short term comfort rather than long term for the next generations. I can’t see the benefit of staying in a crumbling institution which is destined for failure. Unfortunately I have yet to find a Remain voter who is prepared to listen to a Leave point of view without rolling their eyes, rattling on about “the better educated voted remain” or asking me to justify my vote as if I need to justify having an opinion which is different from their own.

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Please tell me how they will benefit. That’s the issue, it’s all vague to the extreme. My children all voted remain because they believe that that was the best option for their future by far so in my opinion the future generations have been dealt a severe blow.

Hi Sandy

Funny thing is that I could have written your post substituting Leave voter of course and changing the example.

There is no reconciliation of opinions a bit like debates on religion.

None of us will see the long term consequences of the vote and as there can be no counter factual then nothing will be ever proved one way or the other.

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There’s enough Brexit threads on this forum to which I’ve contributed in the run up to the referendum and after, so just searching for me on this will find what I’ve written. As I’ve said before, I could shorten my fingers to stumps typing pro-Brexit posts but I doubt I shall change anyone’s mind, seems we are all set in our opinions. You think Leavers have rose tinted dreams and wish lists and I think Remainers are happy to stumble, blinkers on, into disaster. Guess history will prove one side right …

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Not sure you can even say that, because people will never know where “the road not taken” would have led. So assuming there is no disaster and no mega-success, Remainers could, if they lived long enough, keep saying “Yes the UK is doing OK but it would have been doing a sight better if we’d remained”, and Brexiters can keep saying “We’re doing OK now and we’d be deep in the mire if we’d have remained.”

Short of doing both in parallel and comparing the results, there is never going to be a definitive answer. Political historians will likely argue over it until the sun goes out. A bit like the question of whether we should have joined the Common Market as was, in the first place; was that a good decision or a bad one? Would we be in a better position now, or a worse one? History doesn’t always stop the argument.

I could but I don’t choose to do so. You might find Roger Bootle’s piece in the Daily Telegraph illuminating. I bet he knows more about business and “economics” than most of us.

I wonder how or why you think the “remoaners” are better at interpreting crystal balls than anyone else.

I am a genuine democrat and accept the results of elections etc. It appears that the “remoaners” only do so when the result is what they wanted.

In any event the discussion is rather pointless. Its gong to happen so better to focus on the future rather than cloud cuckoo land in an EU that may not even exist in a few years anyway.

One thing is certain. In a few years we will know who made the best choose. I am content to await this and be judged ion reality instead of uninformed speculation.

In the meantime I have better things to do than engage in further pointless exchanges with those who will not be moved from their ensconced position.

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With you Sandy - the voice of reason at last.

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