Article 50: the Government’s (dull) response.

Consistently with my promise that this Crowd Justice funded litigation on Article 50 should be conducted transparently, I post here the (rather disappointing) response received today from the Government.

The initial hearing is at 10.00 am tomorrow.

Here is the letter:


And here is the accompanying ‘Defendant’s Note’:


5 thoughts on “Article 50: the Government’s (dull) response.

  1. Thanks for this Jolyon. At (4) the proposal doesn’t give much time for the “interested parties” to read the 40 pages (about 10,000 words) and set out their “genuinely additional arguments” within 7 days. If they weren’t happy with the “lead claimant(s)”‘s arguments the “interested parties” could easily get sidelined. I’m assuming that the crowdfunded action probably wouldn’t be the lead?
    I wonder how the Bhatia Best claim is structured so as to include the citizens’ rights question, or has this been put into the same pot by the govt side? I would have thought this aspect would have done better on its own?
    Thanks for your informative posts & tweets.

  2. It’s not made clear by Ironman who the “you”, who has made the accusation of lying, might be (even though they blatantly did – and still do*).

    But it’s impossible to rationally state that Deir Dos Santos or his lawyers might be lying. Perhaps their motives ARE entirely to do “with the constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty” – and nowt wrong with that, surely?

    It’s difficult to understand what Ironman thinks he can can gain from impugning the motives of others. But it’s sadly (a thankfully mild) version of the aggressive militancy of the EU-deniers.

    *David Davis’ latest: Gobsmackingly, he says he’ll negotiate trade deals for “10 times” the size of the EU. The World’s total trade doesn’t extend to ten times that of the EU. Which planet is Mr Davis planning on visiting next?

  3. I didn’t spot that. I have deleted Ironman’s comment.

  4. Ultimately, this is a very bizarre remedy which is being sought here. British (well, English, really!) constitutional law does not really work “à la carte” like that … as well you (probably) know it!

    For the High Court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court to rule that primary legislation is required for a certain public act by (or a certain proposed public act to be carried out or to be discharged by) the Crown, the Court has to be satisfied that such an act is, may be or is likely to be “ultra vires”, in its literal meaning (“beyond the powers”) … essentially, Lord Pannick, et al., has to successfully argue in court, that the invoking of Article 50, pursuant to an already-signed-and-ratified treaty (called the TEU, commonly known as the Lisbon Treaty), by the Crown, is somehow unlawful under the laws of the United Kingdom as present … and suddenly from the 24th. of June 2016 and onwards … and good luck with that!

  5. @ka surely the point is not whether art 50 can be invoked. It can. The point is can the prime minister invoke it alone or does she need a vote in parliament. I don’t know that primary legislation is required but that’s due to my lack of knowledge but I would’ve thought the remedy (if it finds this way) would be the court setting out the procedure required before art 50 can be invoked and step 1 would be have a vote

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