Having been caught out lying by Sir William Cash, Philip Hammond responded in a way familiar to viewers of those investigative TV programmes when courageous investigating journalists confront a petty (or not so petty) criminal exposing their crimes.
It invariably invokes a tirade of foul mouthed abuse, thus exposing the viewer, second hand to something that most police officers experience first hand on a day to day basis. “Welcome to our world!” many police officers will say.
So, what led to this abuse?
The publication of this legal opinion prompted Hammond to make his foul-mouthed outburst.
So, let us examine the opinion and pick it apart:
With a curious logic that presumably can only be acquired in Brussels, counsel concludes that the provisions are “legally binding”, by virtue of the Article 11 of Vienna Convention of the Law on Treaties.
What counsel is trying to argue is that the agreement is binding by virtue of the parties having signed it, signifying their willingness to be so bound. Counsel goes on to state that [the agreement does not] “…..require any formality such as signing or notification of having accomplished a formal ratification or another procedure in accordance with constitutional requirements….”
This is such a preposterous statement that your Editor is somewhat taken aback by it! Were the statement to come from the mouth of an inebriated publicity officer working for Conservative Central Office, one could dismiss it without thought, but this is something that YOU Dear Reader have paid for in the form of your taxes! Anybody who has been unfortunate enough to be involved in litigation will know that seeking “counsel’s opinion” is never cheap!
However in issuing the convoluted verbiage they have, counsel has very conveniently gone and shot themselves in the foot! And the foot of Mr Hammond! Which probably explains the foul language!
But then, this is the inevitable penalty for peddling nonsense!
“So, where is the shot foot? We hear you ask Dear Reader.
HERE: Counsel has very helpfully CONFIRMED that the Chameleon’s promissory note (which is all it is and was ever going to be – as noted in previous British Gazette articles) is an intergovernmental agreement, subject to the Vienna Convention.
NB: This admission is of monumental importance!
Unfortunately it has not been noticed by those campaigning to leave the EU. Therefore it is most important that the British Gazette rectifies this right now!
Some Leave campaigners (including Mr Gove, who should know better) have been commenting about the ECJ (European Court of Justice) unpicking the agreement. Unfortunately they are missing something: they are looking at the wrong court!
You see, the arbiter of international agreements is not the ECJ but the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
You see, once the primacy of the Vienna Convention on Treaties is recognised (as counsel has so helpfully done!) , then all manner of issues come to the fore. Amongst those are the provisions of Articles 34 and 61 which impose tests as to the validity of treaties in general, and thereby specifically to the Chameleon’s promissory note.
By making reference to the Vienna Convention – on two grounds – that it imposes obligations on third parties which are not party to the agreement and that the signatories are making commitments which are impossible to deliver – the agreement cannot be valid. And, despite the narrowly focused comment on the biding nature of the agreement (by virtue of Article 11), any agreement which is invalid cannot possibly be binding.
The FACT is that if challenged, the International Court of Justice at The Hague cannot possibly enforce an invalid agreement!
You see, a court – ANY COURT – will NOT seek to enforce a contract that is in and of itself unenforceable!
Let us cite a ludicrous example which we do with by kind permission of Mr Stuart Guppy, Chairman of UKIP’s St. Ives and The Isles of Scilly Branch:
Stuart suffers from multiple sclerosis, a condition which seriously inhibits his mobility and causes him to walk with two sticks. Were the Editor to conclude an agreement with another party, say the National Trust, for a photograph of the Crown Mines at Botallack to be taken from the vantage point of the infamous “Ledge” and that photograph was to be taken by Stuart, and this agreement was concluded without Stuart’s consent, then NO judge would seek to enforce judgement as 1. Stuart has not consented and 2. clearly Stuart would find it physically impossible to walk out onto the Ledge!
The plain simple FACT is that this promissory note has less legal status than a lottery ticket.
Clearly, the Chameleon’s tactic is to bluster over this critical weak point. The fact that Hammond descended to the level of gutter language shows that both he and the Chameleon are fully aware of the danger of this critical weak point.
British Gazette readers will have noted that this organ predicted that the referendum would take place in 2017. The fact that the Chameleon is prepared to go to the country with this gossamer thin package is clear evidence that there was zero prospect of getting any more from the EU.
Clearly Nigel Farage must like any General direct his forces at the enemy’s weakest point and this is clearly it! If it becomes widely known amongst the British People the Chameleon and his foul mouthed sidekick will be exposed as the liars they are, their campaign will be fatally undermined and the prospect of the return of Lawful Government of this formerly sovereign kingdom for the first time since New Year’s Day 1973 will have arrived.
This is the ONE thing that Nigel has to concentrate his fire upon; the credibility – or rather the total lack of it! – of the Chameleon. This is because the voters for the most part are not political anoraks and will not consider arguments in great detail.
If Nigel managed to expose the Chameleon’s negotiation and resulting promissory note as a complete charade his credibility will be reduced to zero and with it the support for remaining in the EU.
It is not even the case that Nigel has to present himself as an alternative Prime Minister. Nigel will be in the position of the man who wields the knife but not destined not to wear the crown.
That particular bauble will be placed on the head of a man called Boris!