The Lafrowda Festival is held each year in St. Just in West Penwith, Cornwall. This year it has been the fortnight 2nd to 16th July 2016 culminating on Lafrowda Day (16th). It is a most colourful and enjoyable festival.
Following the publication of the first of today’s articles, your Editor drove to St. Just to enjoy this year’s spectacle. Whilst wandering around thought was given to just how the lawyers in Brussels, Edinburgh and Westminster could tackle the conundrum desired by La Sturgeon!
Whilst the problem of having a state leave the EU but part of it’s territory remain within the EU sounds like a circle that is impossible to square, the actual legislative solution, whilst involved, is essentially straightforward! The situation is helped by those territories (Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and Scotland) wishing to remain in the EU having their own independent legal systems.
Essentially the solution would be for Parliament to put through The European Communities (Disapplication, England and Wales) Bill, which when enacted would AMEND and not repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and all subsequent enactments with the effect of disapplying these enactments to England & Wales. At the same time a bill, The European Free Trade Association and European Economic Area Act would be put through, which upon enactment would ratify two treaties between EFTA and the EEA that would cause the United Kingdom to become a member of EFTA and the EEA but only insofar as England and Wales was concerned.
This would mean that the UK would at the same time be a member of the European Union and also the European Free Trade Association. It would be both IN and OUT of the EU. The vital aspect that would make the whole compromised construct work would be the county’s dual membership of the European Economic Area (aka Single Market). This would mean that the United Kingdom government in its role as the government of England and Wales would, like the fully independent and sovereign state that is Norway, have it’s own seat on the World Trade Organisation and would be able to make “trade deals” with other countries – on behalf of England and Wales ONLY. Trade deals affecting Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and Scotland would continue to be made by the European Union.
We would now like to address areas of particular concern to some British Gazette readers:
1. Fishing. Since Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and Scotland would remain in the EU the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy would apply to their waters. The waters of England and Wales would be outside these provisions and would ultimately be a sole competence of the UK government as the government over that part of it’s territory that is England and Wales.
2. Passports. British Citizens domiciled in England and Wales would LOOSE their European Union citizenship. For practical purposes those residents possessing existing passports would continue to be European Union Citizens (as well as British Citizens) until such time their passports were replaced. They would likely be replaced by a nearly identical passport that would difer in two particulars:
(i). The upper case words “European Union” above the larger typeface United Kingdom &C. would have the words “England and Wales”.
(ii). The colour. The new passports would be the traditional dark blue.
3. Photo card driving licences. Drivers resident in England and Wales would no longer have the EU symbol. The English and Welsh flags would probably replace this.
This compromise would not be difficult to put in place. The necessary European treaty would be reasonably straightforward. Essentially the “part in part out” sounds complicated but isn’t! In fact it is not a million miles away from the pre-existing situation vis-à-vis the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man!