• The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act, 2017: The shortest suicide note in history?

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    It is to the The Right Honourable, Sir Gerald Kaufman, PC, the Member for Manchester Gorton and Father of the House that we owe a debt of thanks for the epithet, “The longest suicide note in history” that was coined by him to describe his party’s 1983 election manifesto; which emphasised socialist policies in a more profound manner than previous such documents.

    Interestingly, the manifesto proposed withdrawal by the UK from the European Economic Community (which existed from 1958 to 2009) something now universally known as “Brexit”.

    What is more interesting is that had Labour won in 1984 on that manifesto and withdrawn from the EEC the process would indeed have been relatively straightforward. However, things change and time moves on. The EEC no longer exits. It has been replaced by a much more profound entity, the European Union. Not only that but an internal market has been created under the auspices of the European Economic Area. All EU members of the EEA by virtue of their EU membership. The other EEA members including Norway are members by virtue of the membership of EFTA.

    In this new Orwellian “Post Truth” era of “Alternative facts”, here are two FACTS:
    1. Norway is NOT a member of the EU.
    2. Norway IS a member of the EEA.

    Here is another FACT: Were the Bill in it’s present form to become an Act, there would be a distinct danger of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement.

    Here is another FACT: Were the Bill to be amended to require Her Majesty’s Government to negotiate:
    1. Withdrawal from the EU.
    2. UK membership of EFTA.
    3. UK membership of the EEA
    there would be STILL BE a distinct danger of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement, but the likelihood of such happening would be VERY GREATLY REDUCED.

    Here is yet another FACT: Serving Article 50 is a risky business. In life people have on occasion to take great risks, some life threatening. The sensible thing to do is to take precautions to minimise that risk.

    For the avoidance of doubt, let us put it this way. A certain Mr Paul Nuttal is standing as UKIP’s candidate in the by-election in the constituency of Stoke-on-Trent Central on 23rd February 2017. Emails are going out seeking as many Ukippers as possible to travel there and help in the campaign.

    Now, during this campaign, Mr Nuttal will be strongly advising Mrs May to negotiate a deal that causes the UK to leave the EU and the EEA at the same time.

    Now ask yourself this question: Would Mr Nuttal commend the following behaviour of a UKIP member in Droitwich Spa:

    This UKipper decides one Saturday morning to drive to Stoke to assist in the campaign but not directly. He will set off after a lunch at his favourite pub, The Old Cock Inn on Friar St, Droitwich Spa. From there he will drive the 61 miles or so via M5 and M6, to the Gladstone Pottery Museum on Uttoxeter Road. After a quick look round the museum, he will then drive to the UKIP Stoke HQ and lend his assistance. The day comes and this chap goes to the Old Cock Inn where he has a three course lunch. This lunch however is washed down with four pints of strong ale each followed by a double whisky chaser. He then gets in his car and drives to his destination generally in excess of the speed limit and without wearing his seat belt.

    Clearly, this Ukipper is an irresponsible idiot who not only presents a danger to other road users and pedestrians but to himself also.

    Now we know that Mr Nuttal would strongly condemn such behaviour, yet he encourages Mrs May to adopt different but equally reckless behaviour.

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