• Brexit Day, 2019: A stay of execution?

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    Above, a US death chamber.

    In Texas, on Wednesday 11th March 2009, Daniel Lopez, a convicted sex offender, was pulled over by police for driving erratically. Lopez drove off and a car chase ensued. A police officer was run down and killed before Lopez was apprehended. Lopez was charged with murder and was sentenced to die by leathal injection. Lopez did not appeal the sentence. Third parties however did arguing that Lopez was mentally ill and was using the justice system as a means of committing suicide. Eventually the courts rejected the repeated appeals and on Wednesday 12th August 2015 Lopez was executed.
    The online newspaper, USA Today of McLean VA is the source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/08/12/texas-inmate-executed/31580329/
    Of the “1st World” advanced democracies in the world, only two, Japan and the USA operate the death penalty. In both countries prisoners can spend years on “death row” in stark contrast to earlier British practice.

    Herewith two FACTS about Lopez’s conviction and execution.

    FACT 1: Lopez was convicted, given the death penalty and did not wish to appeal the sentence.

    FACT 2: Attorneys acting for third parties appealed on Lopez’s behalf – against his expressed wish to the contrary – against the sentence.
    “What!!!!” You declare Dear Reader, “Has this to do with Brexit????”
    THIS:

    Please read – VERY CAREFULLY:

    Article 50, paragraph 3: The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
    You will note Dear Reader that we have applied the attribute bold to the last part of the text.

    In his latest authoritative, detailed and well researched blog-post (http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86634), Dr. North again applies his witheringly acute analysis to the prognostications of many in the mainstream media and to such as former Chancellor Nigel Lawson who quiet frankly, should know better!

    The Brexit campaign began unofficially on 20th February 2016 when the Chameleon formally announced that a referendum would be held on the issue of the UK’s membership of the EU. The official campaign began on 15th April 2016. Throughout this time Dr. North advocated that should the people decide to “Brexit”, then the government should have as it’s first task a request for an extension to the two year period as the time scale was unrealistic.

    Since that time it has been unconsciously assumed by this organ and others that were an extension requested it would be the UK that would make it.

    If you re-read the text you will note that this is NOT implied. If anything, the reverse could be said. However, the legal reality is that ANY of the parties can make the request.

    Let us remind ourselves as to who are the parties:

    They are:

    - The UK
    - The remaining 27 EU member states
    - The EU in the form of the EU Commission and the EU Parliament (NB: Since the coming into effect of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU is a separate entity in it’s own right and thus is a separate and distinct party).

    FACT: ANY of these parties can make the request to extend the time period.

    So, here is a question: Other than the UK, which other party would make such such a request.
    Well there is one obvious other party: The Republic of Ireland.
    Much is made by Brexiteers of the FACT that the EU buys more from the UK than the UK does from them.

    In making this statement, many tend to ignore completely three FACTS:

    FACT 1: A so-called “no deal Brexit” would cause chaos.

    FACT 2: To ensure smooth and uninterrupted trade, the necessary infrastructure would have to be erected on BOTH sides of the Channel (and North Sea)!

    FACT 3: The Republic of Ireland would be nearly as severely affected as the UK!

    Whilst many Brexiteers appear to pay little attention to FACT 3, you can be sure Dear Reader that the politicians in the island of Ireland pay particular attention to this fact!

    So, now let us look at the Brexit situation not from the perspective of London but from the perspectives of Belfast and Dublin!
    NB: Northern Ireland voted 55.78% to 44.22% to Remain.
    It is we think, an Irish racing certainty that IF the talks are terminated or suspended by the EU in December 2017 and the UK government takes the attitude that it will prepare for a “no Deal Brexit”, the Irish government will at some point before 29th March 2019 make a request to the European Council to extend the Article 50 two year time-scale. Were the European Council to do so and all parties were to agree to such, the UK’s consent would be required to enact such.

    Now let us look at the situation from the EU’s viewpoint.

    What does the EU loose by extending the time scale?

    Nothing.

    What does it cost the EU by extending the time scale?

    Nothing.

    What does the EU gain by extending the time scale?

    Plenty! No disruption of trade! Continued reduced UK participation in the European Council meaning more influence for the remaining 27.

    So, how much more time might the Irish government ask for?

    Well, the Irish government like every other government in the EU (including the UK’s) is made up of politicians. This means that they understand how their counterparts think: Like politicians!

    Ireland’s Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD (or his successor) will know that the British government will have to place itself before the British voters in June 2022 – unless it has gone before this date.

    The British Gazette will not be surprised if at the European Council meeting in December 2017, Mr Varadkar argues long and hard with his fellow EU heads of government that the EU should offer the UK an extension to Article 50 at the same time as suspending the talks. This could even take the form of a stopped clock!

    This is the European Council meeting, 14-15/12/2017.

    HMG triggered Article 50 on Wednesday 29th March 2017. If the “clock was stopped” on 15th December 2017, 262 of the 730 days would have elapsed and thus 468 days would remain “on the clock”.

    Thus it MIGHT be the case that following the representations of Taoiseach Varadkar, the EU would announce that the talks were:

    1. Suspended and would remain suspended until the EU received a request from the UK to resume talks, a request which would only be accepted were the UK to indicate it was prepared to meet the EU’s requirements on completing Phase 1 of the talks.

    2. The Article 50 clock would be stopped until such a time as the UK complied with the point 1, providing the UK agreed with the stopping of the clock – as per treaty requirments.

    This of course would put the ball very firmly in the court of HMG!

    For the UK this would not solve the problem but it would reduce it.

    The UK would continue to see some companies move their operations out of the UK.

    The political pressure to proceed with Brexit would not go away.

    The Tory government may well take the opportunity to begin construction of the necessary infrastructure. For political reasons as any other. Of course, unless such infrastructure development was matched on the continent it would be useless!

    What stopping the clock would do is to 1. take the pressure off (something German car makers desperately want!) and 2. effectively “kick the can down the road” until the time of a future British general election.

    It might very well be the case that the opposition parties could argue for a second EU referendum (to decide whether or not to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU or recommence Brexit talks) during the next general election. The Liberal Democrats certainly will!

    Let us remind ourselves of the following four FACTS:

    1. Most MP’s wanted the UK to Remain in the EU!
    2. By age, more older voters voted Leave and more younger voters voted Remain.
    3. As time goes by, many of those older voters will die and thus no longer be able to vote Leave.
    4. EU politicians are fully aware of FACTS 1, 2 and 3!

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