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Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King: Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role

June 27, 2016

Re-blog from the UK Constitutional Law Association, following the UK’s referendum on 23 June 2016 in which a small majority voted to leave the European Union (EU). 

UK Constitutional Law Association

Barber-Hickman-KingIn this post we argue that as a matter of domestic constitutional law, the Prime Minister is unable to issue a declaration under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – triggering our withdrawal from the European Union – without having been first authorised to do so by an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament.  Were he to attempt to do so before such a statute was passed, the declaration would be legally ineffective as a matter of domestic law and it would also fail to comply with the requirements of Article 50 itself.

There are a number of overlapping reasons for this. They range from the general to the specific. At the most general, our democracy is a parliamentary democracy, and it is Parliament, not the Government, that has the final say about the implications of the referendum, the timing of an Article 50 our membership of the Union, and…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2016 17:37

    Dear Valerie,

    Thank you very much for your blog and all the updates on ME issues which I have found very helpful.

    I wanted to contact you regarding a matter but am not on facebook or twitter.

    Do you have way to contact you please? I have just left a comment on your last blog post.

    Thank you very much.

    I look forward to hearing from you whenever you are able to.


    • July 7, 2016 11:58

      Dear H – you do not need to be on Facebook to contact me there (although you may need to create a notional account, for security reasons). My settings allow anyone to contact me by simply using the Facebook website as a messaging service. I don’t usually give out my private email address unless I know who is trying to contact me. I hope that helps.


  2. July 14, 2016 16:19

    Dear Valerie

    Thank you very much for responding.

    I have tried facebook to contact you but was not able to do so.

    It really would be good if we could get in contact with each other but I understand your privacy concern.

    It is a pity but you have my contact details if you wish to get in contact.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards.



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