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Monday, February 20, 2017

Who is fooling who over Article 50?

On the BBC yesterday Liz Truss was anxious to underline that once Article 50 has been invoked then there is no turning back.

As the Independent reports, the Justice Secretary told viewers that there is no prospect of Britain staying in the European Union after triggering negotiations on Brexit. But is that true or are the government trying to manufacture a no-win situation for those who believe that, the Theresa May's version of hard Brexit is inappropriate, that we should stay in the single market and that the British people need to have the final say on whatever deal is negotiated?

Like the referendum outcome itself, this is not a black and white issue and Ministers would do well not to suggest that it is. The paper says that Liz Truss's claims are a direct contradiction of the views of Lord Kerr, the former UK diplomat who, in his role as Secretary General of the European Convention, wrote the laws that include Article 50:

Mr Kerr said last year: “It is not irrevocable – you can change your mind while the process is going on.

“During that period, if a country were to decide actually we don’t want to leave after all, everybody would be very cross about it being a waste of time.

“They might try to extract a political price but legally they couldn't insist that you leave.”

Lord Kerr's advice should give sustenance to those who want the final deal to be subject to another referendum.
They might try to extract a political price

Like joining the Euro, for instance?
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