Friday 1st July 2016|
How did it come to this . . .
I'm in favour of the United Kingdom remaining within the European Union and, as a resident of both the United Kingdom and the European Union, I believe that the result of a closely-won referendum is insufficient to justify something so significant as my country's exit from the European Union. I would suggest the House of Commons and the House of Lords reflect on the result of the EU Referendum and make an informed decision as to whether to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty or not. After all, only the UK Parliament can enact Article 50; to quote:
- Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
With the above in mind, this is my letter to my local MP, Cat Smith:
Dear Cat Smith,
I believe that an issue as important as the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union is too important simply to be left to the result of a referendum. As you’ll know, those in favour of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union accounted for 51.9% of the electorate, a very slim majority.
There is no legally binding commitment to enact Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union based on the outcome of a referendum; to quote:
“Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”*
Note the term, “constitutional requirements”. Whilst Britain has no written constitution, a fundamental feature of our constitution is that “Parliament is sovereign in the sense of being the supreme legislative body”**
Furthermore, to quote Geoffrey Robertson QC:
“Our democracy does not allow, much less require, decision-making by referendum.”***
Now that the people have spoken (albeit misinformed by lies and exaggerations on both sides of the argument for leaving and remaining in the European Union), it is time for the matter to be given due process through the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Given the chaos that we’ve already seen in the financial markets, the political arena and not least the rise in racially motivated crime, I would please urge the following:
- Due process is observed and any move to enact Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is done only with the backing of the UK Parliament. Constitutional requirements covers more than the result of a single referendum.
- Assuming a vote in the House of Commons takes place to enact Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, I would kindly ask that you continue to act in the best interests of the United Kingdom by voting to remain within the European Union.
* http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-European-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html (open a new window)
** http://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/britains-unwritten-constitution# (open a new window)
*** https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/27/stop-brexit-mp-vote-referendum-members-parliament-act-europe (open a new window)