18, February, 2019
To House of Commons and House of Lords Brexit Committees
Questions to be put to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.
Please circulate to all committee members:
Serious flaws in the legal procedure for the Brexit Article 50 letter have been pointed out to Parliament in two enclosed Petitions. Action, and legal and constitutional clarification is urgently required. Six copies of the book “Brexit and Britain’s Vision for Europe“, sent to Brexit Secretaries of State and Brexit Committees, deal with the issues in full.
The petitions raise three issues, vital for the prosperous future of the UK and good relations with our European partners.
1. Euratom. No ballot paper was issued, nor prior notification given, nor publication made, nor Government statement in Parliament about leaving Euratom before the vote of 23 June 2016. Nuclear security, energy and medicines should not be compromised by a flawed Brexit concept defying and overstepping any legal authority of the people in the referendum. No assent was given. Whatever HMG thinks, or opinion Parliament later passes, Euratom is a distinct and separate international treaty for 28 Member States in a Community system.
2. European Union only, not EEC. The ballot paper was about leaving “the European Union” not the European Communities. The 1975 Referendum gave a two-thirds majority in favour of staying in the European Community.
The European Union was defined in the subsequent treaties as additions to the European Economic Community, EEC. This included new institutions and bureaucracies. Many times referendums were promised. None materialised. Major changes were introduced against the popular sentiment, especially in the Lisbon Treaty, almost identical with the undemocratic and rejected Constitutional Treaty.
The Euratom and European Coal and Steel Communities were not subsumed in the EU.
Leaving the European Union means leaving EU treaties that have not been ratified by the people in the 1975 referendum. It does not mean leaving the EEC Customs Union, Single Market or nuclear safeguards of Euratom.
3. Referendum required for Treaty validation. The articles modifying the EEC to make it the EU Treaty were rejected in referendums in France, the Netherlands, Ireland. The exact words of article 50 were rejected by referendums when it was called the Constitutional Treaty. They would almost certainly have been rejected in UK had the referendum been carried out at any time before 2016. It was promised by both Labour and Conservatives. They stated such a referendum was necessary to validate it. HMG cannot use referendum article 50 in the unvalidated EU Treaty. It is an abuse and a breach of duty. It is both unsafe and dishonest.
First, a review is needed. Article 50 needs to be paused. The treaty needs ratification by referendum to validate it. So said both governments. HMG is now trying to use this flawed operation to override the non-exit clauses validated by the 1975 referendum. It is unsafe to do so. Both the EEC and Euratom have articles stating that the treaties are “concluded for an unlimited time” (article 240 EEC, 208 Euratom). Why? Because all States and peoples agreed that Open Democracy was the only way for the future of Europe to solve problems. HMG cannot override the people’s voice and due constitutional process without dire consequences.
Petition on Euratom
UK’s and Europe’s future and prosperity depends on tackling its common responsibilities for the Democratic Deficit. Europe’s history shows that in 1950 its two millennia of wars and killing can be changed into unprecedented peace. This new challenging phase needs to be tackled with the same determination for honesty and good will to all.
Many thanks for your urgent attention to this. I look forward to hear your response.
Editor, Schuman Project
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