U-Turn If You Want To


The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg

RTÉ reports:

The European Union’s top court has ruled that the British government may unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the bloc, without consulting the other member states.

In an emergency judgment delivered just a day before the British parliament is due to vote on a Brexit deal agreed with the EU by Prime Minister Theresa May, the Court of Justice said:”The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU.”

European Court of Justice rules Britain can unilaterally revoke Article 50 (RTÉ)

55 thoughts on “U-Turn If You Want To

  1. Ron

    17,410,742 people in the UK voted to leave the European Union. Regardless of whether I or anyone else thinks it was the wrong decision, it is the democratic decision of the people. The majority.

    There will be riots on the streets if they propose and try to move ahead with a second referendum. And rightly so. The brits aren’t going to be as compliant as the Irish in being told what to do by the EU puppet masters.

    What an affront to democracy. it’s really just laughable

    1. milk teeth

      If you look at polls views are changing – the reality of what leaving means has started to become clear. During the first referendum campaign everyone was told nothing would change and leaving would just mean they didn’t send as much money to the EU which could be used on their health service. This is now being revealed as the lie. Recon they could do a second referendum with little fuss. Would be interesting to see the result though, depends if you believe polls or not I guess.

      1. Ollie Cromwell

        Professor John Curtice is Britain’s leading psephologist.
        As of last week he told the BBC’s Daily Politics show that there had been no discernible shift in favour of a second referendum.
        The biggest and most recent poll on the outcome of a 2nd Referendum showed Leave 48% Remain 52% – exactly the result of the last major poll carried out before the EU referendum which produced a clearly different result.
        Of course, there is nothing to stop Theresa May holding a 2nd referendum with a choice between her deal and No Deal Brexit but both the Tories and the Labour Party leadership know any attempt to overturn the original referendum would be hugely damaging to their parties in the next GE.
        You can keeping on thinking wishfully but it ain’t gonna happen.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          “any attempt to overturn the original referendum”

          the original referendum was in 1975. the 2016 jaunt overturned it. the 2019 one will overturn that. democracy in action, big boy.

      2. bisted

        …if you looked at polls they all pointed to an overwhelming ‘remain’ vote…the democratically arrived at outcome was to ‘leave’…wish they would get on with it…

      3. Clampers Outside !

        What polls Milk Teeth? I saw that show where Prof John Curtice was on… there is no shift. Even now with lots more clarification there hasnt been a shift.
        If you believe there is a shift, what polls are you reading, and are they credible? Genuinely curious.

        1. milk teeth

          Last month YouGov had quite a strong (54%) remain poll. The independent thinks that remain has been creeping up for some time now https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-deal-theresa-may-second-referendum-remain-leave-yougov-poll-draft-agreement-a8635341.html .

          I live in Wales at the moment and although it has a small population it voted heavily to leave, according to Cardiff University research its totally reversed – https://www.rogerscully.com/blog/A%20Bonus%20Barometer%20on%20Brexit (incedently that Welsh Barromiter poll all be it only of Welsh people is about as gold standard on polling data as you can get – its with a representative sample and all carried out face to face unlike the online and phone polls which are never as accurate).

          Damage of holding a second referendum very much depends on the party. I think it would be bad news for the Tories but if the government falls and there is an election with labour victory (all quite a stretch) then it would be incredibly damaging for Labour not to call a second referendum.

          1. Ollie Cromwell

            Except the reasons why Corbyn is so reluctant to be drawn on a 2nd referendum are :

            1.He has opposed UK membership of the EU all his political life.
            2. Private polling has shown a massive reaction against such a move in traditional Labour heartlands who voted heavily for Leave.

            Interestingly,the mass resignations from UKIP of their MEPs including Nigel Farage would indicate a new pro-Brexit party could be in the offing.
            There’s certainly plenty of money available from donors to fund and it could hoover up substantial votes in both Labour and Tory seats if Brexit was thwarted.

            Lots and lots to play for yet with this one.

          2. Clampers Outside !

            True Ollie, on the Corbyn/Labour front…. he’s in a bind, his own historical record ties him, and he hasn’t in any way put a confident hand forward in either direction. The idea of sitting back and watch the Tories implode isnt playing to that approach, at least no where near as much as might have been expected, or for him to hope for.

          3. milk teeth

            Corbyn maybe for leaving but most of his party, including his block momentum, and nearly all of his finical backers (most unions included) are for remaining. Puts him in a pickle. TBH I think hes keen to be PM and the way to do that is probably by promising a second referendum.

            That public polling from the South Wales Valleys (Labours literal homeland) shows otherwise.

            The mass resignation’s aren’t anything to do with a new party forming. They are to do with UKIPs march to the ultra right and the inclusion of Tommy Robinson in their ranks (anyone would jump that ship!)

            I don’t think a leave party would pick up the seats. UKIP didn’t. Same as a remain party hasn’t got off the ground and there was no LibDem wave at the last election. Though I have heard that there are discussions amongst leavers around funding for a second referendum campaign.

    2. rotide

      “The brits aren’t going to be as compliant as the Irish in being told what to do by the EU puppet masters.”

      I’m assuming you are referring to the time that we voted twice on the nice treaty.

      Just to remind you and the inevitable others that will mention it. We turned it down, it got amended in our favor and then we voted on the amended treaty which passed.

      This is actually how things should work.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Exactly. The Nice Treaty still gets wheeled out for an old joke about EU vs democracy when it fact it followed a clear and fair process of revision, re-vote and ratification. Nobody was bullied into accepting it in its initial wording.

      2. Ollie Cromwell

        I think he means the Lisbon Treaty.
        The one where it was revealed the Irish Prime Minister hadn’t read it and a later-discredited French leader bullied a sovereign nation into changing its mind.
        I don’t mean to keep bringing this up chaps but it really was the moment Ireland revealed itself to be an EU lickspittle.
        Oh how the rest of the world laughed at the ” Fighting Irish. “

        1. Nigel

          You keep bringing it up because rejecting the treaty, then getting concessions before passing it, is exactly the sort of deal-making Brexit negotiators can’t even dream of managing, and to suggest that the inferior and brutish Irish did a better job of making deals with the EU than the English is anathema to your sense of racial superiority.

          1. Ollie Cromwell

            The Irish to retain control over their own taxation issues ?
            Yeah right,it can’t even pass a budget without it having to be approved by the EU first.
            Germany says jump and Ireland’s only response is how high ?
            No-one is under illusion that the Irish were bullied into changing their minds after threats from Sarkozy.
            It was a low day in Irish history and made this country a laughing stock internationally.

          2. Brother Barnabas

            so you’re saying the dastardly brits concocted this whole brexit poopyst orm to usurp us as the laughing stock of Europe?

            should have known…

          3. Charlie

            “Lauging stock” ? . Olive, Brexit has rendered the British to be the greatest laughing stock on the planet. How does it feel Trigger?

          4. Nigel

            It really sticks in the craw, doesn’t it? We exerted pressure, we made a deal, we reached an agreement. The inferior Irish peasants managed that while the superior, aristocratic British Tories are floundering madly.

    3. Rob_G

      Well, the court is just giving a ruling, based on EU law, that the Brits could rescind their decision to leave if they felt like it.

      The notion of a second referendum (indeed, and the first) is a canard; parliament has now voted to leave, so any talk of how big or small the margin of the Brexit vote was is now moot.

    4. Nigel

      While I don’t think the chances of a second referendum are high, and not a certain result if it does happen, this weird idea that a further democratic referendum is undemocratic is just stupid, and possibly dangerous. Prohibiting future governments from offering the electorate an opportunity to reverse the decision, would be truly undemocratic.

      1. Ron

        rubbish. no one ever suggested exiting Brexit would be without it’s challenges but that what’s the electorate voted for by majority. just because the political leaders are incompetent and are being shown for the incompetent clowns that they are is not good enough a reason to not carry out the express wish of the people.

        if they aren’t able to negotiate and implement the will of the people they should stand aside and call elections.

        1. Nigel

          In fact they did say it would be easy, incredibly easy, but like it or not if the Tories fail and a Stay bloc gains power then another referendum is entirely democratic.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    Must be a case of ‘if you don’t get it right (as right for the EU) go back and think again’
    Eh Ollie?

    1. Ollie Cromwell

      You’re probably not aware that the EU’s own lawyers were at the ECJ a few weeks ago arguing against this very judgement.
      And the EU have huge problems of their own,notably the forthcoming EU elections in May next year.
      Macron has a lot on his hands too which you might have noticed on telly in between watching IACGMOOH and Strictly.
      My own advice – keep your powder for the moment before piling in.

  3. Spaghetti Hoop

    Seems reasonable given that Britain didn’t bother consulting its European partners at the time that the referendum was first mooted. But if the British government decide to do this, effectively revoking not only Article 50 but the democratic result, is that constitutional in their country I wonder?

    This judgement is clearly paving way for a second vote. As was lauded on the Channel 4 Brexit debate yester evening. Anyone watching that would have seen the audience support. But oh my have Labour sunk due to that Barry Gardiner fellow.

    1. Ollie Cromwell

      With respect,as they say,I doubt a Channel Four News live audience is the most impartial indicator of public opinion in the UK.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        True. It did seem planted with Caroline Lucas support, and was incredibly shallow.

        But I sense a British public far more informed now – which highlights the failings of the pre-Ref debate – and so possibly more equipped to answer the question. If there is a U-turn, I trust the EU member states, especially Ireland will be compensated.

        1. Ollie Cromwell

          If you look at today’s ECJ judgement it says
          “…the revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw must, first, be submitted in writing to the European Council and, secondly, be unequivocal and unconditional…”
          That last bit is important.
          It means Theresa May can’t just go to the European Council and say she wants to reverse or postpone Article 50.
          She has to persuade her Cabinet to table an Act of Parliament to unequivocally revoke it and then Parliament has to vote this through unconditionally.
          So far May and this morning her Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt have said there is no intention of revoking Article 50.
          There is no mechanism for a backbench amendment to any legislation in Parliament forcing the government to reverse Article 50 even if tomorrow’s vote is lost by a landslide.
          The Government has to bring forward the primary legislation.
          Likewise a Second Referendum.
          Even if parliament voted for one it requires the government of the day to bring forward primary legislation that has to pass both House of Parliament for it to happen.
          The Electoral Commission which runs referendums has said a minimum of five months is required to hold any referendum.
          There are 109 days left till Brexit.

    2. milk teeth

      Constitutionally they can do what they want. Referendums are only advisory not binding. However what that would actually mean for the future of UK democracy would be… interesting…

  4. Eoin

    Midday, Dublin, via ForexLive (just when you thought the Brits couldn’t feck this up any further)

    Bloomberg is citing a person familiar with the matter saying May will pull the vote that is scheduled for tomorrow evening.

    City AM head of politics, Catherine Neilan, says that sources tell her the Brexit vote is off as well.

    BBC political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, now says that the vote will be pulled as well; citing two Cabinet sources.

    FT political correspondent also says that vote will be pulled, citing an official close to the Cabinet.

      1. Eoin

        12.20pm Downing Street confirms the Brexit withdrawal agreement is off

        What now? Theresa May will try to go back to Brussels which at this stage just wants the UK gone. So, no Brexit or a second (third) referendum.

        Sterling’s collapsing 90.2c, heading to its lowest in more than five years.

          1. Cian

            I’ve just realised that Brexit is actually a trick.

            They are using it to move the Sterling:Euro to parity. Once that happens, the UK will immediately transfer into the Euro – but at ‘Sterling’ prices.


          2. Eoin

            90.5p now as EU leaders, including Leo diss any prospect of a renegotiation.

            110 days to No-deal exit and counting.

            Where are the clowns?
            There ought to be clowns?
            Send in the clowns!
            (theme song as Theresa May takes to her feet at 3.30pm)

        1. scottser

          apparently the vote is part of the parliamentary agenda and requires a vote to remove it. May could actually lose the vote to allow a vote on a meaningful vote.

      1. milk teeth

        No was bad news, I live in the UK at the moment and get payed in Sterling. Was going out to visit my girlfriend who was temporarily working in Brussels. Added insult to injury!

  5. Ollie Cromwell

    ” The traditional Irish chipper may turn out to be one of the more unlikely victims of Brexit. Most chippers here import their potatoes from Britain, a supply line that’s looking increasingly at risk from the UK’s increasingly fractious European divorce.

    The reason why we import the spuds to make chipper chips is simple. The potatoes we grow – predominantly Roosters – don’t make good chips. ”



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