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Email. info@brugesgroup.com
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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The Loopholes of the Surrender Act

Boris-Surrender-Bill
​As I assume you know, the Benn Act, or more commonly known as the Surrender Act, isn't the most well thought out piece of legislation, as lined out by Chair of Lawyers for Britain Martin Howe QC at The Bruges Group 'Moment of Truth' event in Manchester during Conservative Party conference. This article will outline the loopholes that Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings and the team of Number 10 advisers and strategists will aim to exploit to ensure we leave the EU on October 31st, deal or no deal. 


1) "The Prime Minister is not 'Her Majesty's Government'. He is 'primus inter pares' and there is cabinet government." https://briefingsforbrexit.com/on-two-letters-from-boris-johnson-to-jean-claude-juncker/

"Note that the case in the Scottish Court to compel compliance with the Act were against the Prime Minister personally but that significantly the plaintiffs went to great lengths to persuade the court to widen its application to the government as a whole. So far, they have failed" https://briefingsforbrexit.com/even-more-problems-with-the-benn-act/

The PM is being asked to say HMG's policy is X even if it is in fact Y.


2) "If Parliament agrees to leaving with no deal then the Prime Minister doesn't have to send the letter detailed in Section 4 of the Act. Now by the sheer fact that we signed up to the Lisbon Treaty, we agreed to Article 50. By enacting Article 50 Parliament accepted the terms of Article 50. Article 50 states we will leave without a deal if no deal has been agreed. THAT is an acceptance already by Parliament under EU law that it has accepted that we will be leaving with No Deal if an agreement hasn't been met."

https://waxlyricals.com/2019/10/03/the-prime-minister-doesnt-have-to-ask-for-an-extension-under-the-benn-act-heres-why-and-the-irony-is-delicious/


3a) In the famous 'Gay Cake' (2018) Supreme Court ruling, following a dispute over a cake request in a Belfast bakery, Lady Hale declared: "Nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe."

b) Article 51 Vienna Convention - a coerced signature cannot be valid.


4) "The Benn Act [effectively] requires the Prime Minister to agree the extension offered... As LSE's Robert Craig explains... 'negotiations and agreement of a new exit date were without doubt exercises of prerogative power and any Bill that sought to regulate or supplant those aspects of securing an extension would certainly have required Queen's Consent during the passage of the Bill'. " https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/can-boris-still-break-free/


5) Unable to comply: "It is by no means clear how the government could comply with [The Surrender Act], especially given the Kinnock amendment incorporated into it."http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/09/11/the-government-says-it-will-respect-the-law/

Boris might also look at Supreme Court judgements purporting to curtail the Royal Prerogative and decide the Court have validated Robin Tilbrook's legal arguments (or Sir William Cash or Barry Legg's cases) and that we have already left. So Boris is unable to comply.


6) As a last ditch measure in late October, use Henry VIII powers to suspend The Surrender Act "schedule 7(5) of the EU Withdrawal Act allows ministers to introduce regulations that have immediate effect to deal with 'urgent deficiencies'. Again, the definition of 'urgent' is not defined. Ostensibly, the government having to ask for an extension to Article 50 on October 19th which would alter the October 31st 'exit day' – thereby arguably creating a deficiency in UK law – is an 'urgent' issue. The government could use this power to introduce a regulation to amend or completely abolish the Benn Act. Critically, this 'urgent' regulation would have immediate effect for 28 days, meaning the UK would have exited the EU be time it expired. Parliament would find it very difficult to prevent its application." https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/09/27/henry-viii-powers-could-allow-government-cut-surrender-act/


There certainly seems good reason for Spartans to resist this new WA-with-lipstick. https://facts4eu.org/news/2019_oct_eu_treaty_for_uk_colonisationhttps://www.brugesgroup.com/blog/the-revised-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration-a-briefing-note


We would like to think that Boris can play his hand to his advantage and eventually secure Great Britain's departure from the European Union on 31st October 2019, against the relentless Remoaner MPs in the House of Commons such as the so called Liberal Democrats, the vast majority of the Labour Party as well of course, Sir Oliver Letwin, the everpresent resident Brexit thwarter, along with the actual leader of the opposition Mr Speaker who seems to have seized control whether we like it or not, to push his agenda. 


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Comments 6

Guest - william spring on Monday, 21 October 2019 21:21

William Spring criticises the current reporting on the UK constitutional crisis. “Sky in particular has been presenting the issue as the UK PM being in defiance of the law. This is not the case. He should not have sent any letter, signed or not, to the EU & should point out in a Ministerial broadcast to the nation the unlawful character of the Benn Surrender Act.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snscpgYgrV0

In an email to the Cabinet Office William Spring has pointed out how “Article 51 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states that the expression of consent (to an international treaty) which has been procured by the coercion of (a state’s) representative, via acts or threats directed against him/her shall be without any legal effect. This applies to the Benn Surrender Act.”
The letter Mr Johnson has sent (howbeit unsigned) was extorted from him by Hilary Benn under duress. Mr Johnson should say that he is the PM of Great Britain, neither a Schussnigg nor a Dr Benes, to be be ranted at by a mad man, neither by Adolf Hitler nor Hilary Benn. He should say he will not sign away UK independence however much Hilary Benn seeks this, through his treacherous conspiracy with a foreign power, the EU.


William Spring criticises the current reporting on the UK constitutional crisis. “Sky in particular has been presenting the issue as the UK PM being in defiance of the law. This is not the case. He should not have sent any letter, signed or not, to the EU & should point out in a Ministerial broadcast to the nation the unlawful character of the Benn Surrender Act.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snscpgYgrV0 In an email to the Cabinet Office William Spring has pointed out how “Article 51 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states that the expression of consent (to an international treaty) which has been procured by the coercion of (a state’s) representative, via acts or threats directed against him/her shall be without any legal effect. This applies to the Benn Surrender Act.” The letter Mr Johnson has sent (howbeit unsigned) was extorted from him by Hilary Benn under duress. Mr Johnson should say that he is the PM of Great Britain, neither a Schussnigg nor a Dr Benes, to be be ranted at by a mad man, neither by Adolf Hitler nor Hilary Benn. He should say he will not sign away UK independence however much Hilary Benn seeks this, through his treacherous conspiracy with a foreign power, the EU.
Guest - sebastian handley on Wednesday, 23 October 2019 14:08

Hi Robert, you may be interested in this blog:

https://theblueanchor.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/why-johnson-should-ignore-the-benn-act/

...but from your perspective the only point in my essay that might be of interest is point number 11:

11, Every week’s delay in Brexit will cost taxpayers £250m or £1bn per month. Only the Government can move a ‘money resolution’ to provide such funds and this was not sought nor granted. Therefore the Act to force a Brexit extension is unconstitutional and invalid.

I hope that is of interest. S-

Hi Robert, you may be interested in this blog: https://theblueanchor.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/why-johnson-should-ignore-the-benn-act/ ...but from your perspective the only point in my essay that might be of interest is point number 11: [i]11, Every week’s delay in Brexit will cost taxpayers £250m or £1bn per month. Only the Government can move a ‘money resolution’ to provide such funds and this was not sought nor granted. Therefore the Act to force a Brexit extension is unconstitutional and invalid.[/i] I hope that is of interest. S-
Guest - Guest on Wednesday, 23 October 2019 20:42

Two other options:
Boris can withdraw any extension request, and fight the prerogative case in court by which time exit day might pass.
The second clause states 'a date other than...' which is singular. If EU offers flextension with more than one date as before, then there is no clause that covers this, and no requirements on the PM.

Two other options: Boris can withdraw any extension request, and fight the prerogative case in court by which time exit day might pass. The second clause states 'a date other than...' which is singular. If EU offers flextension with more than one date as before, then there is no clause that covers this, and no requirements on the PM.
Guest - Diego on Saturday, 26 October 2019 08:10

The extension can only be granted if all governments of the EU countries agree to do so. Any government of any member country can prevent the extensión to take place, that is, can "veto" it.
U.K. is still a full member of the EU with al its rights and prerrogatives still intact therefore the U.C. government has all the power to "veto" any extension and make sure the promised date (Oct/31) for brexit is succesfully achieved....without deal, since the government deal has been rejected by the "remoaners".

The extension can only be granted if all governments of the EU countries agree to do so. Any government of any member country can prevent the extensión to take place, that is, can "veto" it. U.K. is still a full member of the EU with al its rights and prerrogatives still intact therefore the U.C. government has all the power to "veto" any extension and make sure the promised date (Oct/31) for brexit is succesfully achieved....without deal, since the government deal has been rejected by the "remoaners".
Guest - Bruges Groupee on Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:09

Robert, it seems Johnson was unable to find any of those loopholes. We are definitely still in the EU.

Johnson has completely given up trying to leave the EU now. He pulled the WAB about a week before the 31st Oct and it's not been seen since. Probably a good thing as the latest analysis from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research shows Johnson's deal is even worse for the economy than May's WA. We should expect to be 70 billion a year worse off. The Brexit Bus won't be getting a refurb any time soon.

Clearly 'Gay Cake' is not what it used to be.

Robert, it seems Johnson was unable to find any of those loopholes. We are definitely still in the EU. Johnson has completely given up trying to leave the EU now. He pulled the WAB about a week before the 31st Oct and it's not been seen since. Probably a good thing as the [url=https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/002795011925000104]latest analysis from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research[/url] shows Johnson's deal is even worse for the economy than May's WA. We should expect to be 70 billion a year worse off. The Brexit Bus won't be getting a refurb any time soon. Clearly 'Gay Cake' is not what it used to be.
Guest - Peter Jeffries on Saturday, 02 November 2019 17:39

Well...now the Prime Minister appears to of taken no-deal off the table after not leaving on the 31st October. One has to ask the question...is Boris a genuine leaver or playing games with the electorate? Basically, his new deal is the awful May deal with all the horrors embedded within. It'll cost us billions and take an age to get out if ever. I'm bitterly disappointed in how this has been handled. Built-up and letdown yet again. Only way now is a clean break. It's a sad day for democracy.

Well...now the Prime Minister appears to of taken no-deal off the table after not leaving on the 31st October. One has to ask the question...is Boris a genuine leaver or playing games with the electorate? Basically, his new deal is the awful May deal with all the horrors embedded within. It'll cost us billions and take an age to get out if ever. I'm bitterly disappointed in how this has been handled. Built-up and letdown yet again. Only way now is a clean break. It's a sad day for democracy.
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