The key lies in the third sub-paragraph of Article 50by Jolyon Maugham / December 13, 2018 / Leave a comment
“The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.”
On Murphy, as it happened, in the eponymous novel by Samuel Beckett. But it could as easily be on Theresa May for whom life is so bleak that yesterday’s leadership challenge came almost as light relief.
Seeing off an attack from behind her own lines was as nothing compared to resolving the eternal conundrum of, to be fair, her own making. Brexit may mean Brexit but what does Brexit mean?
Still, there is this route for her to get her deal through parliament and keep her promise not to extend Article 50.
She starts by telling the House of Commons that she’s listened and has done everything possible to deliver the best possible deal but is now forced to accept that she has to compromise in order to get the Withdrawal Agreement past the House.
She says she is personally determined to honour the result of the 2016 referendum. But to get the WA through parliament she will introduce legislation for a referendum on her deal which will take place before the Withdrawal Agreement enters into force.
The third sub-paragraph of Article 50 provides that the Treaties cease to apply from the date the Withdrawal Agreement “enters into force.” That date can be agreed by the UK and EU (by qualified majority voting) in the WA. Let us say that the date were set for the Queen’s Birthday, 8th June.
This would leave ample time for a referendum and—following the decision of the Court of Justice earlier this week—Article 50 “allows that member…