The ardent Tory Brexiteer, Bill Cash MP, has challenged the second Article 50 extension that takes our EU membership up to Hallowe'en.
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Bill Cash has managed to secure a debate in the House of Commons over annulling the Statutory Instrument that changed the exit date in the Withdrawal Act from the 12th of April 2019 to the 31st of October 2019.
The Brexiteer MP has put forward an early day motion that an humble address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Statutory Instrument be annulled.
His motion now has 82 cross party supporters from his fellow MPs and includes the likes of Mark Francois, Owen Paterson, Dominic Raab, Kate Hooey, Sammy Wilson, Nigel Dodds and Boris Johnson.
If that Statutory Instrument is then annulled it would mean that, in UK law, we left the EU at 11 pm on the 12th of April, as the exit day in the EU Withdrawal Act would revert to that date.
Now according to the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, who has agreed to put time aside for that debate, it would not matter if the SI was annulled, because the Article 50 extension has already been agreed to in international law. So she says that the extension would still stand, but it would cause problems with our domestic law as it would be in conflict with international law.
However, if the exit day in the Withdrawal Act is set back to the 12th of April, it would also, I believe, trigger the full repeal of the EU Elections Act of 2002, as a statutory instrument ordering exactly that to happen on exit day as defined in the Withdrawal Act 2018, has already been issued.
That would then, I think, make holding those elections a legal impossibility. So forcing the UK out of the EU by the 31st May 2019 in accordance with the latest EU decision on our Article 50 extension – unless by some miracle the PM manages to force her Withdrawal Agreement treaty, the political declaration and the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill through parliament by the 22nd of May – and there's a disappearingly negligible chance of that happening.
So, it is a foregone conclusion that not enough support will be found for Bill Cash's position, however legally or morally sound it is.
As I've said before, holding EU elections is absolutely central to the Remainer cause of keeping the UK as full members of the EU. Having secured those elections, nothing will now be allowed to get in the way of holding them.
The majority pro-EU MPs don't care if what Bill Cash is saying is the legal truth – they want us to Remain in the EU even if it means that UK law and the constitution is completely trashed – that is what we are up against!
— Bill Cash (@BillCashMP) April 25, 2019