The Case for Misconduct

We urge you to take some time to fully comprehend the nature of the misconduct. A condensed explanation follows. If after reading this you want to see detailed and fully referenced accounts of the misconduct, check the Wolchover articles on the links page.

The Government are driving Brexit without a licence

The Government are in a jam. They know it, and their actions show it.

For party political reasons they’re driving hard to deliver Brexit, but they’re trapped between a promise they made to deliver a result, a lack of legal legitimacy to do it, and fear that a Leave argument won’t survive public or Parliamentary scrutiny.

The misconduct comprises the mistruths and misdeeds these ministers have undertaken in trying to create the illusion of a mandate for ploughing ahead with Brexit.  Just politics? No, this is criminal.

What you need to know about Article 50

There are two key paragraphs in Article 50. Being clear about how each one functions is the cornerstone to understanding the nature of the deceit and misconduct, which relies to a large extent on the blurring of the line between the two.

Article 50(1) permits any EU Member State to withdraw from the EU “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” Article 50(2) obliges a withdrawing state to notify the European Council about that decision. The 1st is about formalising the decision internally; the 2nd is about the obligation to notify externally, once decided. They are separate requirements, each needing to be squarely addressed.

With reference to Article 50(1), in the case brought by Gina Miller the Supreme Court held that the decision to withdraw could only be made by an Act of Parliament declaring the UK’s intention to withdraw, thus nullifying earlier statements by the Government to the contrary. Most notably it nullifies then Prime Minister David Cameron's statements to the Commons in January 2016 where he said that the British people would decide the country's future by voting in or out.

It further meant, as the Court stressed, that the Referendum result could not constitutionally stand as the withdrawal decision. The Bill that became the European Union (Notice of Withdrawal) Act 2017 was drafted in response to this point, but failed to satisfy it for reasons that are made clear below.

Mistruths and misdeeds

There were two linked stages in the commission of the offence. The first comprises a deliberately untrue statement made by Brexit Secretary David Davis on the floor of the Commons when introducing the European Union (Notice of Withdrawal) Bill on 31 January 2017, and repeated in substance by Baroness Evans in the Lords on 20 February, both with the authority of the Prime Minister. The deceit made it impossible for Parliament to take meaningful legislative steps to halt what comprises the second stage of the offence, the Prime Minister’s purported notification of Article 50(2), which she undertook in full knowledge that she had no legal authority or mandate to do so. The negotiations for withdrawal are hence being conducted on a foundation that Mrs May, Mr Davis and others know to be entirely false. To elaborate:

How do we know they know?

Because it’s all a matter of record, meticulously researched in the articles linked below. Through a variety of submissions and statements it’s clear that Theresa May, David Davis and others in Government have been in no doubt about the advisory nature of the referendum, the meaning and implication of the Supreme Court ruling, and the fact that the Notice of Withdrawal Act did not make the withdrawal decision. And yet as recently as September 2017 in the Government’s response to the 2nd Referendum petition (which garnered more than 100,000 signatures) the same mistruths that underlie these charges of misconduct were echoed.

The Government are wilfully, knowingly and strategically misleading the public and Parliament for party political reasons on the most significant and high-stakes issue this country has faced for decades. Given its effect on the rights and lives and livelihood of millions of people, it is hard to imagine a more extreme case of Misconduct than this.

Links for further research can be found here.