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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Brexit can be started without parliament vote, government lawyers say...

London Guardian
July 6, 2016
The prime minister can trigger the two-year process of negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without a vote in parliament, government lawyers have advised.
Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin, who is heading Whitehall’s Brexit unit to prepare the way for negotiations, said the legal advice was that article 50 of the Lisbon treaty can be invoked under the royal prerogative, which does not require parliamentary approval. Article 50 is the clause that triggers the start of a negotiation to leave the EU.
There was growing speculation at Westminster that a new Conservative administration might not want to trigger the article until the end of next year due to the political vacuum created in the EU by the French and German national elections next year. Ministers might not wish to use up the valuable two-year negotiating time if they did not know the political context in which they would be negotiating for a year.
Speaking at parliament’s foreign affairs commitee, Letwin also confirmed that the government, apart from the Treasury and the Bank of England, had made no preparations for Brexit, prompting MPs to accuse ministers of a dereliction of duty.

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