Saturday, 27 February 2016

Legal Advice

The senior law officer in the Government is the Attorney General. His advice to the Government has usually been confidential but since Lord Goldsmith's tenure, advice is now sometimes made public.

Legal Advice is just that - advice. It is not legally binding and may be incorrect (ask Lady Shirley Porter of Westminster Council fame).

The definition of Opinion is: 'A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge' (Oxford Dictionaries)

According to The Guardian:

"The government’s most senior lawyer has slapped down Michael Gove’s claim that the UK’s new deal with the EU could be ignored by the European court of justice, saying there was a consensus of opinion that it was legally binding.
Jeremy Wright, who sided with the government’s campaign to keep the UK in the EU, said this was not just his personal opinion but that of the government’s lawyers, the EU’s lawyers and a majority of lawyers in the country.
The attorney general, who at one point was said to be considering joining the leave camp, said: “The suggestion that this agreement does not have legal effect until it is incorporated into EU treaties is not correct.
“It has legal effect from the point the UK says it intends to remain in the EU, and the European court must take it into account. The job of the European court is to interpret the agreements between the 28 nation states of the EU. This is one of those agreements, with equivalent legal force to other agreements such as treaties.
“That is not just my opinion – it is the opinion of this government’s lawyers, lawyers for the EU, and, I suspect, the majority of lawyers in this country.”"
A 'Consensus of OPINION', not just his opinion but that of a MAJORITY (50.5%?) of Lawyers. What about the minority who have arguably an equally valid opinion?

'The European Court must take it (the agreement) into ACCOUNT' - does that mean the European Court, having taken the agreement into account, can then ignore it? 

'This is one of those agreements (that the European court must take into account) with equivalent legal force to other agreements such as treaties.'
What on earth does 'equivalent legal force' mean? 

The European Courts usually interpret treaties in a way that bolsters ever closer union. The agreement Mr Cameron has is either legally binding or it isn't.
'Equivalent legal force' could mean anything.
EUReferendum, in his post today, states:
'While the deal, does in fact cover different areas, those parts which require treaty change for their implementation cannot be valid, in that they breach fundamental principles of treaty law (Articles 34 and 61 of the Vienna Convention), in seeking to impose obligations on third parties, and being made dependent on actions over which the signatories have no control, the execution of which they cannot guarantee.'
I had better be clear here. I am no lawyer and have no legal qualification.
It is obvious, however, that there is a sharp difference of legal opinion on whether Mr Cameron's deal is legally valid or not. Many commentators and lawyers, albeit a minority, say it is not legally binding.
It is at least possible that some court could declare that the deal is not legally valid or that a court could take it into account and ignore it or, even worse, over rule it.
This is a vote about who governs Britain, about Sovereignty. There will probably not be another chance like this in my lifetime.
David Cameron has not done what he said he would do. Treaty change is not delivered now. The deal is not good enough. It may not be legally binding and is open to challenge. 

Treaty change will not happen until some unforeseen date in the future whilst France and Germany say that treaty change is not on the horizon. This is not even a promise of gruel tomorrow.

Please, I implore you, vote to make the United Kingdom independent of the European Union.

Vote to Leave the European Union


  1. Quite frankly, it is such a piffling little deal that it hardly matters whether it is legally binding or not.

    Its hardly 'reform', the EU is not 'reformed' in any way, shape or form...... and we should vote Leave.

  2. Thank you for reading and responding. I absolutely agree with you that the deal is not worth the paper it is written on even if it were legally binding. The fact that it is not legally binding makes it even less valuable. We should leave and that is what I shall vote to do