And 2015. That contrast is stark.
The second on core points on the 2015 Act is that it was passed with Parliament acknowledging at the very least the political realities associated with the scale of the decision to stay or leave. We respectfully submit that the proper implication from that act is that doing so, Parliament was acknowledging and acknowledging plainly, consistently with the statements that happened to have been made, that the vote should decide that question and that all concerned, including Parliament, would respect the outcome.
On that basis, it has obvious constitutional significance. In the Shindler case, which as you will recall, preceded this litigation, the Shindler case, I am not going to invite you to turn it up now, but it is in core authorities volumes 3, tab 18, MS627, and Lord Dyson at paragraph 13 describes the matter thus:
"The referendum (if it supports withdrawal) is an integral part of the process of deciding to withdraw from the EU."
We respectfully submit that that is an entirely correct characterisation of what the 2015 Act was doing. It ascribes proper constitutional significance to the fact of the referendum and to the fact that Parliament has itself decided to put that decision to the people in the vote.
I add in parenthesis that some of the other parties, Pigney and Expat respondents, suggest that Lord Dyson was also indicating that he expected that Parliament would have a role in that process. We respectfully submit that, when you actually consider the issues that were truly being debated in Shindler, that point is not a good one but the significance, and you see that from just looking at paragraphs 13 and 19 in their context, but the true significance of it is in the correct description, as I have just indicated: the referendum he said, if it supports withdrawal, is an integral part of process of deciding to withdraw from the EU.
Of course the 2015 Act frames the question, we submit, now to be asked, and it does so in circumstances in which Parliament has evidently confronted the consequences of the binary question that it put to the people, including, at a basic level, the consequences that some rights and obligations flowing from membership of the club would not be available and specifically contemplating in the leave part of the binary question the very effect on rights which it is now said is constitutional anathema.
So we respectfully submit that it is not correct to treat that as legally irrelevant. The legal effects and the legal significance may be more or less subtle, but they are direct in the sense of it leaving the prerogative power, the Article 50 power, in place, and, if one chooses to review the matter more broadly constitutionally, the effect is precisely as Lord Bingham described it.
Is the later legislation relevant? My Lord, Lord Mance's question. We respectfully submit that it is a current question. The legislative impact on prerogative powers can and does change as the legislative scheme alters and Article 50 of course does not arrive until 2008. So you could hardly freeze that issue in 1972. So you don't grapple, we submit, with 1972 in isolation because of the nature of the question that you are asking, which is the current state of prerogative powers. You take the legislative scheme as it exists in its entirety, as of the date on which you are asking that question -- in other words today.
In any event, we submit that there is good authority which, at the very least, implies at a high level, a high level of judicial decision making, that constitutional issues of the kind that confront you today need to be determined in the light of present constitutional circumstances. That is the true significance, we submit, of the ECA and that legislative scheme governing EU matters, EU treaty making, that is the true significance of describing that legislative scheme as constitutional.
We do respectfully submit that, in that respect, the Robinson case to which reference has already been made is of real interest. We have given you quote from Lord Bingham in our annex to our case at paragraph 3, but Robinson itself, which I am not going to take you to but which I recommend to the court, if I may, core authorities volume 4, tab 81, MS3272, Lord Bingham.
Can I therefore make four principle summary submissions --