Transcripts (perhaps draft) of the Article 50 ‘Brexit’ Appeal hearings at the Supreme Court

Of Article 50, my Lord, I am sorry, I had not picked that up, but you are right. Whatever the explanation, there it is.

That is section 6. Section 7 deals with types of decision, again by ministers, exercising their treaty functions, and this time they are subjected to control by primary legislation, but not a referendum, and that includes strengthening the rights of EU citizens, 7(2)(a), by way of example, not weakening or removing, no control over that; it is not designed in that way, the prerogative power is not controlled in that way.

Section 8, we are going down, as it were, in terms of level of control, but the same point remains, these are nuanced controls, this is a critical Act. Section 8, a minister of the Crown may not vote in favour of or otherwise support a decision under article 3(5)(2) of the TFEU, unless one of sections 8(3) to (5) is complied with. That may be primary legislation or motions in Parliament.

Section 9, certain notifications provided for under the Lisbon treaties, and under article 3 of protocol 21 to the TFEU and the TEU on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, cannot be given without parliamentary approval. An approval here means motion, not legislation.

Section 10 on the same theme. Again, motion is the mechanism, see 10(5), so the point of all of that is that Parliament has carefully selected -- these are the punch lines -- the areas it wishes to control and it has selected the ones about which it wishes to have a say. It has done so both by way of identification of the particular type of decision, and by setting a detailed, careful and varied scheme as to the mechanics of parliamentary control that it demands, and the rest, we submit, is prerogative as normal. That is the only proper inference of all of this, so the UK continues to send ministers to council meetings voting on the vast majority of the council's work without the 2011 Act applying to the body of work that they do.

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