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

Section 1 -- we say first of all, what the court should take from section 1 is it is declaratory and says:

"It is hereby declared Northern Ireland in its entirety remains a part of the United Kingdom and shall not cease to be so without the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland."

So there is a transfer there of power, of sovereignty, over the ultimate question, from Parliament, we say, to the people of Northern Ireland. We say it is not simply the ultimate question, which has been transferred, but it is all rights of self-determination up until that point.

That is the unique distinguishing feature of Northern Ireland -- well, perhaps there are two distinguishing features. I will look at section 2 in a moment. But first of all, the voluntary basis upon which the people of Northern Ireland remain part of the United Kingdom, and secondly, that we share power and share sovereignty in respect of the all-Ireland implementation bodies. That is unique to Northern Ireland and does not exist anywhere else.

Subsection (2) says:

"But if the wish expressed by a majority in such a poll is that Northern Ireland should be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament such proposals to give effect to that wish as may be agreed."

Again, my Lords, my Lady, we say that is an expression of the voluntary basis that the people of Northern Ireland remain part of the United Kingdom.

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