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

My Lords, my Lady, really the final lap this time. You have had what I am sure we all hope are useful submissions from all the parties in these appeals, including, it might be thought, particularly useful submissions from Mr Gordon this morning on child rearing, distinguished, it might be thought, by their overstatement of parental power, but I will be short as I possibly can.

Can I start with the basic case, and it is as well, we submit, to be clear about the nature of the issue and what it is that our case does and does not assert or entail.

We do not assert, and our case does not entail, a power to repeal or amend or in any other way to alter the Dangerous Dogs Act. By the Dangerous Dogs Act, I mean any act equivalent to the Dangerous Dogs Act. We do not assert a general power to alter the law of the land or to alter common law rights by exercise of the prerogative.

We do assert a specific power to notify under Article 50(2), and so to start the process of withdrawal, notwithstanding that that will result in changes to domestic law, which was introduced to implement those treaties.

It is plain, we submit, that Parliament can intervene -- I use the word "intervene" deliberately because that was the word used in the JH Rayner case by Lord Oliver -- in a particular context to set up domestic law, and to cater for its alteration as it sees fit, and no one denies its authority, its sovereignty, if you will, to do that.

It can do that by express provision, of course. Its legislation and the techniques it uses, are, it is trite, to be considered in their proper constitutional context, including, we submit, a clear understanding that under our constitution, there are other sources of power. Other organs of the state that share the responsibility of Government. That is why it is often highly significant to consider what powers Parliament in its legislation has left in place under that regime, under that constitution.

What that introductory section leads to and what it indicates, we submit, is that the true question in this case is as to the nature of the parliamentary intervention that there has in fact been in this case. By this case, I mean our own very particular and very special legislative context.

What does that parliamentary scheme, properly viewed and considered, tell the court about the single issue at the heart of this appeal? Namely, has Parliament decided that prerogative power cannot be used to give Article 50 notice, or has Parliament decided that it can be used to give Article 50 notice?

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