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

A simple conduit and not controlling the exercise of prerogative power on the international plane, and so not surprising in that way that it left that other side of things to Government. But to come directly to the point my learned friend Mr Green was making, which I think was the one my Lord was putting to me, which you heard today about it conferring legislative authority on other international institutions, with the greatest of respect, that is not on any view what the 1972 Act could possibly have been doing. Parliament has never purported to legislate, to confer legislative competence in that sense on other sovereign states or other institutions.

What it does is to set up a scheme in the 1972 Act under which actions by the United Kingdom Government and other sovereign states on the international plane may create effects flowing back into domestic law. It is not purporting to authorise in a legislative sense another sovereign state to act in any way, shape or form, still less an international institution such as the EU. It is dealing with the consequences of the exercise of power by the UK Government, and that is the limit of its competence legislatively, by the UK Government on the international plane.

Now the fact that that involves them liaising with, dealing with, negotiating with, making agreements with, cooperating in a legislative process within the EU, is neither here nor there. It doesn't alter the basic characterisation.

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