The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
I could claim ownership of all manner of policy documents for Diageo. In reality I "borrowed" a lot of ideas from elsewhere and any documents I produced had to go through lengthy many layered approval processes which might have tweaked them at some stage or meant something different to different people within the approval process. So even Lord Kerr may not be the initial author - he may merely have approved a text original written by some junior lawyer in the secretariat. Quite often you genuinely forget where you got your ideas from.
At the time Lord Kerr was head of the Convention secretariat that was trying to draw up a a formal EU Constitution - which was later rejected by referenda in France and Holland. Parts of that Treaty were later incorporated into the Lisbon Treaty - again a different context and time. Lord Kerr was anxious to provide a formal mechanism to disadvantage some dictator wanting to leave the EU in a huff - never imagining it would be the UK which was the first to invoke it.
All of which is a long way of saying that a text dreamed up in one circumstance with one set to intentions may end up serving a very different purpose in another. The ECJ has the task of interpreting it in the current context, but must also be wary of producing an unwanted precedent for the future. Laws are generally framed to provide the institutions operating within their framework some discretion and freedom of interpretation.
It seems to me the very short, sparse, and clear style of A.50 provides the EU Council with considerable discretion. I doubt the ECJ will want to interfere with that. The EU tends to operate by consensus which gives individual members some scope to block initiatives, but much less to initiate actions against the wishes of others.
The more I read Lawyers prognosticating on this issue, the more I realise that lawyers are not politicians and have little ability to imagine the political ramifications of some of their ruminations. It would be crazy to allow an unregulated unilateral right to withdraw an A.50 notification after all the disruption and additional costs it has occasioned, not to mention the consequences of numerous members invoking and revoking A. 50 notifications for tactical purposes during other negotiations and disputes.
If the ECJ were to announce that an A.50 invocation is unilaterally revocable, I would be all in favour of the EC council deciding not to pay any heed to A. 50 invocations until they become irrevocable after 2 years. Let members who wish to leave just leave, and negotiate with them as third parties afterwards. The EU is actually doing them a huge favour by offering to negotiate interim and transitional arrangements to minimise disruption while negotiations are ongoing.
Not that the EU can expect to get any thanks for it.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by ARGeezer - Aug 23 9 comments
by ARGeezer - Aug 20 21 comments
by gmoke - Aug 24
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 16 65 comments
by Oui - Aug 21 5 comments
by Oui - Aug 18 35 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 13 13 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 8 125 comments
by Oui - Aug 25
by gmoke - Aug 24
by Oui - Aug 241 comment
by ARGeezer - Aug 239 comments
by Oui - Aug 215 comments
by ARGeezer - Aug 2021 comments
by Oui - Aug 198 comments
by Oui - Aug 1835 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 1665 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 1313 comments
by Oui - Aug 816 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 8125 comments
by Oui - Aug 75 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 626 comments
by Oui - Aug 431 comments
by Oui - Aug 34 comments
by gmoke - Aug 21 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Aug 1115 comments
by Oui - Aug 19 comments
by Oui - Jul 3023 comments