Wednesday 27 February 2019

Geraldine Finucane's Application

On 27 February 2017, some eight months after the hearing on 26-27 June 2018 and 19 months after permission to appeal was granted, the Supreme Court handed down its reserved judgment In the matter of an application by Geraldine Finucane for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2019] UKSC 7.

The appellant, Geraldine Finucane, was the wife of Patrick Finucane, a solicitor murdered in his home in North Belfast by an illegal paramilitary group.  That was on 12 February 1989 - 30 years ago.  The State colluded in the murder by using its agents deliberately to manipulate loyalist paramilitaries so that they targeted suspected republican terrorists. The appellant’s husband, who was not connected with terrorism, was targeted in this way leading to his murder.  The State knew of the plan to murder him and either took no action to prevent his death or was complicit in it.

Brexit ~ House of Commons 26 and 27 February

On 15 January 2019 the House of Commons rejected the Withdrawal Agreement / Political Declaration -previous post.

On 29 January the Commons voted on various amendments to a motion put forward by the Prime Minister.  The outcome was to require the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with "alternative arrangements" to avoid a hard border - see previous post.

Tuesday 26 February:

On 26 February, following further engagement with the EU, the Prime Minister

Saturday 23 February 2019

Shamima Begum and the law

Updated 9 March 2019 and 21 March 2019

Shamima Begum:

Shamima Begum was born in the UK but, at age 15, she went, with two other girls, to Syria allegedly to join ISIS.  She later married ISIS member Yago Riedijk.  In 2017 she and her husband fled to Baghouz.  She wished to come to the UK to have her latest baby.
Two previous children died of malnutrition and illness.  Her husband is thought to be held by Syrian forces.


Friday 22 February 2019

Brexit-related litigation ~ update

This post is a summary of various applications for judicial review related to Brexit.  It may not be a comprehensive list. 

Supreme Court - The Miller / Dos Santos case:

The Supreme Court held (8 to 3) that an Act of Parliament was required to authorise the government to give notice under Article 50 Treaty on European Union.  The case is extensively discussed on this blog and elsewhere.  See UK Supreme Court Decided cases and Bailii [2017] UKSC 5.   The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 followed this case and authorised the Prime Minister to give the Article 50 notice.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

"Martial Law" if no deal Brexit

In recent weeks, several media articles have referred to "Martial Law" being imposed in the UK in the event of a "no deal" Brexit.  

Some of the media reports:

The National is a Scottish publication supporting an independent Scotland.  Its headline of 27 January stated - UK government prepare for martial law in the even of no deal Brexit.

The Mirror on 28 January declared that

Friday 15 February 2019

No prosecutions for Road Traffic Accident on A149 ~ 17 January 2019

On Thursday 17 January 2019 a road traffic accident occurred on the A149 - a main road in Norfolk running south to north and linking King's Lynn to Hunstanton - MAP.   The accident site was the junction with the B1439.  The B1439 goes from West Newton (near the Sandringham Royal Estate to the east of the A149) and joins the A149 at the Babingley crossing.  To the west of that junction is a minor road to the ruined Saint Felix Chapel and Babingley.

A collision occurred between

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Brexit Library ~ Key materials

Links to Key Brexit materials are set out in this post. The posts listed below date from 20 February 2016 to 31 January 2020 and are my record of the various events on the way to finalisation of Brexit.
For Brexit-related posts in 2020 see 4 January 2021 -  Brexit ~ Agreements, Legislation, Key Dates, and blogposts

*** The Key Material ***

The 1972 Act and the Treaties:

European Communities Act 1972

Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU)


European Union (Referendum) Act 2015

UK government - material published under section 7 of the Referendum Act -(a) Alternatives to membership: possible models for the UK outside the EU; (b) Rights and Obligations of EU membership.

BBC - Referendum result 23 June 2016

Supreme Court - Miller case:

Supreme Court judgments in R (Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU [2017] UKSC 5 - majority 8 to 3 -majority judgment and 3 dissenting judgments.  The majority held that an Act of Parliament was required to authorise government ministers to give notice under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 - The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

The Article 50 Notification was handed to the President of the EU Council on 29 March 2017 thereby commencing the 2 year Article 50 period.  In Wightman and others v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has held that notification under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is unilaterally revocable.  Read the Court's Press release 10 December 2018 and the Court's Judgment

Government policy:

Prime Minister's Lancaster House Speech - January 2017 - set out the Plan for Britain, including the 12 priorities that the UK government would use to negotiate Brexit.

European Union Documents:

European Council Brexit documentation - from 23 June 2016

European Commission documentation

December 2017:

Joint report 8 December 2017 - Joint report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK Government on progress during phase 1 of the negotiations under Article 50

The 2018 Withdrawal Act:

European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 - An Act to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and make other provision in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.

Withdrawal Agreement negotiated:

A DRAFT withdrawal agreement was reached by the end of February 2018.

Following the government meeting at Chequers on 6 July 2018 a White Paper was published - The future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Withdrawal Agreement 25 November 2018 - Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, as agreed at negotiators' level on 14 November 2018

Political Declaration 25 November 2018 - Draft Political Declaration

The Withdrawal Agreement Explained - published by the EU on 8 February 2019

25 April 2019 - EU Official Journal - Withdrawal Agreement

"Meaningful Vote" 15 January 2019:

The House of Commons rejected the Withdrawal Agreement

The Debate and Vote of 12 March 2019:

Withdrawal Agreeement and other documents 12 March 2019 - The Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) - Policy Paper 11 March Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration laid before Parliament following political agreement.  The Commons rejected the Agreement.

Article 50 - (first) time extension:

European Council Art 50 conclusions, 21 March  and Council Decision 22 March formalising the political agreement reached on 21 March 2019 on extending the period under Article 50.   Also see the UK Government's letter agreeing to the extension.

House of Commons 29 March:

The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected for the third time
Article 50 - (second) time extension:

The European Council met on Wednesday 10 April and granted an extension for a flexible period but no later than 31 October 2019 - read the Council Conclusions and Council Decision 10 April.

Further Withdrawal legislation:

European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act 2019 - placing duties on the Prime Minister in connection with withdrawal from the EU

October 2019:

UK proposals for a new protocol for Ireland / Northern Ireland

The New Withdrawal Agreement (541 pages pdf), New Political Declaration (31 pages pdf), the Declaration on Consent in Northern Ireland (8 pages pdf), and a Statement that Political Agreement has been reached (7 pages)  may be seen at - UK Government 19 October

Article 50 (third) time extension:

29 October 2019 - European Council granted extension to 31 January 2020

January 2020:

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 - to give effect in UK legal systems to the Withdrawal Agreement of October 2019

Links to Law and Lawyers posts on Brexit follow:

: Posts in 2020 :

31 January - Reflections on Exit Day

30 January - Brexit signed and sealed

24 January - Brexit - Final Throes

22 January - EU Withdrawal Bill - Legislative consent refused

: Posts in 2019 - (latest first) :

31 December - UK and EU in 2020

23 December - The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

16 November - Withdrawal Agreement ~ Joint Committee

10 November - Withdrawal Agreement - The Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol

8 November - Brexit - key links and analysis

29 October - Brexit - Flextension - General Election

23 October - Withdrawal Agreement Bill in Limbo

22 October - Brexit documents in one place - this post was replaced on 8 November - here.

20 October - Three letters - Brexit extension in the balance

19 October - Brexit - House of Commons Saturday 19 October 2019

17 October - EU - Negotiator level agreement - NOT the done deal by a long way

7 October - Brexit and Civil Aviation

3 October - In brief - Proposal for new Ireland protocol - Prorogation

2 October - Brexit ~ Further court actions in Scotland

27 September - Case of Prorogation - Supreme Court judgment (2)

27 September - Case of Prorogation - Supreme Court judgment (1)

24 September - Prorogation unlawful - Supreme Court judgment

19 September - The prorogation litigation 17-19 September 2019

17 September - Prorogation of Parliament - Supreme Court to hear challenges

13 September - The European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act 2019

11 September - Prorogation and the courts

10 September - Extraordinary times - Parliament 9 September 2019

5 September - What happened on 4 September

4 September 2019 - 3 September ~ What happened - minus the rhetoric

29 August - Prorogation announced

25 August 2019 - Exit Day and repeal of ECA 1972

13 August 2019 - Prorogation

6 August 2019 - Could Parliament stop no-deal Brexit

1 August 2019 - Brexit Uncertainty

19 July 2019 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - (2)

17 July 2019 - European Parliament 16 July 2019 - Brexit and no deal

7 July 2019 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill

3 July 2019 - EU Council 30 June to 3 July 2019

12 June 2019 - Prorogation of Parliament to achieve a "no deal" Brexit

6 June 2019 - As the Brexit Clock ticks

28 May 2019 - The European Parliamentary Election 2019

5 April – Article 50 extension to 30 June requested

4 April – Queen’s Consent

3 April - Legal controversies arising with Brexit

27 March - Brexit Indicative Votes

26 March - House of Commons Monday 25 March

25 March - Brexit: Statutory Instruments

22 March - European Council and what might come next

20 March - Brexit - Article 50 extension requested

19 March - Brexit: Meaningful Votes - Article 50 extension

15 March - Brexit votes 12-14 March

14 March - Brexit debates 13 and 14 March

12 March - Brexit Debate and Vote ~ 12 March 2019

12 March - Brexit "Meaningful Vote" 12 March 2019

8 March - Questions to the Law Officers

5 March - 24 days to Brexit - A brief roundup

27 February - Brexit - House of Commons 26 and 27 February

22 February - Brexit-related litigation - update

12 February - Brexit Library ~ Key materials

28/29 January - House of Commons - Brexit debate - updated post

10 January - Shenanigans in the Commons as the 'meaningful vote' comes closer

9 January - Brexit - Government loses vote on Finance (No.3) Bill

: Pre-2019 posts and materials :

Latest first ....


Brexit-related litigation - 28th March- (this post replaced by post of 4 October 2018)

4 Posts on the Constitution Committee Report (published 29th January 2018) -

Legal status of retained EU law - (30th January 2018)

What is “no deal” Brexit? Getting hold of fog - 12th January 2018.

The House of Lords and the EU Withdrawal Bill - 3rd January 2018

A short round up - includes some Brexit items - 18th January 2018


Brexit - end of year view (29th December)

Joint EK EU Report (4) - Euratom and other points (10th December)

Joint UK EU Report (3) - Money (10th December)

Joint UK EU Report (2) - Ireland and Northern Ireland (9th December)

Joint UK EU Report (1) - Citizens' rights (9th December)

Brexit shambles develops (7th December)

An Humble Address to Her Majesty (1st November 2017)

Brexit Notes - Round 5 and other items (12th October 2017)

Brexit Negotiations Round 4 (29th September)

Brexit - Government Papers - (18th August 2017)-  Papers regarding (a) Customs and (b) Ireland
19 December 2016 - Brexit in the High Court (2)

What did Parliament mean? 12/12/16

High Court of Northern Ireland ~ very brief note on the Brexit case - 28/10/16

The Art 50 case - some thoughts (27/10/16)

Brexit should be scrutinised as it happens - House of Lords report (20/10/16)
25/6/16 - It is Brexit (2) - A short note on developments since Thursday 23rd June
24/6/16 - It is Brexit (1) - The overall vote was to leave the EU
: Pre Referendum (23rd June 2016) :
20th February 2016 - Brexit ~ referendum ~ a few points - including link to the deal secured by the Prime Minister

UK and the EU (1) - History and Background

UK and the EU (2) - The EU Treaties - key points

UK and the EU (3) - The Parliament, the Commission and the Court

UK and the EU (4) - Freedom of movement of persons

UK and the EU (5) - Referendum - People need facts not slogans (Lord King)

UK and the EU (6) -Will Brexit be a simple process?

UK and the EU (7) -Your Rights

UK and the EU (8) - Trading bloc or emergent State

UK and the EU (9) - A monumental referendum - information to assist

UK and the EU (10) - What if it is Brexit 

UK and the EU (11) - The event horizon approaches - What if it is Brexit

UK and the EU (12) - Final post of this series

Political Speeches

Prime Minister's speeches -

Lancaster House (January 2017),   
Florence (September 2017),   

Munich Security Conference (February 2018) 

Theresa May - Belfast 20 July 2018

Theresa May - Belfast 5 February 2019
EU council

EU Commission

European Parliament
Motion prepared by the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group raising  possibility of an ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT founded on Article 8 TEU and Article 217 TFEU - The motion is available HERE. 

European Parliament Resolution 14 March 2018

Europa - the EU website

UK Parliament and Courts