Government tells Peer that the ECJ has no jurisdiction over triggering of Article 50

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

16th December 2016

Government tells Peer that the ECJ has no jurisdiction over triggering of Article 50 

In response to a written question from the independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, the Government has confirmed that it does not believe the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has any jurisdiction over the triggering of Article 50, in the preparations for Brexit.

Lord Stoddart  asked Her Majesty’s Government: ‘what advice they have received on whether the European Court of Justice has any jurisdiction over the manner and timing of the triggering of the use of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.’ (HL3720)

Responding for the Government, Lord Bridges of Headley from the Department for Exiting the European Union wrote:  ‘Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union states that ‘any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’ and ‘shall notify the European Council of its intention’. It is for the Member State concerned to determine what its constitutional requirements are. The manner in which the notice is given – to the European Council – is clearly set out in Article 50 itself.’

Commenting on the Government’s response, Lord Stoddart said:  “It appears that despite the self-important posturing of some members of the ECJ, the Government does not believe it is a potential obstacle to Brexit because the Court has no jurisdiction over the matter, which is excellent news.  It is absolutely wrong for the legal system to come between the people and their Government.  The people have spoken on Brexit, at the specific request of the Government and the lawyers should not be involved in attempting to obstruct or derail their decision.”

The full text of Lord Stoddart’s question and the Government’s answer is as follows:

Lord Bridges of Headley, Department for Exiting the European Union , provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3720):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what advice they have received on whether the European Court of Justice has any jurisdiction over the manner and timing of the triggering of the use of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. (HL3720)

Tabled on: 30th November 2016

Answer:
Lord Bridges of Headley:

Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union states that ‘any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’ and ‘shall notify the European Council of its intention’. It is for the Member State concerned to determine what its constitutional requirements are. The manner in which the notice is given – to the European Council – is clearly set out in Article 50 itself. On the timing, the Prime Minister has been clear that we will notify by the end of March 2017.

Date and time of answer: 14 Dec 2016 at 16:49.

Government confirms how to tackle EU indoctrination in schools

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

15th December 2016

Government confirms how to tackle EU indoctrination in schools 

In a series of written questions, the independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has been tackling the Government about the issue of children being indoctrinated in schools about the EU.  For the first time, the Government has responded in detail and even provided an outline of what to do if you think your child is not receiving balanced teaching in lessons on political subjects.

Lord Stoddart said:  “This is easily the most comprehensive answer I have received on this subject and it appears that, for the first time, the Government has taken the matter seriously.  In a post-Brexit Britain, EU propaganda will be irrelevant and our educational establishments should be focusing on our own system of Government and the key role of Parliament in rebuilding Britain as a prosperous and leading world power.”

His latest question asked the Government to confirm ‘what action they plan to take to monitor and enforce the requirement for balanced treatment in educational establishments of political issues, including the UK’s membership of the EU’.

Lord Nash, for the Government replied (12th December):  ‘All schools are required to teach about political issues in a balanced way. Sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996 require maintained schools to prevent political indoctrination and ensure the balanced treatment of political issues.’

He added that:  ‘Ofsted inspectors will consider the breadth and balance of a school’s curriculum, the quality of teaching and how the school promotes pupils’ acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different beliefs.

Lord Nash also outlined the best way for parents concerned about unbalanced teaching of political subjects, to address the issue, ‘through the school’s complaints procedure and if they are not satisfied, escalate the complaint to the Secretary of State who has powers to intervene if schools are failing to comply with legal requirements.’

The full text of Lord Stoddart’s written question and the Government’s response can be accessed via this link

A budget to “punish the people for voting to Brexit”

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

24th  November 2016

A budget to “punish the people for voting to Brexit”

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has strongly criticised the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, characterising it as a “budget to punish the people for voting to Brexit.”

Lord Stoddart said:  “There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a justification budget.  The Government advised the people not to vote to leave the EU and they were ignored.  Therefore, the next budget will be a punishment for their disobedience and a justification for the Government’s original advice.  The evidence is there for all to see.  The Treasury has re-run the gloomy economic predictions it made before 23rd June, despite the fact that many of them are being proven wrong with each passing day.

“It is time to ignore the bleating of these doom-mongers whose predictions have so often proved to be misplaced, inaccurate and self-serving and to proceed with all speed to leaving the EU.”

 

Peer says UK is no longer a democracy of the people

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

3rd November 2016


High Court Judgement a ‘body blow to Brexit’ says Peer

“The UK is no longer a democracy of the people”

The Independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has described the ruling by three High Court judges that the decision to trigger Article 50 must be voted on by Parliament as “a body blow to Brexit which confirms that the United Kingdom is no longer a democracy of the people because their decisions can be overruled by an arrogant, self-serving elite.”

Lord Stoddart, added:  “If the decision of the British people had been to remain in the EU, I am certain there would have been squeals of horror and outrage from this same arrogant elite, if the leavers had gone to the courts to set aside a clear decision of the electorate.  The legislation that prepared the way for the referendum passed both Houses and on 23rd June the British people gave the Government unambiguous instructions to withdraw our country from the European Union. This could now be ignored. Our democracy is in serious trouble.”

 

Peer reminds House of Lords that “Brexit means leave” and the Government should “get on with it”

Speaking in a debate on the Government’s statement about the G20 summit (07.09.16), the independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has reminded the House of Lords that “Brexit means leave” and that the referendum vote was an instruction to the Government “to get on with it.”

Lord Stoddart made his remarks after listening to a number of Peers making speeches spreading doom and gloom about Brexit and the state of play regarding the preparations for withdrawal.  He added that the electorate “were asked whether they wished to remain or whether they wished to leave. They decided that they wanted to leave. That was an instruction to the Government to get on with it. The great disgrace is that the Government and the Civil Service had not prepared for either alternative. That, of course, is the problem we are facing now.”

The full text of Lord Stoddart’s remarks is as follows:

Hansard – debate on the G20 Summit statement 7.09.16

Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

My Lords, I have listened to the debate with great interest. A lot of noble Lords do not appear to know what Brexit means. Brexit means leave. That is precisely the question that the electorate answered. They were asked whether they wished to remain or whether they wished to leave. They decided that they wanted to leave. That was an instruction to the Government to get on with it. The great disgrace is that the Government and the Civil Service had not prepared for either alternative. That, of course, is the problem we are facing now.

But it is not all doom and gloom. There is a great future ahead, as there has been a great, historic past. We should take hold of that. We should not be supplicants; we are a great country and we should use our power for the good of this country and the rest of the world.

I found the second paragraph of page 3 very interesting. Does it mean that the Government are moving towards syndicalism?

 

Brexit – media muddle and rubbish galore

At first glance, headlines in a number of papers proclaiming “No Brexit until late 2019” sound thoroughly depressing. Has some new hold-up to triggering Article 50 suddenly appeared on the horizon? Not at all. In spite of a spat between Boris Johnson and Liam Fox over whether the Department for International Trade or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office will head up UK foreign policy, Theresa May has insisted that  it is full steam ahead in the preparation for invoking Article 50 early next year and has told the two men to “stop playing games.”

If her plans go according to schedule, the two-year negotiation period would take us to early 2019. Factor in even a short delay in preparing the ground or a mutually-agreed extension to the negotiations and we will find ourselves in the second half of 2019 without having gone through the Brexit door.  With France and Germany both holding major elections in 2017,  it is quite likely that there will need need to be an extension even before the complexities of negotiating a succesful divorce are taken into account. A change of incumbent or government could result in previously-agreed changes having to be revisited if the leadership in either of those countries change – a distinct possibility in France, where President Hollande’s popularity ratings are very low.

Is business going to suffer as a result of June 23rd’s vote?  Well before the referendum, we predicted a short-term blip in the event of a Brexit vote, particularly a drop in the value of sterling. We pointed out that the economic gains were fore the longer term. House prices have fallen in the wake of Brexit, dropping by 2.6% in London and 2% in the South East. Is this a calamity? Ask any first-time buyer about the absurd prices they are having to pay to get onto the housing ladder and you will not hear any sadness on their part.  Another report claimed that businesses had become “pessimistic” as a result of the Brexit vote. Read the article in full, however, and it states that 36%  of companies are planning to increase staffing levels now compared with 40% before the referendum. A slight fall in optimism, but hardly evidence of widespread business gloom.

It is frustrating that some remainers still seem unable to accept that we voted to leave – and with good reason. Avinash Persaud, writing in the Economic and Political Weekly highlights the supposed correlation between voting to leave and lower educational qualification. Those of us with degrees who voted to leave are becoming utterly sick of being characterised as ignoramuses. If anything, the number of graduates who voted for remain is an indication of the woeful inadequacy of our educational system as opposed to any correlation between intelligence and support for the EU.

Mr Persaud, like many other commentators, also links support for Brexit to disenchantment with free trade and the reforms that began under Margaret Thatcher. This again is simplistic twaddle. During the course of the Brexit campaign, one of the most frequently repeated advantages of Brexit was the prospect of beginning to take control of our own trade and escaping the protectionism of the EU. I  for one was accused in one debate by my pro-EU opponent of advocating “Singapore on steroids”.

While the Brexit vote was strong in white working classes areas, the wonderful result on June 23rd was achieved by their alliance with frustrated small businessmen, some trade unionists, a few Labour MPs, a few more Tory MPs and a selection of educated professional types unhappy with the loss of our sovereignty, control of our trade and the top-down nature of the EU.

Of these unlikely bedfellows, the most uniquely British component is the strongly Eurosceptic centre right – one of the legacies of Thatcherism.  Peter Mandelson’s claim that Jeremy Corbyn somehow sabotaged the remain vote  just does not stand up to scrutiny.  Undecided centre-right voters were never going to be  won over by a Labour politician, whether Blairite of Corbynite. Somehow, Mandelson and his ilk still seem unable to come to terms with the fact that plenty of highly educated intelligent people studied the arguments on both sides of the debate and decided that we would be better off out.

Nor, sadly, are they giving up in their attempts to overrule the will  of the people. The European Movement, which was a recipient of substantial CIA funding in the past, is organising a  “March for Europe” on 3rd September. “We need to send a message that 16 million people voted to remain” says their propaganda. Well, we have a message for the European Movement:- over 17 million people voted to leave and we won. That’s called democracy.

Lord Stoddart, a patron and former Chairman of CIB,  recently issued a stark warning to Lord Mandelson and other  Europhile members of the Upper Chamber:-

“My colleagues in the Lords would do well to remember that the Brexit vote was the largest vote for anything in the history of our nation.  According to a study by the University of East Anglia, had Vote Leave been a political party, it would have won a huge landslide of 421 Parliamentary seats.  That would equate to 65% of all seats and 73% of seats in England and Wales.  Mess with this massive mandate at your peril!”

Photo by Brian Smithson (Old Geordie)