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Friday 22ndJuly: This week French and European counterparts discussed with Mrs May their thoughts on the timing of Article 50 to give effect to the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. Monsieur Hollande pressed for rapid action. Mrs Merkel seemed to acknowledge more time may be needed. For her part, the prime minister has stated that the process will begin in 2017. Who is right? Here Martin Howe QC, in an extract based on his new pamphlet*, explains:
Not only is it possible, but it is prudent for the UK to engage in a period of planning and of informal pre-negotiation with other member states, before invoking the formal procedure of Article 50 and setting its 2-year timetable running. There will be a significant task in revising UK domestic law in preparation for exit, even if this is speeded up by using the regulation-making procedures under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972. At the same time the UK will need to replace areas where its international relations are currently conducted via the EU with direct international treaty arrangements. This suggests that 2 years may well be a relatively short period in which to prepare for exit, particularly if, as seems apparent in the aftermath of the vote, no serious contingency planning was done inside Whitehall for the eventuality of a Leave vote.
June: Freedom not Fantasy- Dr Sheila Lawlor reflects on the Referendum results
May: Treasury Forecasts: Politics or Truth? John Redwood critiques the involvement of the Treasury in the referendum debate