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The Padfield precedent may determine that the PM should have formally requested an A.50 extension in accordance with the Benn Act, but it gives us no guidance as to whether such a request, absent a signature, is valid in law. At the very least it creates an ambiguity all parties could do without; at worst it invalidates any extension granted and could result in the UK finding itself outside the EU, without a deal, against the clear will of Parliament and the laws it enacted.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 at 10:19:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It won't invalidate the extension, because Parliament is sovereign, and I'm sure the EU leaders understand that. It doesn't matter if the letter was handwritten by a toddler and decorated with dinosaurs or crocheted into a quilt.

If Johnson hadn't sent the letter it would have been sent by another Minister of the Crown, or by judges acting as same. Leaving the letter unsigned makes no difference whatsoever to the EU. The Benn Act made Parliament's intentions absolutely clear, and the EU leaders have responded to the intent, not the material form.

But it does affect Johnson's position. Because by flouting Padfield he wilfully attempted to undermine the wishes of Parliament. The judiciary are are constitutionally empowered to rule on this and possibly punish it.

It was a typical Johnson move - petulant, stupid, ineffectual, and potentially self-harming.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 at 11:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact Sir Tim Barrow (UK Permanent Representative to the EU) delivered SCHEDULE FORM LETTER with a 1p cover letter.

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by Cat on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 at 03:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An unsigned letter is just so much toilet paper.
When one gets a US Security Clearance, one signs a form acknowledging that they understand that failure to comply is a felony. It's a felony regardless of the signature but you don't get the clearance without the signature. Because the felony is perjury becaus3e you signed an oath.
No one is bound by an unsigned letter that anyone could have written.
by StillInTheWilderness on Tue Oct 22nd, 2019 at 03:43:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea what relevance US security clearance - do you have that security clearance, by the way? - has to EU diplomacy.

I understand diplomatic letters are sent and delivered unsigned all the time. In this case the letter was handed over in person by the UK's diplomatic representative, and the text in the letter is part of the Benn Act, which can be read here:

European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019

There is absolutely no chance it could have been sent by "anyone" or that it isn't an official diplomatic communication.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Oct 22nd, 2019 at 08:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to when I worked for the US Navy.

It was just an example. Not particularly relevant since the UK has an Official Secrets Act. The USA does not which is why they rely on perjury or espionage charges to punish breaches.

Again, I have no UK experience but in 11 years with the US Navy I never saw an unsigned comm7unication, even a memorandum.  Even telgrams had the words "Signed by" and a name and title or the words "By order of" <military rank><name><title>. i.e. "By order of Rear Admiral Hugh Pixley COMSUBPAC"

But UK may be different.

by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 23rd, 2019 at 01:02:38 AM EST
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Adding that the letter, delivered by diplomatic channels, is on the official notepaper of the Prime Minister of the UK.


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by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Oct 23rd, 2019 at 08:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As is typical, this melodrama attempts to place UK parliament and government ahead of events over which it has no control. Namely determination of A.50 instruments, procedures, and status determination, recommended by the EC, decided by the EP and EU Council: HoC admits no attention to that actual business and its documents.

A.50(2) removed UK from Council deliberations.

European Union (Withdrawal)(No. 2) Act 2019 is defective as a matter of law, even in the peculiar UK sense of those authorities called jurisdiction and sovereignty. HoC "sovereignty" in diplomatic business and war are "constitutionally" limited to "government.

This Padfield case is inapplicable. Controversy in Sessions or High courts concerns international relations, conduct, and advice of government for consent of HoC to the Agreement.

Second, a Padfield pleading would claim PM frustrated  acts of HoC to INTERDICT debate and litigation to enjoin THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT itself. Those acts obstruct consideration of the EU under the TEU, only parts of which UK is party. Which parts? Who cares? Better deal. Fuck the EU.

SCHEDULE FORM LETTER: No such instrument imposed by HoC on negotiation of A.50 action existed until 9 Sep 2019.

Three (3) prior PM requests for A.50(3) extension period were delivered in correspondence, a single  multi-page letter, to the EU Council President explaining the HoC legislative "progress" toward ratification--regretful absence thereof--of the Withdrawal Agreement. This format was successful.

SCHEDULE FORM LETTER created 9 Sep 2019 plainly does not offer equivalent consideration to the EU Council. Nor do detailed instructions the act require signature of the PM affixed to SCHEDULE FORM LETTER. Why? The HoC is legally, literally, and institutionally incompetent in jurisdiction of international law.

That's how Bliar got away with murder.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 at 02:30:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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