Charles Day

Let Big Ben bong for Brexit day

Something deeply embarrassing is happening in our country. It is not entirely clear why, but in an act of extreme pettiness, my fellow elite have decided that come hell or high water Big Ben must not Bong. Let’s be honest; almost no one will notice either way. It has never troubled my mind whether a

MPs have plenty of time to read Boris’s Brexit bill

The Withdrawal Bill that has been published is pretty dull stuff – even by my standards. There are nonetheless rather frantic efforts to pretend it is in any way terrible. It isn’t. For one reason and one reason only. Like the 1972 Act, all the Bill does is bring the Withdrawal Agreement into UK law.

Boris Johnson’s biggest Brexit deal victory

In order to get anywhere in life, you have to compromise. Redrafting a deal foisted on you with no time and no majority has been Herculean. In doing so, the UK have made serious concessions so we can maintain good relationships with the EU. That must not get forgotten in the understandable (and shared) joy

In defence of Geoffrey Cox

Something ugly has come out of the Supreme Court’s decision to change the law and our constitution yesterday. Instead of basking magnanimously in the fact that they won, there have been wholly unwarranted calls from Remainers for ‘heads on plates’. The cry has gone out for the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, to publish his legal

The Supreme Court’s decision is a constitutional outrage

Forty years of membership of the EU has taught us a lot. Many of us have learned a new language; most of us have learned new recipes for our supper; and our Judges have learned how to seize power from democratic institutions. For there has always been a fundamental cultural clash between us and most

Why the onus is on the EU to do a Brexit deal

In the run-up to the referendum, a common argument against Brexit went like this:  “We should not leave the EU, because if we try, the EU will be capricious and irrational, it will not prioritise the welfare of its people, it will instead punish us, we must be afraid of that wrath, forget any merit,

Does this EU small print mean Brexit has already happened?

The heady drama when Britain and the EU agreed on a series of Brexit extensions earlier this year is hard to forget. But amidst the chaos, it’s worth asking: did Britain accidentally leave the EU on 1 June? A badly-drafted EU law – which also challenges the idea of EU competence – seems to suggest

The EU was never capable of dealing with Brexit

We are now meandering towards a real Brexit deadline. In typical British fashion, we’ve let the other two times that they bumped into us with their trolley in the supermarket go. In similarly typical fashion, the third time is about to be “not on”. But as we head towards the inevitable, it is worth understanding

The silence from Geoffrey Cox bodes ill for May’s deal

The loudest sound this morning is the silence from Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney-General. The test for Theresa May’s discussion with Brussels is whether it means the UK will be caught indefinitely in the backstop. And the person who decides this is Mr Cox. No10 misrepresented the nature of the backstop when it was signed: some

The ECJ wants to take back control of Brexit

Given that the ECJ often takes years to give an opinion, the speed of its Brexit judgement is unprecedented. Now and again, the mask slips: in theory the ECJ’s court judicial, cares only about good law. In practise this is nakedly political – explicitly so this time, given the vote tomorrow. It’s being breathlessly reported

Can the UK cancel Brexit? We’re about to find out

While it might have garnered less attention than the political drama around the withdrawal agreement, next week’s European Court of Justice decision on whether the UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50 – that is, cancel Brexit – could have serious ramifications. A bit of background on the case: in November 2017, a group of Scottish

Peter Hain has fundamentally undermined the rule of law

For all the praise heaped on Peter Hain for revealing the details of a legal case subject to injunction, there’s been depressingly little acknowledgement of what this really means: namely that a senior politician has fundamentally undermined the rule of law. Hain – who, unlike many of his peers, has never been a lawyer– has