Treaty On Treaties On Brexit Treaty

There’s an international “treaty on treaties” to which the UK is a signatory. It has an article 51 of its own that says, in short, if the national representative assigned to deal with a treaty is being coerced, the law / stuff coercing him is null and void. The Benn Surrender Act coerces Boris. Therefore, under this Treaty (higher law) to which the UK IS a party, the Brenn Act is null and void.

Or so the argument goes.


Article 51
Coercion of a representative of a State

The expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty which has been procured by the coercion of its representative through acts or threats directed against him shall be without any legal effect.

There can be no doubt that Boris is the “representative of the State” as the Benn act says he is and tells him to send the letter. There can be little doubt that Boris is being coerced (Scottish court set to whack him, “Dead in a ditch” preference, lots and lots of hoopla about censure and jail).

So doesn’t that mean Boris is being coerced, is the “state representative”, the UK is a party to the Treaty On Treaties so is bound by this Article 51. Thus: The UK’s “expression of consent” to any extension request must be “without any legal effect”?

I’m not seeing the wiggle room out of this one…

Here’s the video where I ran into this. I’m sure the Parliament and Supremes are more than capable of finding some way to repudiate that set of Treaty Law, so I’m not all wound up in this. However, it IS an interesting twist in the already twisted plot…

5 short minutes:

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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23 Responses to Treaty On Treaties On Brexit Treaty

  1. philjourdan says:

    It seems BoJo has been served up another gopher ball. What he does with it will help to define who he really is. I am sure they have enough “Obama Appointed” judges over there that they will try to rule against Article 51. But can the Queen ignore it?

  2. LB says:

    Very easy. The EU costs the UK billions, far more than just payments.
    Put a spending bill to parliament where remainers take back control, and responsibility, for deciding what gets cut.
    The idea that any of them will put their names to austerity is laughable. So the bill won’t pass. The EU won’t be paid, and the EU gets angry with remainers/collaborators.
    Nothing like turning on your own.

  3. Another Ian says:

    Hmmm. For some reason I’m getting a bit of that doubling up of copy and paste in Firefox.

    Any suggestions?

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Michael smith link is broken – try this:

  5. YMMV says:

    It’s an odd law. I assume that it was put in so that some little country is not coerced by some big country (and I can imagine which one they were thinking of). I assume that it was not put in to cover internal squabbles. Whatever, the Supremes will find a way around it.

    Speaking of the Supremes, I can’t find the link, but it said that David Cameron “modernized” the Supremes in order to bring them into line with the European Court of Justice (ECJ). I don’t understand that. But it certainly claims to be top dog.

    For Brexit, it is important to escape the ECJ, but this and other topics hardly ever get mentioned in the news.

    Can you ever hope to get a deal with attitudes like this?
    “We will not accept a Singapore on the North Sea,” said former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, a liberal EU lawmaker and a member of the parliament’s Brexit committee.
    “With the departure of Great Britain, a potential competitor will of course emerge for us,” Mrs Merkel told journalists at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday. “That is to say, in addition to China and the United States of America, there will be Great Britain as well.”
    It came after Mrs Merkel cautioned German politicians that the UK could become a Singapore-style low tax, low tariff banking haven after it exits the EU.
    “After the withdrawal of Britain, we will have an economic competitor at our own doorstep, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations,” she said last month.
    The UK has a banking sector that dwarfs the rest of the EU, and is around three times the size of either Germany’s or that of France.

    Meanwhile in Spain, Franco kept all the pieces together ruthlessly. Madrid has decided that’s the way to go too. Basque country and Catalonia are not happy.
    As a means of governance, I believe referendums work – but the principle has always been that the losing side consents to the result. When politicians believe that government should be above the people, able to ignore any result they dislike, democracy becomes little more than an illusion.
    “Why Basques and Catalans see independence differently”

  6. YMMV says:

    Found it: ECHR not ECJ.

    Many Americans may have done a double take in recent weeks as talk of the “supreme court” in London was relayed on the news. And many British people will have done the same thing. The supreme court indeed does not sound like a British thing. Because until 2005 it wasn’t a British thing. In one of the great ironies of recent British history, the supreme court in London was set up in order to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

    But it is a mark of the man that Johnson realizes the one essential thing in all this. Which is that the knot has been deliberately made too complex to untie. And that the only solution is to cut it.

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    I like that
    The European Union = government by Gordian Knot

    I suspect it would be valid to say the same about our deep state and overwhelming regulations and laws that make just about anything illegal in the eyes of someone.

  8. H.R. says:

    Larry L: “[…] overwhelming regulations and laws that make just about anything illegal in the eyes of someone.”

    Shhhhh… it’s illegal to point that out ;o)

  9. Bill In Oz says:

    Good old Alexander sorted out his Gordian knot !
    His sharp sword took seconds !

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, I suppose we ought to plot out the Calendar and mark key days. We’re into the last 2 weeks more or less now. It all explodes, one way or the other, in the next couple.

    I have occasionally wondered if at the exact wording of the Brenn Surrender Act. For example, does it just say “must send a letter” so Boris can write it, hand it to his best courier, and send him WALKING to Brussels? Arrival several weeks too late… Or does it say “deliver by…”? Can he send said letter, even if delivery by date is specified, but fully encrypted and encased in 100 kg of cement? It WAS sent and delivered on time… and diplomatic communications are often encrypted ;-)

    Can his courier arrive at the appointed address, photo himself and the letter there, then light it afire? Or put it back in his pocket and come home?

    Ah, the potentials ;-)

  11. YMMV says:

    It says: “by sending to the President of the European Council a letter”

    Click to access 19433.pdf

    That leaves plenty of room for games. Unfortunately, BoJo has not taken those opportunities so far.
    But I could image plenty of Three Musketeers adventures for that.

  12. beththeserf says:

    Say, E.M. when constitutional checkand balances do not apply, fiat rules… dog ate my homework, … any excuse appLIES. (

  13. Another Ian says:

    “Greg Chapman: The Corbyn Conspiracy – How he intends to achieve Brexit and become PM”

  14. Kneel says:

    “…send him WALKING to Brussels?”
    Hey, I sent it electronically and I used a well defined protocol – RFC2549! Waddayamean it’s not there yet? :-)

  15. Another Ian says:

    “Some reports have stressed that the Benn Act letter was “unsigned” — but this makes no difference to its legal effect, and the European Union has accepted it as a valid request for another Brexit delay.”

  16. Another Ian says:


  17. beththeserf says:

    Alack! House of Commons don’t care for the will of the people. Oh if only a no – deal crashes through in the connfusion and may-hem..

  18. p.g.sharrow says:

    This can be confusing ?????
    MPs that vote against The Deal are voting for, a better deal or against this deal or want to stay, no exit, or maybe exit with no deal ?????
    There will be Brexit, deal or no deal. This Bureaucratic European Union is a house of cards that will collapse of it’s own weight. Another failing experiment in rule by self appointed Communist Elites. Central Planned Economies never work for long because bureaucrats lack the wisdom to evolve their policies with changing conditions.
    We don’t need them running our lives to suit their visions of paradise for them…pg

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    T Minus 10 Days and Counting…. but will the Brexit Launch be scrubbed at the last moment?…

  20. Another Ian says:

    “Brexit: Ann Widdecombe explains what surrender, betrayal and a foreign power is”

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