Time was when the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog would at least make an effort to produce original copy - and to do a little research before committing it to pixel. But now, sadly, The Great Guido is a mere propaganda clerk for our alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, copying and pasting the latest from the Supreme Leader’s inner praesidium - as has happened today.
Steven Swinford, deputy political editor of the Murdoch Times, has told “Boris Johnson poised to trigger repeal of European Communities Act as he cements his do or die pledge to leave EU on Oct 31 … Stephen Barclay to sign 'commencement order' within days enabling EU withdrawal act to come into force … Eurosceptics say it is 'totemic' moment’”.
Hurrah for Bozo, say Bozo copy clerks
There was more. “Steve Baker, leading eurosceptic, on significance of signing order triggering EU withdrawal act on October 31: 'It’s the do or die pledge in black and white. It is not merely symbolic ‘Once it’s signed that’s it, the UK is leaving’ … But Dominic Grieve says MPs would be able to reverse the order to stop a no-deal Brexit”.
And so, first thing this morning, it came to pass that Christian Calgie, the latest apprentice sandwich monitor to be appointed to the Fawkes massive, told readers “Boris Set To End Supremacy Of EU Law In Days”, going on to claim “Boris has directed Stephen Barclay to sign the official order to end EU law’s supremacy in Britain, a move that Steve Baker described to The Times as ‘absolutely totemic’, proving Boris is ‘willing to leave on a fixed date with no question of extension. It’s the do-or-die pledge in black and white’”.
There was more. “Whilst MPs voted for the EU Withdrawal Act in 2018, which repealed the original legislation making us members of the EEC, it required a ‘commencement order’ to come into force, which Barclay is expected to sign imminently … Dominic Grieve is not happy … [He] begrudgingly admitted that he can’t stop the order being signed. He’s reduced to admitting he will have to try to reverse it retrospectively”.
Copying and pasting from Swinford’s Tweets, a link to the Times article thrown in, and not so much as a thought as to whether what is being put out there is true. Because it isn’t.
We know this as Mark Elliott, Professor of public law at the University of Cambridge, has inspected Swinford’s claims and warned “This is merely symbolic. Even when relevant provision of EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 is brought into force, it repeals the EC Act 1972 only with effect from 'exit day'. If (eg) UK negotiated further extension, 'exit day' could be amended and ECA repeal deferred accordingly”. And there is more.
“And, to be absolutely clear, bringing section 1 of the Withdrawal Act (which provides for repeal of the EC Act) before 31 October does *not* bring forward the date of EC Act's repeal: it will not be repealed prior to 'exit day', which is currently defined as 31 October … The upshot? Contrary to this report, commencing section 1 of Withdrawal Act doesn't 'cement' the 'do or die' pledge: it just activates the provision that repeals EC Act on 'exit day', while leaving open the possibility of 'exit day' being amended in the event of an extension”. Swinford was a little previous with his claims.
And The Great Guido saw something that looked too good to be true, without bothering to check whether it was too good to be true. Which it was. Another fine mess, once again.
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