lundi, décembre 10, 2018

Court of Justice of the European Union (PRESS RELEASE 10 Dec 2018): The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU

Court of Justice of the European Union
PRESS RELEASE Nº 191/2018 : 10 December 2018

Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C2018/0621 Wightman and Others
en   fr
The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU

Court of Justice of the European Union
Luxembourg, 10 December 2018
Judgment in Case C-621/18
Wightman and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU.

Such a revocation, decided in accordance with its own national constitutional requirements, would have the effect that the United Kingdom remains in the EU under terms that are unchanged as regards its status as a Member State.

On 23 June 2016, a referendum of the United Kingdom electorate produced a majority in favour of that Member State’s leaving the European Union. On 29 March 2017, the British Prime Minister notified the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union under Article 50 TEU. This article provides that following such a notification, the Member State concerned negotiates and concludes a withdrawal agreement with the EU. The EU Treaties then cease to apply to that Member State from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification of the intention to withdraw and any possible extension.

On 19 December 2017, a petition for judicial review was lodged in the Court of Session, Inner House, First Division (Scotland, United Kingdom) by members of the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and the European Parliament to determine whether the notification referred to in Article 50 can be revoked unilaterally before the expiry of the two year period, with the effect that such revocation would result in the United Kingdom remaining in the EU. On 3 October 2018, the Court of Session referred this question to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, pointing out that the response would allow members of the House of Commons to know, when exercising their vote on a withdrawal agreement, whether there are not two options, but three, namely withdrawal from the European Union without an agreement, withdrawal from the European Union with an agreement, or revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw and the United Kingdom’s remaining in the European Union.

Because of the urgency of its request with respect, notably, to the fact that the withdrawal agreement can only be ratified if that agreement, and the framework on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union are approved by the UK Parliament, the Court of Session asked the Court of Justice to apply the expedited procedure, which was granted by the President of that court. [Order of the President of the Court of Justice of 19 October 2018 Wightman and Others (C-621/18)]. The expedited procedure enables the Court to give its rulings quickly in exceptionally urgent cases by reducing procedural time-limits and giving such cases absolute priority.

In today’s judgment, the Full Court has ruled that, when a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification.

That possibility exists for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, and any possible extension, has not expired.

The revocation must be decided following a democratic process in accordance with national constitutional requirements. This unequivocal and unconditional decision must be communicated in writing to the European Council.

Such a revocation confirms the EU membership of the Member State concerned under terms that are unchanged as regards its status as a Member State and brings the withdrawal procedure to an end.

In its reasoning, the Court begins by observing that, according to the Court of Session, the case before that latter court raises a genuine issue giving rise to a dispute which it is required to resolve and that the judgment of the Court of Session will have the effect of clarifying the options open to MPs who must decide on the ratification of the agreement negotiated between the UK and the EU. Replying to the arguments as to the admissibility of the case brought by the UK government and the Commission, the Court finds that the question referred by the Court of Session, regarding the interpretation of Article 50 TEU, is relevant and not hypothetical, given that it is precisely the point at issue in the case pending before the Court of Session.

As to the substance of the question, the Court rules that Article 50 TEU does not explicitly address the subject of revocation. 

It neither expressly prohibits nor expressly authorises revocation. That being so, the Court notes that Article 50 TEU pursues two objectives, namely, first, that of enshrining the sovereign right of a Member State to withdraw from the European Union and, secondly, that of establishing a procedure to enable such a withdrawal to take place in an orderly fashion. According to the Court, the sovereign nature of the right of withdrawal supports the conclusion that the Member State concerned has a right to revoke the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU for as long as a withdrawal agreement has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period, and any possible extension, has not expired.

In the absence of an express provision governing revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw, that revocation is subject to the rules laid down in Article 50(1) TEU for the withdrawal itself, with the result that it may be decided unilaterally, in accordance with the constitutional requirements of the Member State concerned.

The revocation by a Member State of the notification of its intention to withdraw reflects a sovereign decision to retain its status as a Member State of the European Union, a status which is neither suspended nor altered by that notification.

The Court considers that it would be inconsistent with the EU Treaties’ purpose of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe to force the withdrawal of a Member State which, having notified its intention to withdraw from the EU in accordance with its constitutional rules and following a democratic process, decides to revoke the notification of that intention through a democratic process.

To subject that right to revoke to the unanimous approval of the European Council as the Commission and Council proposed, would transform a unilateral sovereign right into a conditional right and would be incompatible with the principle that a Member State cannot be forced to leave the European Union against its will.
en   fr

ProductiehuisEU | Ajoutée le 10 déc. 2018

The European court of justice has ruled the UK can unilaterally stop the Brexit process, in a decision that will boost demands for a second EU referendum.

That means that at any time before UK officially leaves the EU in March, the British Government could simply decide to stay permanently.

Pro-Remain politicians jumped on the verdict as a way of overturning the EU referendum result.

Last week the ECJ's top legal adviser declared that Britain could revoke Article 50 - the mechanism which officially started the process of Brexit.

Today the court confirmed that it would follow that advice in a final verdict issued just one day before Parliament is due to vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal.

It said: “The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU.”

Coming a day before May will attempt to get the Brexit withdrawal agreement through parliament, the ruling will be reviewed urgently by Scotland’s civil court in Edinburgh. That process will kickstart what is expected to be a last-ditch legal battle by the UK government, which is likely to end in the supreme court.

The judges rejected arguments from both the UK government and the European commission that article 50, the two-year-long process that triggers a member state’s departure from the EU, could not be revoked unilaterally.

A spokeswoman for the court said that any revocation “must be decided following a democratic process in accordance with national constitutional requirements”.

Monday’s decision upheld a finding by the ECJ advocate general, Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona, who said last week that article 50 of the Lisbon treaty allows the “unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, until such time as the withdrawal agreement is formally concluded”.

He rejected the contention that the mechanism for a member state to quit the trade bloc could only be reversed following a unanimous decision of the European council.

The SNP MEP Alyn Smith, one of a cross-party group of Scottish politicians who brought the case, said it was “dynamite”.

“The timing is sublime,” he added. “As colleagues in the House of Commons consider Mrs May’s disastrous deal we now have a roadmap out of this Brexit shambles. A bright light has switched on above an ‘EXIT’ sign.”

samedi, décembre 08, 2018

Intelligence artificielle, notre meilleure amie? (RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse)

RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse | Ajoutée le 29 nov. 2018
L’intelligence artificielle veut être votre meilleure amie. Une amie qui décrypte vos émotions, vous conseille, vous oriente... et vous suit à la trace. Devenue omniprésente, l’intelligence artificielle nourrie aux mégadonnées ouvre les portes d’un nouveau monde. Si elle aide les chercheurs à résoudre les problèmes les plus ardus en médecine, dans les transports, en astronomie, etc., elle peut aussi servir des desseins beaucoup plus sombres, devenir un outil de surveillance totale et de contrôle social. 
Un documentaire de Blaise Piguet et Alain Orange

vendredi, décembre 07, 2018

BREATIMEACHT: Tuairimí ón Teorainn: Jimmy Hill (Meon Eile)

Tá an Breatimeacht ag teannadh linn agus éiginnteacht faoin todhchaí ag cur imní ar chuid mhór daoine. Sa tsraith seo, labhraíonn Meon Eile le daoine ar dhá thaobh na teorann faoi na himpleachtaí a bheidh ag Brexit daofa. Duine acu sin ná an t-ollamh ollscoile Jimmy Hill.

Is Leas-Uachtarán é Jimmy ar Choláiste Náisiúnta na hÉireann i mBaile Átha Cliath ach tá cónaí air i nDroichead na Banna i gContae an Dúin. Achan lá taistealaíonn Jimmy ar an traen ón Iúr go Baile Átha Cliath le dul ar an obair.

Labhair Meon Eile le Jimmy faoin tionchar a d'fhéadfadh a bheith ag Brexit ar an turas seo agus fosta ar chúrsaí oideachais ó dheas...

BREXIT: BBC Scotland pushes "Holyrood vote is meaningless" line

Indyref Two | Ajoutée le 5 déc. 2018

NOTE: In the event, the Scottish Parliament voted by 92 to 29 to formally reject the UK government's draft Brexit deal.
See also:

jeudi, décembre 06, 2018

L'Histoire des Révoltes Populaires - des Sans-Culotte aux Gilets Jaunes (Le Média, 5 déc 2018)

L'Histoire des Révoltes Populaires - des Sans-Culotte aux Gilets Jaunes
Le Média | Ajoutée le 5 déc. 2018

Brexit : The End Game (Alex Salmond Show, 6 Dec 2018)

PilarAymara | Ajoutée le 6 déc. 2018
As the parliamentary debate on Brexit comes to a climax, the Alex Salmond Show looks at the legal and political minefields looming before the prime minister. Weighing up Theresa May’s prospects of political survival are key commentators: former SNP MP George Kerevan and Daily Mail columnist Peter Oborne, her doughtiest defender on Fleet Street.

RBS Not Off the Hook Over GRG Scandal (by George Kerevan, Bella Caledonia 6 Dec 2018)

RBS Not Off the Hook Over GRG Scandal
by George Kerevan 
(Bella Caledonia 6 Dec 2018)
LAST July the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the main UK regulator of the lending industry, announced it would take no disciplinary action against RBS over the outrageous activities of the bank’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG), the internal unit that was supposed to turn around “struggling” businesses.

In reality, after the Crash of 2008, a lot of the businesses put under GRG control were perfectly viable and most were capable of being returned to profitability. Instead, GRG deliberately undervalued debtor company assets (using compliant external valuers) in order to make it seem the firms had defaulted on their loan covenants. This allowed RBS to seize valuable assets cheaply and sell them off at a big mark-up, to bolster the bank’s capital.

Indeed, pillaged assets were often sold by GRG to another wing of RBS – West Register – at a knockdown valuation, in order to disguise what was going on. West Register would then break-up and sell the assets at a proper market rate. Call this looting and pillaging that makes the Vikings look soft. Such infamous conduct by RBS (and similar activity in other banks such as HBOS-Lloyds) is a cardinal reason why UK productivity did not recover after the 2008 financial debacle.

Why did the regulator, the FCA, not intervene?