Legal professionals have penned a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron warning that the referendum result alone is insufficient to trigger Article 50.
The letter, signed by more than 1,000 lawyers, has advised the government to launch a fully independent investigation into the costs and benefits of leaving the European Union before reaching its final decision on Brexit. While Brexiteers came away with a slim 52 per cent majority in June’s referendum, the lawyers are concerned that the public’s ability to weigh the consequences of Britain’s exit was skewed by ‘misrepresentations of fact and promises that could not be delivered’ on the part of Vote Leave campaigners. Moreover, with the referendum result merely ‘advisory’ in nature, the lawyers recommend that primary legislation will need to be enacted before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty can be triggered. ‘Parliament is sovereign and the government of our democracy,’ said Philip Kolvin QC, who co-coordinated the letter. ‘In profound times of social, political, legal and economic crisis, it is important that we behave constitutionally and according to the law.’