Richard North, 23/09/2013  
 


Courtesy of The Boiling Frog and Sean O'Hare on our forum, we see that Nigel Farage has accepted the validity of Article 50, acknowledging that it is "the law of the land" (1st question in on the above video). This was during the conference Q&A session, when he was asked if he believed that there could be an amicable rather then acrimonious divorce with the EU. Confronted with this, he told his audience:
The one problem is this, that under the current treaties, under the Lisbon treaty, the only mechanism by which we can withdraw is Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. Now Article 50 can be cited to renegotiate a relationship or to lead through to a divorce that takes two years.

I have difficulty myself in recognising the legitimacy of Article 50 because its part of a treaty that should have been put to a referendum but was actually bullied through by parliament. So I have a little difficulty, nevertheless I have to accept that it is the law of the land.

I would say this, if legally what we have to do is to enter into full divorce proceedings, by using the legal Article of that treaty, we will do so in an open and amicable spirit.

But if we find during the course of that time, that frankly we are being had over a barrel, and having the Mickey taken out of us and not being treated fairly then at that point we would have to declare UDI and say to hell with Article 50. Then it would not be amicable. So I accept that there are circumstances under which it would not be amicable, but it would be our intent that we want it to be amicable.
It is the case, of course, that if the "colleagues" failed to negotiate in good faith, the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties could be invoked, so Mr Farage's caveat is perfectly in accord with international law.

This statement by Farage thus represents a major turnround for UKIP, a victory for the "Northists" and a complete rout for the "trappists" and other naysayers, not least Prof. Stephen Bush, Rodney AtkisonGerald Batten, Tim Congdon, Ashley MoteIdris Francis and Torquil Dick-Erikson. But it also reflects the strong support for the idea of using Article 50 from Christopher Booker, who has referred to it many times in his column, including here, here, here and here.

Generously, Autonomous Mind pays tribute to this blog, which has referenced the Article over 200 times, but he should not neglect his own substantial role, and we are both very conscious of the huge contribution of The Boiling Frog and the continuous support from Witterings from Witney. We even saw Helen Szamuely pile into the fray and, of course, a film is in the making.

Had we had a halfway sensible media, it too would have picked up the Article 50 theme and run with it. But while it was explored by the Commons Library, and recognised by the IEA and the Bruges Group, with a reference from the Foreign Affairs Committee and William Hague, there has been no significant media attention outside the Booker column.

Therefore, the pivotal nature of this turnround will be unappreciated by the legacy media. That, however, in no way diminishes it. So many important things that happen these days, the media scarcely notices. We should take nothing from the silence.

From now though, we can put to bed the "magic wand" approach to leaving the EU, and thereby deprive the enemy of a major FUD opportunity.  We can thus take some comfort that, despite the UKIP conference train wreck, something of substance has been achieved.

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