The Benn Bill requires UK prime minister Boris Johnson to request a Brexit extension that Johnsosn has vowed not to do. Yet, he insists he will not break the law.

For obvious reasons, Johnson has not explained how that is possible.


Please consider 1969 Vienna Convention: Article 51 Coercion of a Representative of State

This article deals with one of the most ancient and firmly consolidated grounds of invalidity of treaties. A treaty concluded through the coercion exerted against State representative, be it a single human being or a group thereof, is without any legal effect. Moreover, the act of coercion itself can amount to an international wrongful act.

In the video above, Jeff Taylor says the EU is not a signatory of that convention.

However, The UK is, as are some EU member states.

Johnson can submit the letter, simultaneously declaring it null and void as it by demand, against his wishes and the wishes of the UK government.


This seems ironclad to me, but once again, no one really knows how a court would rule.

I suspect this is just part of the strategy.

Entire Strategy

  1. The Queen's Speech debate starts Monday. The speech will lay out 22 new bills, proposed legislation. Debate on the Queen's speech can last up to six days. That kills time. In this case I expect Johnson will attempt to kill the entire week.
  2. If Speaker John Bercow cuts debate short, I would not rule out Johnson proroguing Parliament until after Johnson comes back from Brexit negotiations on Oct 19.
  3. Article 51: Johnson may win in the courts.
  4. Article 51: Buys time even if it loses. But the clock does not start ticking until October 19. Brexit is on Oct 31.
  5. Once we get inside the 14-day window, Johnson could refuse to resign, disallowing a caretaker government to take over.
  6. If we get to October 31 with no agreement and no caretaker, No Deal happens by default.

Moot Point?

The entire point could be moot if the EU and UK manage top agree to a deal.

As noted on Friday, Secret Brexit Negotiations in the "Tunnel" to Begin.

If Johnson comes back with a deal, especially one in which the EU says no further extensions other than to ratify the deal or not, then the Benn Bill would be rendered ineffective without any legal dispute.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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