Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

The GFA and how consent is reached and legislated for

  • 10-06-2017 3:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭


    As per mod instruction, creating a new thread for it.
    The DUP wouldn't argue about an Irish taoiseach making an official speech like that? biggrin.pngbiggrin.pngbiggrin.pngbiggrin.png

    The GFA is an agreement with the British 'parliament' the government of the day cannot amend it without breaking it. You do understand this?

    Link to what he said and where he said it: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/britain-has-been-ruled-out-of-the-equation-on-north-says-ahern-1.146434

    Again, you are talking about two different things and conflating them. The GFA was passed by both parliiaments. The very fact that it had to, proves that parliament has the final say in any such agreement being ratified.

    In the GFA is the following arrticle:
    (iv) affirm that if, in the future, the people of the island of Ireland exercise their right of self-determination on the basis set out in sections (i) and (ii) above to bring about a united Ireland, it will be a binding obligation on both Governments to introduce and support in their respective Parliaments legislation to give effect to that wish;
    Again, this obliges the government of the day to introduce and support legislation to give effect to the plebiscite. It does not oblige the parliament of the day to pass that legislation. No more than parliaments of the past could oblige future parliaments to continue denying universal suffrage.


«13456713

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    As per mod instruction, creating a new thread for it.



    Again, you are talking about two different things and conflating them. The GFA was passed by both parliiaments. The very fact that it had to, proves that parliament has the final say in any such agreement being ratified.

    In the GFA is the following arrticle:


    Again, this obliges the government of the day to introduce and support legislation to give effect to the plebiscite. It does not oblige the parliament of the day to pass that legislation. No more than parliaments of the past could oblige future parliaments to continue denying universal suffrage.

    So what you are saying is that there may be an 'external impediment' to our right to self determination...i.e. The British Parliament? Even though an agreement signed by that parliament says the opposite. :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    So what you are saying is that there may be an 'external impediment' to our right to self determination...i.e. The British Parliament? Even though an agreement signed by that parliament says the opposite. :confused:
    The process consists of two parts. The first being the right to decide by plebiscite and that's what should have no external impediment. Unlike the Scottish referendum which still requires government approval before they can even have a plebiscite.

    The second part requires both parliaments to ratify that by legislation. All that can be required of either government is that they "propose and support" such a bill in their respective parliaments. It can't be required of the entire parliament because that's a complete tramelling of democratic principles.

    Look, in reality it is (even in the current circumstances) highly unlikely to a vanishingly small degree that either parliament would vote agsinst such a bill. Even if under the current government, the DUP bailed (as would be likely), the SNP, the Labour Party, the Lib Dems and (hopefuly) the Tory party in the main would support it.

    My point (and another poster also made this point) is that there's more to the process than just a 32 county referendum and majority support in NI. We can only assume that the parliaments would follow suit. It's not a given. And it can't be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    The process consists of two parts. The first being the right to decide by plebiscite and that's what should have no external impediment. Unlike the Scottish referendum which still requires government approval before they can even have a plebiscite.

    The second part requires both parliaments to ratify that by legislation. All that can be required of either government is that they "propose and support" such a bill in their respective parliaments. It can't be required of the entire parliament because that's a complete tramelling of democratic principles.

    Look, in reality it is (even in the current circumstances) highly unlikely to a vanishingly small degree that either parliament would vote agsinst such a bill. Even if under the current government, the DUP bailed (as would be likely), the SNP, the Labour Party, the Lib Dems and (hopefuly) the Tory party in the main would support it.

    My point (and another poster also made this point) is that there's more to the process than just a 32 county referendum and majority support in NI. We can only assume that the parliaments would follow suit. It's not a given. And it can't be.

    And I believe you are wrong. For parliament to object they would first need to remove/revoke/repeal the GFA. As long as it is in place, it is a formality.

    In other words somebody would have to install an impediment to the formality. Until that happens, unity is ensured once a majority decide on it.
    You can talk about the SNP, Lib Dems etc having objections all you wish, the British Parliament is 'neutral'.
    Republicans would not have signed up otherwise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    And I believe you are wrong. For parliament to object they would first need to remove/revoke/repeal the GFA. As long as it is in place, it is a formality.
    Why? We're talking about a clause in the GFA. A clause that does not say that parliament must pass the required legislation. If you can point to a clause that imposes such an obligation on parliament in the GFA or any other international agreement, I'd love to see it.

    And to be even more specific, where does it say that any (or all) member(s) of parliament must, as an absolute requirement, vote to pass this legislation?


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    You are just messing now in fairness. My last word on this.

    The GFA is binding until it is broken/repealed or revoked. That must happen first. Somebody would have to challenge it's legality/constitutionality first.


    Until that happens, unity is a formality.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    You are just messing now in fairness. My last word on this.

    The GFA is binding until it is broken/repealed or revoked. That must happen first. Somebody would have to challenge it's legality/constitutionality first.


    Until that happens, unity is a formality.
    I am absolutely not messing.

    Seriously, the clause which you quoted yourself is up there in black and white.

    The government will "introduce and support" legislation to give effect to the plebiscite.

    Where does it say the parliament will automatically kow tow to the government if the governement are in a minority?

    We could take it step by step if you like.

    The government must introduce leguislation and support it. Do you agree that this is the case?

    If you agree with the above, what happens next?

    Parliament must now vote on that legislation to enact it as an Act of Parliament. Do you agree with that?

    If you do, then clearly you have to accept that there's always a chance that Parliament does not vote by majority to enact it.

    To answer your earlier question about whether the IRA would have accepted this, well clearly they did. quite probably because they would have known that the chances of a government not carrying such a vote ould be small and that anything more would not be in the power of any government to grant.

    Otherwise, in theory, our government could pass legislation to pass all future EU directives through without a vote.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,875 ✭✭✭A Little Pony


    Saying unity is a formality is just daft.

    It's simple really,  the people of NI can decide any change if they so wish. It really isn't difficult.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    I am absolutely not messing.

    Seriously, the clause which you quoted yourself is up there in black and white.

    The government will "introduce and support" legislation to give effect to the plebiscite.

    Where does it say the parliament will automatically kow tow to the government if the governement are in a minority?

    We could take it step by step if you like.

    The government must introduce leguislation and support it. Do you agree that this is the case?

    If you agree with the above, what happens next?

    Parliament must now vote on that legislation to enact it as an Act of Parliament. Do you agree with that?

    If you do, then clearly you have to accept that there's always a chance that Parliament does not vote by majority to enact it.

    To answer your earlier question about whether the IRA would have accepted this, well clearly they did. quite probably because they would have known that the chances of a government not carrying such a vote ould be small and that anything more would not be in the power of any government to grant.

    Otherwise, in theory, our government could pass legislation to pass all future EU directives through without a vote.

    The two governments have signed a contract. To get out of that contract they must first revoke/rescind it.

    That is why Ahern said what he did, unchallenged. To not enact unity, would be illegal as per a binding agreement.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Once the vote says YES then it is a simple act of passing the legislation as the British parliament has a 'binding obligation' to do

    There can't be a binding obligation on the British parliament. Parliament is sovereign; it's not bound by anything, including its own past decisions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    There can't be a binding obligation on the British parliament. Parliament is sovereign; it's not bound by anything, including its own past decisions.

    first and foremost:

    The argument that a government does not have any obligation to pass whatever measures it has agreed in an international treaty through parliament but only to recommend it is nonsense. If they fail to enact the terms of the treaty then they are in breach of the treaty.

    Is there any evidence that the UK's parliaments consent would be required to change the status of NI? The UK has some funny rules.

    And now ask yourself this, could parliament over rule the scottish indy ref result? And bear in mind scotland is entirely an internal issue, no legally binding treaty to worry about. AFAIR the UK does not even require parliament to vote on treaty terms just not objecting is considered consent


    It's waffle in theory and waffle in practice


  • Advertisement
  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,084 ✭✭✭Persephone kindness


    You can talk about the SNP, Lib Dems etc having objections all you wish, the British Parliament is 'neutral'.
    How open to interpretation is this phrase? How is it worded? Can you quote?


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Bambi wrote: »
    The argument that a government does not have any obligation to pass whatever measures it has agreed in an international treaty through parliament but only to recommend it is nonsense.

    We're not talking about an obligation on a government; we're talking about a binding obligation on the British Parliament, which is a constitutional impossibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    Bambi wrote: »
    first and foremost:

    The argument that a government does not have any obligation to pass whatever measures it has agreed in an international treaty through parliament but only to recommend it is nonsense. If they fail to enact the terms of the treaty then they are in breach of the treaty.

    Is there any evidence that the UK's parliaments consent would be required to change the status of NI? The UK has some funny rules.

    And now ask yourself this, could parliament over rule the scottish indy ref result? And bear in mind scotland is entirely an internal issue, no legally binding treaty to worry about. AFAIR the UK does not even require parliament to vote on treaty terms just not objecting is considered consent


    It's waffle in theory and waffle in practice
    You and Francie are confusing government with parliament.

    I'm sure lots of governments would wish that were so, because all that pesky voting would be a thing of the past and they could introduce legislation on the fly.

    If what you and Francie believe were true, the first order of business for a Tory government would be to pass a law making it illegal in perpetuity for anyone other than a member of the Conservative party stand for election.

    Parliamentary democracy at its best :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    You and Francie are confusing government with parliament.

    I'm sure lots of governments would wish that were so, because all that pesky voting would be a thing of the past and they could introduce legislation on the fly.

    If what you and Francie believe were true, the first order of business for a Tory government would be to pass a law making it illegal in perpetuity for anyone other than a member of the Conservative party stand for election.

    Parliamentary democracy at its best :)

    Ridiculous. Read Bambi's post again.

    Unless the agreements/contracts of previous governments are revoked then they stand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    Ridiculous. Read Bambi's post again.

    Unless the agreements/contracts of previous governments are revoked then they stand.
    I did. And I stopped at this line. Because if you believe this line to be true, you have absolutely, completely and irredeemably no inkling of how parliamentary democracy works.

    "The argument that a government does not have any obligation to pass whatever measures it has agreed in an international treaty through parliament"

    A government cannot 'pass' anything. That's the duty of parliament. And parliament does not have to pass anything, merely to vote on it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr


    You and Francie are confusing government with parliament.

    I'm sure lots of governments would wish that were so, because all that pesky voting would be a thing of the past and they could introduce legislation on the fly.

    If what you and Francie believe were true, the first order of business for a Tory government would be to pass a law making it illegal in perpetuity for anyone other than a member of the Conservative party stand for election.

    Parliamentary democracy at its best :)


    I'm not confusing anything, the governments obligation to the terms of a treaty does not end with recommending it to parliament, if the legislation is not enacted then they are in breach of the treaty.


    Governments sign up for treaties all the time without reference to parliament, they are given power in international relations to agree treaties without reference to parliament. Happens all the time,suprised you're not aware of it tbh :o

    It's only when a treaty has a domestic effect that they usually have to go near parliament.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    I did. And I stopped at this line. Because if you believe this line to be true, you have absolutely, completely and irredeemebly no inkling of how parliamentary democracy works.

    "The argument that a government does not have any obligation to pass whatever measures it has agreed in an international treaty through parliament"

    A government cannot 'pass' anything. That's the duty of parliament. And parliament does not have to pass anything, merely to vote on it.

    'Parliament' passed the GFA which proposes unity if a majority vote for it.

    It would be illegal and a breach of the agreement not to enact the legislation. If you wish to legally oppose the enacting of legislation you first have to successfully revoke the Parliament approved internationally binding agreement.

    That is why it got the support it did, to propose that it would be left to the whim of a Parliament vote is fantastical stuff tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    Bambi wrote: »
    I'm not confusing anything, the governments obligation to the terms of a treaty does not end with recommending it to parliament, if the legislation is not enacted then they are in breach of the treaty.
    Please explain how the above wording in the OP actually says what you are intimating here.

    Because it doesn't. No mention of parliament passing this legislation. Just the government introducing and supporting it.
    Bambi wrote: »
    Governments sign up for treaties all the time without reference to parliament
    Really? Treaties that are inserted into Irish or British law? Examples please. And examples from Britain and Ireland. North Korea doesn't count. ;)


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    ...to propose that it would be left to the whim of a Parliament vote is fantastical stuff tbh.

    I'll keep repeating this, because you keep ignoring it: Parliament is sovereign. The government doesn't get to tell Parliament what to do. This isn't a question of opinion, I'm stating well-known facts. Pointedly ignoring them won't make them untrue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    'Parliament' passed the GFA which proposes unity if a majority vote for it.

    It would be illegal and a breach of the agreement not to enact the legislation. If you wish to legally oppose the enacting of legislation you first have to successfully revoke the Parliament approved internationally binding agreement.

    That is why it got the support it did, to propose that it would be left to the whim of a Parliament vote is fantastical stuff tbh.
    Yes, parliament passed it. So, if you think about it, even though all the parties to the agreement agreed to it and were happy with it's terms and signed up to it, it still had to go through parliament.

    What if parliament had decided no?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    I'll keep repeating this, because you keep ignoring it: Parliament is sovereign. The government doesn't get to tell Parliament what to do. This isn't a question of opinion, I'm stating well-known facts. Pointedly ignoring them won't make them untrue.

    Parliament is sovereign and parliament passed the GFA.

    If parliament now wants to change a binding agreement it has to revoke the agreement first, otherwise it is accepted the terms will be enacted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    Parliament is sovereign and parliament passed the GFA.

    If parliament now wants to change a binding agreement it has to revoke the agreement first, otherwise it is accepted the terms will be enacted.
    Lord almighty!

    It's actually written into the GFA that parliament has to pass the resultant legislation in order to put into effect a united Ireland.

    As does the Dail.

    If it were to automatically happen there would be no clause about the government being obliged to introduce and support such legislation.

    If you accept that the government must introduce legislation, then you also have to accept that parliament must vote on it before it can take effect. With all the pesky issues surrounding the passing of legislation in both parliaments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    Yes, parliament passed it. So, if you think about it, even though all the parties to the agreement agreed to it and were happy with it's terms and signed up to it, it still had to go through parliament.

    What if parliament had decided no?

    No GFA.

    But there is an agreement here with a Parliament approved path to a UI.

    Are you seriously suggesting after all the conflict/war, negotiations, heartache and the journey to a majority vote that it comes down to an 'outside impediment' of a vote in parliament? That people agreed to sign up to that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr


    Please explain how the above wording in the OP actually says what you are intimating here.

    Because it doesn't. No mention of parliament passing this legislation. Just the government introducing and supporting it.


    Really? Treaties that are inserted into Irish or British law? Examples please. And examples from Britain and Ireland. North Korea doesn't count. ;)


    You see you know you're waffling now because you took a quote and added your own qualifier to it before you asked for proof. More schoolboy stuff.

    The executive have the power to agree treaties without parliaments ratification with a list of exceptions (cost to exchequer, national dimension)



    None of which changes the fact the the british government would be breach of a treaty if its provisions are not put in place. Is parliament under obligation to pass the necessary acts? no, but that has nothing to do with the governments obligation

    if you want to read up


    https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-information-office/p14.pdf

    https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/international-priorities/international-law/treaties/

    Of course none of that has to do with the rock you originally pinned your hopes to: that the terms of the treaty suggest the government only has to support the legislation.

    But before you get there you can try back up your assertion that for Northern Ireland to leave the UK a vote of parliament would be required. For all you know it was already passed, if its actually needed. :confused:

    Then you can explain how the UK Parliament could refuse to implement the result of a referendum. Unwritten consitutional crisis straight away

    Good luck


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    No GFA.

    But there is an agreement here with a Parliament approved path to a UI.

    Are you seriously suggesting after all the conflict/war, negotiations, heartache and the journey to a majority vote that it comes down to an 'outside impediment' of a vote in parliament? That people agreed to sign up to that?
    Yes, they did.

    Because you can't ask for something that isn't in the gift of the donor. Everybody understands the vagaries of parliamentary democracy. In reality, such issues that seem to be exercising you so much are accepted as being in most cases to be moot. If a government proposes and supports legislation, ninety-nine times out of a hundred it will pass.

    The only reason we're talking about it now is that Britain has just elected a minority government that depends on the DUP to pass legislation. That opens the possibility that such a situation could cause problems for the GFA.

    In reality that won't be an issue anyway, the vast majority of the parliament would vote for it anyway.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Parliament is sovereign and parliament passed the GFA.

    If parliament now wants to change a binding agreement it has to revoke the agreement first, otherwise it is accepted the terms will be enacted.

    OK, let's keep going in circles.

    The actual legal instrument inserted into UK law by the GFA says:
    ...the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament such proposals to give effect to that wish as may be agreed between Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland.
    At that point, Parliament has to vote on those proposals, and - yet again - Parliament is sovereign.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    Bambi wrote: »
    You see you know you're waffling now because you took a quote and added your own qualifier to it before you asked for proof. More schoolboy stuff.
    I added my own qualifier because I'm well aware of treaties that don't require legislation.

    The one we're talking about does. It says so in, you know, the actual treaty. :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    Yes, they did.

    OK.
    I'm done.
    Ahern is wrong in an official speech, republicans are gullible fools who gambled on the whim of a parliament they never trusted, but you are right.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,690 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    OK, let's keep going in circles.

    The actual legal instrument inserted into UK law by the GFA says: At that point, Parliament has to vote on those proposals, and - yet again - Parliament is sovereign.

    And parliament was sovereign when it bound itself to the agreement until such time as the agreement is revoked.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,415 ✭✭✭CMOTDibbler


    OK.
    I'm done.
    Ahern is wrong in an official speech, republicans are gullible fools who gambled on the whim of a parliament they never trusted, but you are right.
    Thank you.

    I don't really care whether you believe me or not. I continued this discussion because I figured you were taking the p1ss.

    I'm still not convinced you're not. The alternative is hard to believe.


Advertisement