1. Just a few thoughts about the comment of the ministerial "source" in this tweet, and the Euratom issue generally.
“Ministerial source tells @nicholaswatt: "We will not be leaving Euratom. We do not have the numbers in parliament" #newsnight “
2. Read the quote carefully. You will see it is based on two. assumptions.
3. The first assumption is that it is open to the UK to not leave Euratom, because of 'not having the numbers' or otherwise.
4. The complacent arrogance that it is still for UK to decide these things, by itself. But, since A50 notification, this is not down to UK.
5. The A50 notification changed everything. The UK is no longer in control of the Brexit process, whether the "numbers" are there or not.
6. Furthermore: May explicitly included Euratom in the A50 letter - see third paragraph: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... article-50
7. The language on Euratom is legalistic, not by a politician. The mention is not by accident. It was deliberate. Legal advice was obtained.
8. Some say that leaving the Euratom treaty was implicit in A50 - but if so, that does not matter, as the letter spelled it out anyway.
9. All this means that for UK to reverse on Euratom requires (imo) the Article 50 letter itself to be revoked or amended.
10. I cannot see how the issue can be fudged. A formal notice on quitting Euratom can only be rescinded with equal formality.
11. It is not open to May to say "whoops, I meant to insert a "not" in the sentence about leaving Euratom."
12. And so, if that is the case, the question becomes whether that can be done unilaterally by UK, or only by agreement with EU27.
13. And, in turn, that opens the questions as to whether the A50 letter in respect of leaving EU as a whole is revocable and, if so, how.
14. One can be certain that a minister saying there are not the "numbers" any more will not be enough to stop a formal notice in its tracks.
15. The cat, genie and horse are all out of their respective containers on that.
16. It will not be for ministers or parliament to simply reverse Euratom on a whim. No doubt that notice will have to be revoked or amended.
17. The second assumption is that the EU will go along with only those parts of Brexit for which there are "numbers" in UK parliament.
18. The EU do not care which parts of Brexit have numbers in Commons. It will make no difference. The EU has already set out its position.
19. Cross-bench alliances can vote for all sorts of concessions and compromises on Brexit, but no reason why EU will notice still less care.
20. Parliament, and UK ministers, are no longer in control of Brexit, whatever the "numbers".