It does occur to me that local authorities could use the provisions of the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (2010 Amendment) and the 2012 Statutory Instrument to seek, quite legally, to opt out of Brexit.
It works like this. The Act allows local authorities (and indeed parish councils*) to put forward proposals to the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government proposals for change – and importantly this can extend as far as changes to primary legislation – which provide that local authority with power to act locally for the sustainability of their communities.
It has not been widely used, but proposals which have come forward include proposals to localise control over nationally set benefit levels, for example.
But what if a local authority were to submit, on the basis of local consultation approving the submission, a proposal for an amendment to the European Communities Act 1972 to include a provision than in the event of general repeal, the repeal would not apply to the local authority area, and thus mean that technically that local authority would remain the European Union after Brexit?
More simply, a local authority could seek prior exemption from Article 50 trigger, though there would be a deep legal argument to follow about whether the 2007/201 Acts covers such a step.
Yes, I know it sounds mad, but I can’t see how a government could actually refuse to actually at least consider the case under the process set out in the 2012 regulations.
According to the FT, the Nissan crisis is already forcing ministers to consider sector specific port zones which might remain in the customs area, so this could be argued simply as a logical bottom up extension of same.
Who’s with me?
*It’s a nice thought that my old twitter bio about being from the Socialist Republic of Bickerstaffe might actually come truer than I thought, but I think we may be just a little too small to pull it off ourselves.