LAWYERS have advised the government that a parliamentary bill consisting of a single word would be open to legal challenge.
The government has reluctantly decided to follow advice that a one-word bill on withdrawing from EU membership could be invalid, no matter how powerful the word they intended to use.
Lawyer Helen Archer said: “Even the simplest pieces of legislation typically run to tens of thousands of words in order to cover all contingencies, so one word that does the same seems highly unusual.
“But the proposers felt this single word adequately covered, explained and made unassailable everything they planned to do, which seems impossible on an issue as complex as this one.
“Apparently the prime minister believed this word, which she said was ‘self-defining’, was so effective no further argument was necessary and it would be politically impossible to oppose.”
Archer added: “I must admit I am curious about the word. I can’t think what it is.”