Could the Article 50 notification be written on the side of a cow catapulted over the English Channel?

16th March 2017
 
My legal view, at Financial Times.
 

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4 thoughts on “Could the Article 50 notification be written on the side of a cow catapulted over the English Channel?”

  1. Perhaps a note that simply says “Brexit means Brexit” will suffice – it seems to have served the PM well so far, but one expects that the EU negotiation team will be considerably more exacting than Her Majesty’s Opposition.

    Interesting times. Perhaps common sense may yet make a tardy appearance.

  2. Perhaps I just have my contrarian hat on today, but might not catapulting a cow across the Channel invalidate any message written on the cow? I’m sure firing livestock off siege engines violates at least one EU animal welfare directive or regulation – could the Commision lawfully accept a message delivered in a fashion that itself violates EU law?

    1. … might not catapulting a cow across the Channel invalidate any message written on the cow?…

      From an engineering point of view, a cow is a distinctly un-aerodynamic object – much like a pig….

      So any attempt to provide it with the velocity needed to cross the Channel on a ballistic trajectory would be fraught with difficulty. Even neglecting air resistance, an object would have to be fired at around 700 m/sec at 45deg to go around 18 miles (you do it by s=ut+1/2at^2), which is well over Mach 2. An unprotected cow would not be legible after that acceleration – indeed, it would probably be spread in fragments over the first mile or so of the Channel.

      Why not simply ship it across in a container truck? I am pretty sure that the hide of a cow could make a valid legal document – after all, we wrote Magna Carta on cow skin. The EU might wish to take a formal witnessed facsimile photo for archival purposes…

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