Last ditch court battle over how Brexit unfolds, or if it will

BREXIT isn’t over until the fat lady sings. Or at least until a legal dispute to be heard in court over the next few days is settled.

Three of the country’s top judges will deliberate over whether parliament must approve the triggering of Article 50 at London’s Royal Courts of Justice. 

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the newly appointed master of the rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, and Lord Justice Sales must determine between them whether parliament, rather than government ministers, has the authority to notify Brussels that Britain is withdrawing from the EU.

If a majority rule that parliament has the ultimate authority then it paves the way for MPs to simply vote against triggering Article 50 and therefore preventing the referendum result from taking shape. 

The government claims that the courts are “ill-suited” to determine the matter and argues that the popular vote, together with its executive powers under the royal prerogative, are sufficient to set Brexit in motion. 

Attorney-general Jeremy Wright said: “The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by act of parliament. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum. We do not believe this case has legal merit. The result should be respected and the government intends to do just that.”

The challenge was made before the court by a plaintiff coalition of businesswoman Gina Miller, hairdresser Deir dos Santos and the People’s Challenge, a broad campaign with thousands of supporters. 

They argue that the royal prerogative has been extensively limited by modern legislation and that only parliament can supersede statutory law. Barristers also claim that the litigants have received death threats and online abuse, while there have been demonstrations outside the London offices of Mishcon de Reya, the law firm which took up the case. 

The plaintiffs make their case on Thursday October 13 and the government will respond on Monday October 17 with additional arguments reserved for Tuesday. The judgement should be next shortly although the loser will be able to appeal directly to the UK’ supreme court in December. 

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    • Roy Peters

      13 October 2016 • 11:42

      The people have spoken and no-one should have the right to challenge this. It is well known that most of the M.P’s are against Brexit but that does not give them the right to go against public opinion. Most of them are looking after their own interests.
      The people bringing the challenge are looking out for their own interests also, and this should not be allowed.
      I hope the judges are wise enough to see this and scrap the appeal.

    • Mike in ESP

      13 October 2016 • 21:01

      I was fairy sure before the referendum and even just after it that if Leave won then as much as possible would be done to stop a Brexit… as things move along I am now fairy sure a Brexit will go ahead and nothing much should stop it now. Teresa May as many other MP remainians appear to understand that they must give what has been decided on by the majority of people in the UK, I even suspect that some of these remainian MP’s are coming round to leaving even though they where remainians! I doubt the government would be stating quite clearly that Brexit means Brexit and that the UK “is leaving the EU” unless they where sure that they could actually leave without any legal issues.
      The referendum is over, the vote was to leave, the government has made it clear that is what is going to happen, so that is the direction everyone should be thinking of moving, the sooner people accept it the sooner they will be able to get on with their lives.

      Remember, its much more positive to think of your glass as being half full, rather than it being half empty 🙂

    • Mike in ESP

      13 October 2016 • 21:05

      I think there will be no substance in this Roy, imagine the issues that this would cause if things where blocked now, especially after everyone has been told we are leaving!

      The country “including many remainers” have now accepted this is the direction we are going in, they would now be outraged if things where to to turned on them. Personally I think this would cause a lot more problems than many people think, in more ways than one.

    • Fay

      14 October 2016 • 13:40

      The referendum was advisory and non-binding which means that Parliament could ignore it. There in black and white in House of Commons report, House of Lords report and House of Commons Library briefing paper. May has a slender majority in Commons and nine in Lords which is why she wants to avoid them.

      She wishes to strip EU citizenship from 65m on the say so of 17m – not even half the population.

      Does it not seem strange to anyone that Parliament will be allowed to debate grammar schools but not Brexit ? Ken Clarke said it took 20 days to debate the Maastricht treaty.

      The devolved nations were promised a say. They don’t have representatives in the Cabinet Brexit committee list leaked today. The government skeleton for The People’s Challenge also revealed triggering Article 50 breaths Union treaty with Scotland. Good Friday Agreement anyone ?

      If Standard & Poor’s wuthdraws reserve currency status we’re tinpot Ruritania.

      Brexiteers stupidly accept all of it without questioning why Prime Minister hell-bent on doing this.

      The British public was only asked Leave or Remain.

    • Roy Peters

      14 October 2016 • 17:07

      “The British public was only asked Leave or Remain.” and the majority voted to leave Kay.

      Do you really want this country to have open borders to any Tom, Dick or Harry who wants to come here and live off our benefits system, destroy the NHS, and clog all our schools with kids who do not speak the language?

      And what about jobs? There are so many English workers out of work because the jobs are being taken by immigrants who get paid less money. In time this would get even worse.

      From the last influx of ‘refugees’ into Europe last year most of them want to settle in Britain because of our generous benefits system.

      On top of this, would you really want this country to be run by Brussels, for this is where we are headed once they form the ‘United States of Europe’, which they are intent on doing.

      Our government would disappear and we would be under the sole control of those un-elected idiots in Brussels.

      Is this what you really want? We have elected to leave so that we can decide our own future, and not be dictated to by anyone else. I hope you can see the sense in this.

    • Mike in ESP

      14 October 2016 • 18:58

      Alan, unfortunately it is very clear the EU cannot be reformed from within, I would say that it is the sensible people that realise this while it is the remainians that are the ones behaving like spoilt children bleating from the sidelines 🙂

      But there are two ways to look at things and only time, quite a few years of it will pass before we all understand who was the more sensible of the two 🙂

    • Mike in ESP

      14 October 2016 • 19:21

      Your last sentence is what says it all Fay, that actual process of the “leave” is a lot more involved that some think, anyone that looked into what the differences of leaving and remaining where before they voted would have realised that, but the vote was to leave and there is more to that than just saying we leave and walking away!

      I am astounded at many peoples reaction to leaving the EU! The EU is a union run by people who cannot take decisions, cannot agree, is corrupt, expensive, are bullies and who threaten others. It is lead by people who even appear to have a drinking problem that causes them to speak out on things with such statemanship that you would be mistaken that he was a clown! Where people in charge are not actually elected, it is run in a similar manner as a mafia organisation with the only difference being that they do not send ministers out to top people with a 45, although they have been the cause of devastation in Africa for example which I am sure has caused the death of many. Yet we have people saying that we are better being a part of this union when if we even thought of becoming a member of a mafia organisation there would be horror! That is what the EU has become very similar to… what is wrong with people, have todays society lost there minds where it doesn’t matter how things are done or run as long as they get the sun at a price they can afford, is that what this is all about! I despair at people in todays society, money and greed is what is important!

    • Roy Peters

      15 October 2016 • 11:50

      Alan, what makes you think that Britain will be able to change the way the EU works? We have tried that many times in the past and every time it has been brushed aside.
      Once the ‘United States of Europe’ is founded, which is Brussels aim, our country and every one in the block will be run from Brussels.
      With the ‘free movement of people’ we will continue to be overrun by immigrants who take advantage of our too generous benefits system.
      We already have housing difficulties, and our National Health System is close to collapse as are our schools, because most of the immigrant pupils do not speak a word of English.
      On top of this our justice system has become a farce because we cannot deport immigrant killers, and the sentencing system has deteriorated to the extent that it is a joke. Where else in the world do killers get out of jail after serving only three or four years in prison? This is all the fault of the Human Rights Commission who favour immigrants. We need to establish our British justice system again.
      Immigrants have taken over large areas of towns and cities in this country and all these things will only get worse if it continues.
      You need to take a look at the reality of this United States of Europe and see what it is doing to the continent.

    • Brian Eagleson

      16 October 2016 • 09:43

      The court case is NOT an attempt to overturn the Brexit vote. The hysteria in parts of the British press, and elsewhere, against the so-called “Bremoaners” displays a complete failure to understand this is merely a legal process that must take place in order to ensure Theresa May does not accidentally break the law by exceeding her powers.

      If she were to do that, the UK would be quitting the EU in a manner that would leave it open to legal challenges by the other 27 nations. A situation like that would hardly be good for Britain. The falling pound would fall even further and the already weak economy would be in tatters as the other 27 nations sought to strengthen their legal and commercial situations at Britain’s expense.

      It would be to the benefit of us all to accept the inevitable – stop the bickering – and pull together to make this work. However, this does not mean we should be silent where criticism of our politicians is justified. Constructive criticism is necessary in order to make them think properly and prevent any further mistakes that steer us towards the so-called  hard Brexit instead of a better one.


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