This is of importance to us all. The UK government has got it wrong before, eg. in the Gina Miller Case.
If you have not supported this crowdfunding case before , may I urge you to support it now.,
Update on Article 50 Challenge
Cart Before the Horse
Over the last 45 years, referendums have been used by UK Governments to seek the electorate’s consent on a desired change. In a representative democracy, the only types of referendum which can improve democracy are those with clearly defined, achievable outcomes. The Good Friday Agreement referendum, for example, was defined in exquisite detail before people voted. Had it been presented along same lines as the EU referendum, the NI referendum would have been held before any talks had taken place, the choices would have been simply ‘Do you want peace? Yes/No’, and the campaign would have been full of vague promises from NI politicians, with no explanation as to how they would be implemented.
Holding a vote on leaving the EU before defining exactly what leaving meant, allowed Leave campaigners to fill in the blanks with a myriad of comforting lies and fantasy outcomes. Now the negotiations have begun and reality is diverging further and further from what people thought they were voting for – leading to ever-louder cries of ‘That’s not my Brexit!’ from voters who were misled.
Permission Hearing Approaching
On 12 June Article 50 Challenge will present arguments in the High Court as to why this vitally important issue needs to proceed to a full Judicial Review. This is a public hearing and anyone is welcome to attend. The hearing has been allocated for two hours but we won’t know timing until the day before.
Rather than focusing on the substance of the question, the Government is relying heavily on an assertion that we brought the claim outside the three-month rule for Judicial Review, and is also claiming that our action would be detrimental to good administration.
We will during this hearing present strong arguments, including:
- Withdrawal from the EU must be done in accordance with the procedure prescribed by Article 50 of The Treaty on European Union (TEU). Article 50(1) states that a Member State may “decide to withdraw” from the EU “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”. Although it may seem surprising, no such decision has, in fact, been made.
- The Government has had numerous opportunities to identify the decision it has made to leave the EU:
- It failed to do so in the Miller case.
- It also failed to do so in the purported notification letter sent to the European Council on 29 March 2017, in which it identified the referendum result as the decision. The Supreme Court in Miller held that the force of the referendum was “political rather than legal”.
- In response to various queries, the Government changed its position and identified the decision to leave the EU as having “involved a number of steps”, none of which could, logically, have constituted a decision.
- Finally, on 28 November 2017, in response to our pre-action letter, the Government set out for the first time that no decision had, in fact, been taken at all because, in their view, no decision was required.
- It is therefore apparent common ground between the parties that the UK has not made a “decision to withdraw” from the EU that accords with the UK’s constitutional requirements.
- Our claim was brought within three months from the 28 November 2017 crystallisation of the Government’s position on the ‘decision’ question and is therefore not out of time.
- Far from being detrimental to good administration, our claim is necessary to ensure the latter; if the issue is not resolved in the UK courts there is a significant risk that it will be raised at a later date in the European Court (CJEU), for example during the process of approving any Withdrawal Agreement by the European Parliament. If the Withdrawal Agreement were found by the CJEU to be unlawful, the consequences would, to say the least, be far-reaching.
- If there has been no decision to withdraw from the EU within the meaning of Article 50(1) TEU, the Government has no authority to conduct the withdrawal negotiations for which Article 50(2) provides. We seek a declaration from the court in those terms.
However, we have to be ready to face the real possibility that we may not win permission in this June High Court hearing.
We are therefore preparing the ground to ensure we can press ahead to the Court of Appeal, where a panel of judges will find it easier to share the burden of a potentially ‘awkward’ judgment.
We need to ensure we have sufficient funds for this eventuality, so we ask everyone to keep helping by sharing our updates and encouraging friends and family to join us by pledging.
Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@a50challenge and @a50official) for updates on the time of the hearing.