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British lawyer to mount Brexit challenge in Irish High Court

He’s trying to raise €83,000 online to do it.

Jolyon Maugham
Jolyon Maugham
Image: Twitter

A BRITISH LAWYER has launched a crowdfunding campaign to challenge Article 50 – the process of the UK leaving the European Union – in the Irish High Court.

Jolyon Maugham QC, who is based in London, had campaigned against Brexit.

He launched the online campaign tonight and is hoping to raise £70,000 (about €83,000) to cover the costs of an action in the High Court here. It will aim to establish whether an Article 50 notification sent by the UK would be revocable at a future date.

The defendants would be the Irish State, the European Council and the European Commission and the plaintiffs would be UK MEPs.

On Wednesday, MPs backed a vote to trigger Article 50 by next March.

A statement released by Maughan tonight said: “The claim alleges that Article 50 may, in fact, already have been triggered. If it has been triggered then the Commission is in breach of its Treaty duties through wrongly refusing to commence negotiations with the UK. But if it has not, the Council and Irish State are in breach of their Treaty duties in wrongly excluding the United Kingdom from Council meetings.

“The plaintiffs will say that they suffer a prospective deprivation of their rights associated with these breaches. And that to resolve these disputes it will be necessary to refer certain questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

‘People deserve answers’ 

Speaking about his decision to launch the campaign, Maugham said:

“Put aside the legal niceties, what no one can dispute is that there are incredibly important questions to answer.

Should Parliament control the terms on which we Brexit? Could we have a referendum on the final deal – or is the consequence of triggering Article 50 that we will leave the EU whatever the terms? By triggering Article 50, does the UK also leave the EEA, or is there a separate decision to make about whether we remain in the European Economic Area and Single Market?

“Everyone – those who voted leave and remain; the people and government of Ireland – deserves to know the answer to these questions. People must plan their lives. Businesses need certainty to invest.

“The people of Ireland are entitled to a government that can work for the best possible future for Ireland. It’s right that we all have the maximum certainty that the law can give. And referring these questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union is the only way to deliver that certainty.”

Read: Brexit has led to ‘a tsunami’ of new solicitors in Ireland from the UK

Read: Theresa May has scored a symbolic win in her plan for a speedy Brexit

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Órla Ryan

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