BREXIT, ARTICLE 50 AND A PEOPLE’S CHALLENGE TO GOVERNMENT
As many of us in the North of Ireland are aware the result of the Brexit Referendum earlier this year has led to constitutional uncertainty about the future of our current political arrangements. For example, there is the issue of the cross-border relationship with the Republic of Ireland. Further, there is the matter of the guarantees written into the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 1998. As ever, we in the North have our own particular circumstances – and voting preferences to remain within the EU – which were not reflected by the majority in England and Wales.
To that extent Belfast solicitors KRW LAW LLP has joined forces with London solicitors Bindmans LLP to launch a legal challenge against the British Government regarding the process of negotiating an exit from the EU through the mechanism of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
The challenge is whether it should be Parliament or Government that decides on the Article 50 process – the Government intend to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to commence BREXIT; we argue on behalf of our clients including those of the People’s Challenge that Parliament is sovereign in this matter and that it should be for the elected politicians to decide the Article 50 process which will mean the removal of rights secured through membership of the EU including citizenship rights. This does not undermine the BREXIT referendum result but is a reminder of the role of the referendum to advise the Government and not to derogate the sovereign powers of Parliament.
Darragh Mackin Solicitor with KRW LAW LLP HAS been instructed by Fergal McFerran, who lives in Belfast and is President of the National Union of Students – Union of Students in Ireland (NUS-USI). Amongst his concerns about the loss of rights following BREXIT are the rights to study in Europe and the constitutional arrangements in the North of Ireland.
Fergal McFerran attended the High Court in London today to hear the opening legal arguments and said:
“Following today’s proceedings, I remain convinced of the strength and merit of our argument that the process of leaving the European Union should face the scrutiny of Parliament. Generations of young people, who, let’s remind ourselves have had no say in the decision to leave the EU will face the implications of the outcome of the referendum for years to come. From my perspective it’s vital that we ensure the Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament at every stage of the Brexit process. The Government are currently trying to deny us that accountability, my hope is that the Courts demand it.”
Contact: Darragh Mackin firstname.lastname@example.org
KRW LAW LLP
3rd Floor, The Sturgen Building
9 – 15 Queen Street
Tel: 028 9024 1888