Friday 21 July 2017

High-profile Brexit legal challenge struck out by Irish court

Steven Agnew
Steven Agnew

Tim Healy

A LEGAL challenge initiated in the Irish courts with a view to halting Brexit is not proceeding, the High Court heard yesterday.

The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, was told by Maurice Collins SC, for the State, and Martin Hayden SC, for the plaintiffs, that the action could be struck out on consent of the sides with no order.

The judge struck out the case which was initiated by British barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, along with Northern Ireland Green Party leader and MLA Steven Agnew, Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and Green Party MEP for the south-east of England Keith Taylor.

The proceedings were aimed at establishing if Britain could halt Brexit after triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

The plaintiffs wanted the High Court to refer issues in the case for determination by the Court of Justice of the EU.

They sought various declarations or interpretations of the Treaties of the EU, including a declaration that Article 50, once triggered, could be unilaterally revoked by the UK government.

Ireland and the Attorney General had entered a conditional and without prejudice appearance before the High Court to contest the action and they asked that the issue of jurisdiction to be decided first.

Mr Justice Kelly earlier this month had fixed May 31 to make directions for resolution of various issues related to jurisdiction.

He previously remarked that, if the State succeeded in what it described as its "knockout blow" to the challenge, that would be the end of the matter.

Among the issues raised by the State were whether the High Court here had any power to grant the relief sought against the State defendants, and why the case was brought here.

Irish Independent

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