The following press release was sent to a small number of journalists this afternoon.
PRESS RELEASE. EMBARGOED UNTIL 10PM GMT on 9 DECEMBER 2016
Brexit litigation to commence in the Irish Courts.
This evening at 10pm, leading barrister and campaigner on tax and politics Jolyon Maugham QC will launch a bid to crowdfund £70,000 in grassroots donations to cover the costs of an action in the Irish High Court which will aim to establish whether an Article 50 notification sent by the UK would be revocable at a future date.
The Defendants will be the Irish State, the Council and the Commission and the anticipated plaintiffs will be UK MEPs. 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.
Jolyon Maugham QC 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.”
These steps have been taken following advice from the leading Dublin firm, McGarr Solicitors, and Senior Counsel – equivalent to UK QCs – at the Irish Bar.
You can read here a copy of a Statement of Claim – the operative part of the formal document that will commence the claim – settled by Joseph Dalby SC.
You can read the Crowd Justice bid – which outlines in greater detail the case for taking these steps – here.