Brexit challenges inch closer to full hearing
The issues particular to Northern Ireland in the two Brexit challenges before the High Court in Belfast will be heard at the hearing on 4-5 October, a judge has ruled.
Challenges are brought by Raymond McCord, a victims’ rights campaigner whose son was killed by loyalist paramilitaries in 1997, and a cross-community group of MLAs.
Their challenges were before the senior judicial review judge, Mr Justice Maguire, again yesterday, and an agreed list of the issues particular to Northern Ireland were set out before court.
Speaking afterwards, Mr McCord said: “Brexit is like marriage whereby if the wife wants to sell the house, she requires the husband’s consent.
“What I mean by this is that the British Prime Minister is saying that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ but what she has to understand is that she requires the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.
“We voted to remain within the European Union and our vote should count for something. I also believe that the Prime Minister should seek the consent of Parliament before invoking Article 50.”
Solicitor Ciaran O’Hare of McIvor Farrell Solicitors, representing Mr McCord, added: “We are a devolved nation and we say that there cannot be any Brexit when this clearly would be at odds with the majority vote in Northern Ireland.
“Essentially, any fundamental change to the Constitution of Northern Ireland requires the mandate of the people.
“We welcome today’s ruling and look forward to making robust legal arguments in court next week.”
Last week, a Notice of Devolution was served on Attorney General John Larkin QC and the Executive Office.
Both Mr McCord and the MLAs agreed that the Attorney General should become involved in the proceedings.