Court of Appeal reserves judgment on Brexit case brought by anonymous applicant

Patricia Coyle
Patricia Coyle

The Court of Appeal in Belfast has reserved judgment on an appeal from an anonymous applicant arguing that the UK cannot leave the EU if it results in the imposition of a hard border.

Patricia Coyle, solicitor at Harte Coyle Collins, is representing “JR83”, whose case was dismissed by the High Court last Thursday.

The applicant, who lives in Derry, is arguing that the Prime Minister and Brexit Secretary have already broken the law by pursuing a no-deal Brexit strategy in breach of section 10 of the Withdrawal Act 2018.

The UK is also prevented from leaving the EU, with or without a deal, in circumstances that would result in a hard border because of the same legislative provision as well as the European Convention on Human Rights, the applicant argues.

Ms Coyle said: “The Withdrawal Act 2018 became law in September 2018. Our client argues that section 10 of this Act, together with the ECHR, protects the invisible border and relative peace we have enjoyed in Northern Ireland for the past 20 years.

“Our client argues that both the Act and the European Convention also protect the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement. As our senior counsel Barry MacDonald QC submitted to the Court of Appeal yesterday, we are trying to extinguish the fuse on a stick of dynamite which has been lit and placed under the Good Friday Agreement.

“On behalf of our client, we submitted to the court that the judicial review judge was wrong in his judgement on the 12th September 2019 that this case is about politics and that the courts in Northern Ireland should not interfere. This case is about the rule of law and the fact that the Prime Minster and Brexit Secretary have already broken the law.”

The Court of Appeal will hand down judgment in the case before the end of September.

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