NI: Legal challenge to argue Johnson ‘acted in bad faith’ on Brexit

NI: Legal challenge to argue Johnson 'acted in bad faith' on Brexit

Patricia Coyle

A fresh legal challenge will see judges in Belfast asked to rule on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted in bad faith and for improper purpose in relation to Brexit.

An anonymous litigant is seeking a declaration that the prime minister’s decision to sign the Withdrawal Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol in January was made for improper purposes and was an act done in bad faith.

His solicitor, Patricia Coyle of Harte Coyle Collins, said: “The publicly available evidence which my client relies upon in claiming bad faith on the part of the prime minister was identified in pre-action correspondence which went to the prime minister on the 19th September 2020. He did not address this evidence in his response to us. My client can only conclude that there is no good answer to it.

“This supports our client’s argument that the prime minister signed the Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol without ever intending he should be bound by it. If that is correct and the court adjudicates so, then his actions were unlawful, insofar as he has frustrated the intention of Parliament.

“Our client also argues that the prime minister’s decision to sign that agreement amounted to an exercise of the royal prerogative for improper purposes, or which was otherwise in bad faith.

“Our client’s view is that it is both appropriate and open to the High Court in Belfast to make a declaration to this effect, for a variety of reasons, including that doing so is the most appropriate way to vindicate the rule of law and to ensure that the prime minister does not avoid the legal consequences flowing from the alleged illegality of his actions.”

Share icon
Share this article: