NI: UK Supreme Court to hear arguments against Brexit for Northern Ireland

Ciaran O'Hare
Ciaran O’Hare

In an historic constitutional case, the UK Supreme Court will hear arguments on Monday that Brexit cannot be triggered without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.

Lawyers for victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord, who unsuccessfully challenged the Brexit process in the High Court in Belfast, are preparing to go to the UKSC after a question relating to devolution was referred by the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.

Mr McCord’s legal team - solicitor Ciaran O’Hare of McIvor Farrell Solicitors, junior counsel Conan Fegal BL and senior counsel Ronan Lavery QC - believe the case is one of the most important constitutional cases ever to come before the court.

Speaking ahead of Monday’s hearing, Mr O’Hare said: “This case is, in my view, the most important constitutional case that there has ever been in regards to Northern Ireland. I believe that there has never been a case that has tested the parameters of the Constitution of Northern Ireland as this case will. We have broken new ground and thus far successfully navigated unchartered territory.

“This case involves not only legal questions but also constitutional, historical and political issues. In many respects the two worlds of the legal profession and the academic world collide in this case.

“A well-respected Professor of Irish History at UCD, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, has provided us with his opinion in respect of our case and he says that our argument is right; and that is that only the people of Northern Ireland can change the Constitution of Northern Ireland. The British Government cannot impose something on Northern Ireland against the will of its people.

“We now look forward to making arguments in the Supreme Court next week. We believe it is a privilege to be involved in a case of such magnitude and although this is Mr McCord’s case, we are of the view that this case is representative of the people of Northern Ireland.”

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