Brexit in court. It's politics stupid

Disagreeing with the anti-Brexit court cases has nothing to do with disrespect of the legal system. It is opposition to the courts being a playground for the rich to obstruct the democratic process. Still, Tony Blair is in on the anti-Brexit act. So there shuould be a surge in pro-Brexit sentiment

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Politics weighs heavily over Brexit
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Matthew Ellery
On 12 January 2017 10:23

"This case was about process, not politics," said Gina Miller on the High Court steps after succeeding in her judicial review against the Government. Nothing could have been further from the truth. This was politics, nothing more, nothing less.

Rather than having a genuine belief in legal process, the people behind these court cases are merely using this country’s legal system as a convenient conduit for their agenda.

It may have been possible at one point to argue the Brexit challengers were bringing these cases out of a sense of public duty, but over recent months this veneer of respectability has been destroyed. We now have not one, not two, but three legal challenges to try and stifle Brexit in one form or another, and more cases in the pipeline.

The most famous challenge to date is unquestionably the Supreme Court case – spearheaded by Gina Miller – appealed from the High Court, after it held that a vote in Parliament was needed to trigger Article 50.

The decision in the Supreme Court case is expected to be delivered in the next month and has been intertwined with the unsuccessful challenge in Belfast, relating to whether Northern Ireland has a right to veto Article 50 under the Good Friday Agreement.

Despite winning the High Court case and being favourites to win in the Supreme Court, this still doesn’t appear to be enough for those attempting to block Brexit. Why?

Because the Brexit challengers know that even if the Supreme Court rules in their favour this month, it will not make one jot of difference. The vast majority of politicians in this country have said they will respect the decision made in the EU Referendum and vote for Article 50, rendering this attempt to block Brexit fruitless. Realising this, the Brexit-blockers have lodged further legal challenges.

One of these challenges is to take place in the Republic of Ireland. After receiving £70,000 through crowdfunding, Jolyon Maugham QC is bringing an action in the Irish High Court against the Irish Government, as the Irish courts are more likely to send cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This is the same Jolyon Maugham who crowdfunded the Gina Miller case.

The case will revolve around whether an Article 50 notification can be overturned at a future date. The Court of Justice of the European Union could get involved as it could be considered a matter of EU law, rather than domestic law.

It is quite clear the Irish High Court case is simply about politics and trying to reverse the EU Referendum result.

If it wasn’t about reversing the result, then why would these actions even exist? They are simply challenges to attempt to delay, cause uncertainty and create scope for political backtracking.

Gina Miller is also back to seek more publicity – however altruistic she claims her actions are when interviewed by the media. She is even planning another challenge if Parliament simply passes a resolution, rather than an Act of Parliament, as a resolution – unlike an Act – does not have to go through the House of Lords.

Why does she want it to go through the House of Lords? Because it has a huge ‘Remain’ voting majority, which is not really surprising, as Lords are members of the Establishment, appointed by their Establishment mates.

What an irony it would be for the unelected House of Lords to thwart the will of the Great British Public. Turkeys and Christmas come to mind.

But it seems a repositioning is afoot, with the Lord Speaker now claiming the Lords will not block Article 50. Perhaps the suggestion of flooding the Lords with hundreds of peers and possible reform has frightened them into a more conciliatory position.

The most spurious of these challenges, however, is the most recent – brought by pro-EU campaign British Influence – of whom Peter Mandelson is a former Co-President.

They have lodged proceedings in the High Court, arguing the UK will remain within the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit.

To leave the EEA – British Influence claim – Article 127 of the EEA agreement must also be invoked, and therefore leaving the EU is not enough.

For once, both the Government and the European Commission agree that this argument is incorrect – leaving the EU means leaving the EEA. It is clear this pro-EU group will stop at nothing to get EU membership by the backdoor, and will try and trample over the Referendum result in the process.

But attempts to block Brexit aren’t solely confined to legal challenges, as now we hear our reviled former Prime Minister Tony Blair is pumping £9.3 million into an organisation which aims to block Brexit. On a positive note, the nauseating interference from a deeply unpopular politician like Blair is likely to convert even more voters to the Brexit cause. This can only be a good thing.

We must of course respect the legal process, but disagreeing with these court cases has nothing to do with disrespect of the legal system. It is opposition to the courts being a playground for the rich to obstruct the democratic process. We at Get Britain Out believe the courts are there to ensure justice, not to be a theatre for wannabe politicians and those who wish to enhance their profiles. 


Matthew Ellery is a Research Executive at Get Britain Out

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