UK government must disclose legal arguments on article 50 procedure

Series Title
Series Details 28.09.16
Publication Date 28/09/2016
Content Type

In a preliminary victory for those challenging the right of the United Kingdom to trigger the Article 50 procedure for the UK to start the negotiations to leave the EU, the high court judge, Mr Justice Cranston, swept aside on the 28 September 2016 restrictions on publishing official documents before the hearing being planned on 13 October 2016 in a case brought by the People's Challenge.

John Halford of Bindmans LLP representing the group said:

'The Court’s Order allows a floodlight to be shone on the government’s secret reasons for believing it alone can bring about Brexit without any meaningful parliamentary scrutiny. Those who were unsettled by the Government’s insistence on its defence being kept secret, will now be surprised by the contents, including submissions that Brexit has nothing constitutionally to do with the Scottish and Northern Ireland devolved governments, that Parliament ‘clearly understood’ it was surrendering any role it might have in Brexit by passing the EU Referendum Act, that it has no control over making and withdrawal from treaties and that individuals can have fundamental rights conferred by Acts of Parliament stripped away if and when the executive withdraws from the treaties on which they are based. These arguments will be tested in Court next month, but now they can be debated by the public too'.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Brexit: Legal steps seek to ensure Commons vote on Article 50
Bindmans: News, 28.09.16: People’s Challenge group win right to publish secret Government Defence in Brexit case
Politico, 29.09.16: UK releases ‘secret’ Brexit documents after court order
Crowd Justice: People's Challenge to the Government on Art. 50: A Parliamentary Prerogative
EUObserver, 29.09.16: UK releases legal arguments on Article 50

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