Two new legal challenges aimed at preventing a “hard” Brexit are to be launched this January, with the Irish courts set to hear an appeal on whether Brexit can be reversed and a claim being brought in London arguing that the UK should stay in the European Economic Area (“EEA”).
In Ireland, the claim, headed by Jolyon Maugham QC, a London tax specialist, will be made referring to an appeal made to the EU’s highest tribunal on whether the process of Brexit is reversible. The claim has raised nearly £70,000 through crowdfunding, comprising largely of £50 or less donations. Maugham will argue that Article 50 (which once triggered starts the formal process by which the UK will leave the EU) can be reversed if a country changes its mind and decides not to leave the bloc.
In London, the High Court is set to hear a claim brought by two sets of claimants, who will argue that the UK must stay in the EEA. The claimants will argue that parliamentary approval should be required in order to quit the EEA, and will point to Article 127 of the EEA agreement which provides that the UK must give at least 12 months’ notice before leaving. The claimants assert that this therefore implies that a separate departure process must be followed to that contained in Article 50 of the EU treaty, and so parliamentary approval must be required for both decisions.
Meanwhile, in a matter of days the Supreme Court will announce its decision on the appeal brought by the government that parliament must vote on triggering Article 50.