English Democrats leader starts High Court battle to prove UK has ALREADY left the EU on March 29 and further Brexit negotiations are pointless
- Robin Tilbrook said Theresa May’s extension to the Brexit date was ‘null and void’
- He said he had asked for the High Court to hear the case on an expedited basis
- The English Democrats leader said Britain would be out of the EU on WTO terms
Robin Tilbrook, pictured, has launched a High Court battle claiming that the UK has already left the EU
The leader of the English Democrats has launched a High Court battle claiming that the UK has already left the EU.
Robin Tilbrook argues that Britain left the union on March 29 as originally planned, saying the PM’s extension was not legally valid.
The legal bid will be seen as a Brexiteer equivalent to Gina Miller’s battle with the Government over triggering Article 50 in 2016.
Speaking to MailOnline last night Mr Tilbrook said the argument that Britain had already left was ‘very strong’.
In the judicial review application, the English Democrats argue that Mrs May did not have the power to extend the exit date past March 29.
‘Her purported request for an extension of the date of departure and the Government’s purported agreement to such an extension is and was unlawful and is and was null and void,’ the legal argument reads.
Parliament’s website asserts that the Commons and Lords agreed a legally valid extension to the original date.
Mr Tilbrook said: ‘What we’re hoping to achieve with it is a declaration that we’re already out. If you’ve read it, you can see that the argument’s very strong.
‘We’ve done it all, we started a month or so ago. We’ve served all the paperwork in advance and we’ve issued it today.
‘I fully expect it to be heard fairly soon. I’ve asked the High Court for it to be heard on an expedited basis. I think the argument’s strong that we’re out.
The English Democrats argue in their legal application that Theresa May (pictured last night) did not have the power to extend the exit date past March 29
‘The Government’s proceeding on the basis that we’re still in. We’re saying that’s not the case. If there’s a declaration from the High Court that we’re out, the Government’s got a new reality to deal with.’
The legal argument was posted online next to a donation button for the English Democrats but Mr Tilbrook insisted the High Court battle was ‘not an electioneering position’.
He said: ‘What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to raise money, obviously bringing a case like this is enormously expensive and we’re trying to raise money for the case.
‘We asked people to help us to bring a case, we have brought a case and we’re going to pursuit it.
‘The whole point of our case is that we’re out. This isn’t an electioneering position, this is a legal case.
‘We’re all pretty confident that our legal case is a strong one.’
If the case is successful then the UK will be outside the EU on WTO trading terms, Mr Tilbrook said.
He went on: ‘I don’t think from a standing start people on the Leave side were arguing for leaving on WTO terms.
‘What we thought we would get if we negotiated properly was some sort of arrangement and agreement with the EU.
‘But the negotiations have been conducted in a way that I’d certainly hope any provincial solicitor would have done a better job of it.’
Gina Miller launched her high-profile legal challenge in 2016, saying that Parliament had to approve the triggering of Article 50.
The High Court and later the Supreme Court both found in her favour, forcing MPs to vote on the formal start of the Brexit process.
Ms Miller has since become a prominent advocate of a second referendum on Brexit.
TAP – I have a copy of the 39 page Court application from Robin Tilbrook. This is for real and is a very strong case.
Essentially the Government tried to delay Brexit from coming into force by amending The Withdrawal Act 2018, which is not the Act which specifies the date of Britain’s exit from the EU. It is not the Act which complies with the requirements of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
The 2018 Withdrawal Act was a supplementary Act which only specifies details of which European Laws will cease to apply on ‘exit day’, and which will not cease to apply due to their being incorporated into British law. It is titled as ‘An Act to repeal The European Communities Act 1972 and make other provision in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.’
The date of the application of the 2018 Act could only be amended to match alterations in the date of Brexit which must be made by addressing the 2017 Act, as that is the Act which complies with the requirements of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
The Government could only change the date of Brexit through complying with the terms of The Withdrawal Act 2017, in fact by superseding it with a new Act. Article 50 specifies that the withdrawing country must comply with its own constitutional requirements. The 2017 Withdrawal Act only empowers the Prime Minister to notify Britain’s withdrawal under Article 50. There is no provision within the Act for any extension to be made by the Prime Minister. Another Act Of Parliament was required if the date was to be delayed. Yet there wasn’t one. So the delay negotiated by British officials is Ultra Vires, null and void.
The Government’s other attempt to get round the requirement for an Act Of Parliament was to claim that the extension to Brexit Day was being made under the Royal Prerogative. This flies in the face of the recent decision R (on the application of Miller and another) – v – Secretary for Exiting The European Union (2017) which held that the Withdrawal Statute fully displaced any residual rights to use prerogative powers.
This looks like an open and shut case.
The Government is trying to shut the door on it as quickly and aggressively as it can, by stating that the request is for a Judicial Review of the actions of a government officer but that no specific action has as yet been provided in the claim which can be reviewed. This is a weak line to be taking as there are a few such actions which can be detailed by the applicant.