Leading law firm, Mishcon de Reya is challenging UK Government to ensure proper parliamentary involvement in any Article 50 process to trigger Brexit.
Kasra Nouroozi, Partner, Mishcon de Reya said:
We must ensure that the Government follows the correct process to have legal certainty and protect the UK Constitution and the sovereignty of Parliament in these unprecedented circumstances.
The result of the Referendum is not in doubt, but we need a process that follows UK law to enact it. The outcome of the Referendum itself is not legally binding and for the current or future Prime Minister to invoke Article 50 without the approval of Parliament is unlawful.
We must make sure this is done properly for the benefit of all UK citizens. Article 50 simply cannot be invoked without a full debate and vote in Parliament.
Everyone in Britain needs the Government to apply the correct constitutional process and allow Parliament to fulfil its democratic duty which is to take into account the results of the Referendum along with other factors and make the ultimate decision.
Anyone wishing to support the legal action to ensure that the UK Constitution is upheld in this process should email Article50@mishcon.com.
Mishcon de Reya have produced some useful Q&As here:
Q. WHAT LEGAL STEPS HAVE YOU TAKEN SO FAR?
A. We have been in correspondence with government lawyers since 27 June seeking assurances as to the Government’s intentions as regards Article 50 and their view as to what legal process is required under our constitution in order for a valid decision to serve notice of withdrawal to be made.
Q. WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
A. We are waiting to see the Government’s position. If there is no agreement it will be a matter for the Court to determine in due course.
Q. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
A. If the correct constitutional process of parliamentary scrutiny and approval, consultation with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Ireland and with the Welsh Assembly followed by an Act of Parliament is not adhered to then the notice to withdraw from the EU would be unlawful and open to legal challenge, negatively impacting the withdrawal negotiations and our future political and economic relationships with the EU.
Q. WHO ARE YOUR CLIENTS?
A. A group of concerned British citizens who want to ensure that the correct constitutional process is applied and that Parliament is able to fulfill its democratic duty.
Q. WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS?
A. That is a confidential matter between our clients and us.
Q. WHY IS THE GROUP REMAINING ANONYMOUS?
A. The number of parties supporting the group is growing by the minute. In the event that any court proceedings become necessary, our clients will be identified.
Q. DOES THIS NOT GO AGAINST THE WILL OF THE 17M VOTERS WHO VOTED OUT?
A. Nobody is interested in ignoring or overturning the views expressed in the Referendum, which demonstrated that the UK population is deeply divided. But the public have been misled on the outcome of the Referendum being legally binding and the ability of the current or future Prime Minister to invoke Article 50 without the approval of Parliament.
Q. SURELY THIS IS JUST SOUR GRAPES BY SOME INDIVIDUALS WHO DID NOT LIKE THE OUTCOME?
A. Not at all. It is important to make sure this is done properly for the benefit of all UK citizens and Article 50 simply cannot be invoked without a full debate and vote in Parliament.
Q. DO YOU NOT HAVE FAITH IN THE POLITICIANS THAT THEY WILL ENSURE THIS GOES THROUGH PARLIAMENT?
A. The decision to trigger Article 50 under the UK Constitution rests with the representatives of the people – Members of Parliament and of the devolved Governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Welsh Assembly. It is their job to take into account the results of the Referendum along with other factors and make the ultimate decision.
Q. WILL THIS ACTION NOT DIVIDE THE COUNTRY FURTHER GIVEN THERE IS A GROUP WHO ARE TRYING TO UNDO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE?
A. Nobody is trying to undo the will of the people. It is one of the considerations that Parliament must take into account when they vote, along with many other issues including those who might have since changed their minds and the knock on effects on the UK splitting with a further Scottish referendum. Making sure the correct process is followed is essential to ensure future unity.