The UK in EU Challenge claimants have today [Monday 10 September 2018] published the Government’s Summary Grounds of Resistance, their reply and supplementary questions for the Prime Minister’s lawyers and asked the High Court to expedite a hearing in the case of Susan Wilson and others versus the Prime Minister.
The challenge focuses on the fact that the executive decision to invoke Article 50 was made with incomplete information about serious Leave campaign illegalities and that the Government has continued to disregard the impact of these now proven illegalities on the democratic process.
The move comes on the same day Parliament will debate a petition - ‘Rescind Art.50 if Vote Leave has broken Electoral Laws regarding 2016 referendum’ - which is based on the same legal premise.
The UK in EU Challenge has been brought by a group of British citizens living in EU countries who, through a combination of private money and an ongoing crowdfunding drive to cover legal costs, are asking the High Court to find on two issues that could fundamentally alter the Brexit process:
1) That the Referendum result is invalid as a result of illegal practice by the Leave campaign (as proven beyond reasonable doubt by the Electoral Commission)
2) That the Referendum result cannot be relied upon to be the ‘will of the people’ because voters were influenced by the Leave campaign’s fraudulent behaviour
Sue Wilson, lead claimant and chair of Bremain in Spain, said: “We took the decision to publish the Summary Grounds of Resistance and our response in order to provide complete transparency about the challenge and the repercussions of the Vote Leave campaign for members of the public.
“We must be able to trust in the democratic process and to be sure that votes and power can’t be bought. If the Prime Minister was aware of the allegations of cheating during the Referendum at the time she sent her letter giving notice for the UK to withdraw from the EU – as appears to be the case here – she needs to be held accountable. I hope that the Court will now give us permission to proceed with this important claim.”
Claimant Carole-Anne Richards added: “The Government wants to have its cake and eat it. It says that the decision to invoke Article 50 was because the Referendum vote gave it a mandate, but also says its decision to invoke should not be subject to legal challenge because the Referendum was 'advisory' and not mandatory. Clearly it can’t have it both ways.”
A decision from the High Court about whether the claim can proceed is expected within the next week. If permission is granted, a full hearing is likely to take place in October.
Rupert Croft, managing director of Croft Solicitors, which are acting for the claimants, said: “The next step is for a High Court Judge to decide how the case should proceed. We have requested that a hearing is listed on an expedited basis to decide the claim. We believe that the claim is of significant constitutional importance, but, unless it’s heard quickly, there’s a risk it will become academic.”
Elinore Grayson, another UK in EU Challenge claimant, said: “This case strikes at the heart of democracy. Our reply to the Government’s Summary Grounds shows how resolute we are in our belief that the Referendum result must be revisited in light of the Leave campaign’s illegal campaign activity. We await the High Court’s findings with optimism that the right decision will be made.”
For further information, please visit: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/ukineuchallenge/
Media contact: Sarah Hall at Sarah Hall Consulting Ltd on 07702 162 704 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
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