Brexit: Invocation of Article 50 by Prime Minister challenged

London, July 9 (IANS) The first legal action against Brexit — Britain exiting European Union (EU) — by a private citizen has been scheduled for July 19 on behalf of a hairdresser.

Lawyers representing Deir Dos Santos, a British citizen, have lodged a judicial review challenge. It would argue that triggering Article 50 — formally beginning the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU — can only be done with Parliament’s approval and not just by the Prime Minister, The Independent reported on Saturday.

The majority of MPs in Parliament voted to remain in the EU and the lawsuit seeks to delay leaving the organisation.

Hairdresser Dos Santos was “just an ordinary guy”, his lawyer, Dominic Chambers QC, told the media, adding “If his rights are going to be taken away, he wants it done in a proper and lawful manner”.

“The purpose of a judicial review is to correct the executive when they have gone wrong. We say the executive will be abusing their powers if they give an Article 50 notification without the approval of Parliament,” The Independent quoted Chambers as saying.

The claim, reported in the Guardian, will argue: “The result of the referendum is not legally binding in the sense that it is advisory only and there is no obligation (on the government) to give effect to the referendum decision.”

However the Prime Minister has stated on numerous occasions that it is his intention to give effect to the referendum decision and organise Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

“The extract from the Prime Minister’s resignation speech… makes it clear that (the government) is of the view that the Prime Minister of the day has the power under article 50(2) of the Lisbon treaty to trigger article 50 without reference to parliament.”

But exiting the EU can only be done with the permission of the British Parliament, the claim said.

The government has acknowledged receipt of the claim but is highly likely to fight it.



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