Jolyon Maugham says Article 50 may already be triggered
A second legal bid could soon be launched in a bid to derail Brexit, this time in Irish courts.
Jolyon Maugham QC, a British barrister who advised Ed Miliband on tax policy and is now campaigning for a second EU referendum, is attempting to raise stg£70,000 (€83,331) through crowdfunding.
He aims to bring an action in the Dublin High Court, in which he hopes to establish whether an Article 50 notification sent by the UK to Brussels could be overturned at a future date.
He is taking on the Irish Government, the European Council and the European Commission and he is hoping UK MEPs who want the UK to remain in the EU will spearhead his legal action.
The move follows the four-day hearing in the UK Supreme Court on an appeal by the UK government against a High Court ruling demanding more Article 50 scrutiny by the British parliament.
Mr Maugham, who wants another EU referendum because he claims many people who voted leave now regret doing so, claims Article 50 may, in fact, already have been triggered.
He says if it has been triggered then the Commission is in breach of its treaty duties through wrongly refusing to commence negotiations with the UK.
But if not, he says the European Council and Irish Government are in breach of their treaty duties in wrongly excluding the United Kingdom from European Council meetings.
"Put aside the legal niceties, what no one can dispute is that there are incredibly important questions to answer," said Mr Maugham.
"Should parliament control the terms on which we Brexit? Could we have a referendum on the final deal - or is the consequence of triggering Article 50 that we will leave the EU whatever the terms?
"By triggering Article 50, does the UK also leave the European Economic Area, or is there a separate decision to make about whether we remain in the EEA and Single Market?
"Everyone - those who voted leave and remain; the people and Government of Ireland - deserves to know the answer to these questions.
"People must plan their lives. Businesses need certainty to invest. The people of Ireland are entitled to a government that can work for the best possible future for Ireland.
"It's right that we all have the maximum certainty that the law can give. And referring these questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union is the only way to deliver that certainty."
Mr Maugham says he is launching his bid following advice from the McGarr Solicitors in Dublin and senior barristers at the Irish Bar.
He explains his reasons for going through the Irish courts.