‘Hard Brexit’ taken to High Court, as EU citizens still in the dark about negotiations (VIDEO)
Businesswoman and philanthropist Gina Miller, hairdresser Deir dos Santos, and a group called People’s Challenge are contesting the PM’s right to trigger Article 50 without prior parliamentary consultation.
“Our case is not against Brexit. It is about ensuring parliamentary sovereignty is maintained and not usurped by Theresa May and her government”, People’s Challenge founder Grahame Pigney said in a written statement to RT.
“Some 37 percent of the electorate voted for Leave in what was an advisory referendum. Now the government is saying that the most important decision of a lifetime has nothing to do with parliament and is for Theresa May to make using ancient remnants of the royal prerogative.
“Nobody in the government is speaking up for those who voted to Remain, nor for the rest of the UK population many of whom did not even have a chance to vote. It is for parliament to speak up for those people and protect their futures and livelihoods plus making sure that their rights are not used as bargaining chips in the negotiations with the EU.
“We are making the case in court for the UK’s sovereign parliament to make the decisions and to give the government a mandate on the how, when and under what conditions Article 50 will be triggered.”
Europeans in Britain have also complained that despite it having been four months since the EU referendum results were announced, information on their situation in the country is still lacking. May’s slogan, “Brexit means Brexit” is yet to mean anything to the estimated 3 million EU nationals living across the UK.
“The problem is that nothing has been done so far,” Jacek Olender, who is from Katowice, Poland, but resides in the UK, told RT.
“I would like to see some programs, some ideas ... Nothing [has] been done. There’s been only talk, that’s being harsher and harsher but that’s all. So I would like to finally see something done so I know what is going on.”
The PhD researcher added the Brexit decision had left him “devastated personally” and that as a scientist he could still not accept it. “With borders, with migration curbing, with all of that it’s just harder to make good science.”
High Court judges heard on Thursday how Miller had received “abuse, threats and insults” after starting her high-profile legal challenge to May’s “hard Brexit.”
The referendum on Britain’s European Union membership held on June 23 this year saw a record 72 percent turnout at the ballot box. Nearly 52 percent (17,410,742) of British voters opted to leave the Union, while only 48 percent (16,141,241) voted to stay.
EU citizens agreed that while the will of the British people has to be respected, the Commons should have a say.
“I still think the government has to follow what the people have voted even if I don’t like it, but I think it has to have some kind of say in parliament. It cannot go only through the Prime Minister because that’s killing one part of the legislative system,” said the father of one Ruben de Dios Armesto, who also resides in the UK, but is from Spain.
“I think it’s basic accountability – and if not we are moving more and more towards a dictatorship in which the Prime Minister does whatever she wants without consulting the Parliament.”
Government lawyers argued that the case put forward by Miller, the People’s Challenge and their supporters“could not give effect to the will and decision of the people, as clearly expressed in the referendum, to withdraw from the EU without further primary legislation.”
“The country voted to leave the EU in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament,” said the Government’s leading law officer Attorney General Jeremy Wright.
"There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum. The result should be respected and the Government intends to do just that."
Due to the nature and urgency of the case at hand any subsequent appeals are expected to be taken directly to the Supreme Court before the end of the year.