Gov­ern­ment fac­ing new Brexit court case

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By REUTERS in Lon­don

Op­po­nents to Bri­tain leav­ing the Euro­pean Union will launch a fresh le­gal ac­tion this week, which could fur­ther ham­per Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s Brexit plans, The Sunday Times re­ported.

The news­pa­per said cam­paign­ers will write to the UK gov­ern­ment on Mon­day say­ing they are tak­ing it to the High Court in an ef­fort to keep Bri­tain in the sin­gle mar­ket.

It said the claimants will seek a ju­di­cial re­view in an at­tempt to give law­mak­ers a new power of veto over the terms on which Bri­tain leaves the EU.

They ar­gue the gov­ern­ment “has no man­date” to with­draw from the sin­gle mar­ket be­cause it was not on the ref­er­en­dum bal­lot pa­per on June 23 and was not part of the rul­ing Con­ser­va­tive Party’s man­i­festo for the 2015 gen­eral elec­tion.

May has said she wants to in­voke Ar­ti­cle 50 of the EU’s Lis­bon Treaty by the end of March, kick­ing off up to two years of exit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

How­ever, the High Court ruled last month that Ar­ti­cle 50 can­not be trig­gered without Par­lia­ment’s as­sent. That rul­ing is be­ing chal­lenged by the gov­ern­ment in Bri­tain’s Supreme Court.

The Sunday Times said the new case hangs on whether the gov­ern­ment would also have to trig­ger an­other le­gal mea­sure — Ar­ti­cle 127 of the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area agree­ment — in order to quit the sin­gle mar­ket.

It said min­is­ters ar­gue Bri­tain au­to­mat­i­cally ex­its the sin­gle mar­ket when it quits the EU. But, it said if the claimants win the new case, the gov­ern­ment would have to gain the ap­proval of law­mak­ers.

A group of Bri­tish and Ir­ish lawyers are also seek­ing to chal­lenge Bri­tain’s de­ci­sion to leave the EU in the Ir­ish High Court to try to es­tab­lish if Brexit can be re­versed once di­vorce talks have been trig­gered.

Pro-Brexit crit­ics have cast the le­gal bat­tles as an at­tempt to thwart the re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum.

Our goal is to turn the com­pany into a first-rate high-ef­fi­ciency clean en­ergy sup­plier.” Li Xiy­ong, chair­man of Yankuang Group

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