BY JAMIE FOSTER
The Chairman of the English Democrats, Robin Tilbrook, is bringing a High Court case against the government in the next 5 to 6 weeks arguing that we have left the EU already. In a case that could have the impact of Gina Miller’s case against the government Tilbrook is arguing that Theresa May had the power to trigger a withdrawal from the EU but the Act of Parliament that gave her that power doesn’t contain any similar powers to amend the date of leaving. This would mean that the EU’s extension of the date for withdrawal is null and void and we actually left the EU on March 29th.
Mr Tilbrook said “We have a very strong legal case. I’m 80 to 90 percent confident we will be successful. Government lawyers have tried to rubbish our case, but I’ve not had any legal professional tell me we haven’t got an excellent chance of succeeding. Theresa May and her Government had no right to agree an extension to Brexit.”
Commenting on the specifics of the case, Mr Tilbrook added: “The notice was served and expired, so it means you are out. The Government served their notice under that Act of Parliament and if you look at the Act in question, it’s extremely short at 137 words. That only states the Prime Minister only had the power to serve notice to withdraw the UK from the EU, and nothing else.”
Government lawyers have commented on the case saying that it is totally without merit. They argue that the 2017 Act of Parliament that allowed for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU didn’t set a date and didn’t prevent the government amending the date. They say that if the Claimant is right it would mean the UK left the EU by accident against the understanding and intention of parliament and the member states.
If Mr Tilbrook’s case is successful it would be earth shattering. It would change the course of History. It is a case that has the potential to have even more of an effect than Gina Miller’s case. Gina Miller argued that the government didn’t have the right to trigger a withdrawal without consulting parliament and won in the High Court and the Supreme Court.
At first glance it does not look likely to succeed. Why? In short the withdrawal process is governed by EU law which allows for the amendment of withdrawal dates under certain circumstances. It is unlikely, albeit not impossible, that the court will be persuaded that once the notice to withdraw had been given there was nothing the government could do to amend it under any circumstances. Nonetheless it is for the court to decide the position and we cannot know for certain until the court has made its ruling.
Brexiteers should live in hope but not bet the mortgage on a Tilbrook win.