UK in EU Challenge Considers Appeal Against High Court Ruling
Yesterday afternoon, Mr Justice Ouseley ruled against the case of Susan Wilson and others versus the Prime Minister, having deferred his judgement at Friday’s oral hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice.
In court, QC Jessica Simor argued that the case is of grave constitutional importance, and that the British public needs to have faith in the rule of law and democracy.
Simor maintained that Vote Leave's established illegalities mean the electorate can no longer be expected to respect the referendum result. She highlighted as “irrational” Theresa May’s repeated refusals to acknowledge the illegalities.
Her colleague, Patrick Green QC, added that “this was not the referendum that Parliament specified when the statutory spending limits were breached”.
However, Mr Justice Ouseley supported the argument by Sir James Eadie QC, acting for the government – i.e. that the claim was out of time.
Susan Wilson, lead claimant and chair of Bremain in Spain, says: “While I'm obviously disappointed with this ruling, this challenge is far from over. We're working through the judgement and considering an appeal. However, this is a costly course of action and we are reliant on crowdfunding support."
“The court has heard facts about Vote Leave's repeated illegal payments and how the funds were directed to influence the referendum result. For the court to let this matter pass indicates a shocking level of tolerance for illegal behaviour in our democratic process. It would be a mistake to deny this level of wrongdoing and its very real impact."
She adds: “Throughout the case, the government has aggressively countered our claims, despite the detailed findings of the Electoral Commission and evidence from expert witnesses. In doing so, the government has shown a blatant disregard for democratic values."
“The UK in EU Challenge team would like to thank our legal advisers at Croft Solicitors, our barristers - Jessica Simor QC, Patrick Green QC, Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Adam Wagner and Reanne MacKenzie - and the wider team for all the hard work. Even more importantly, we would like to thank the many people whose contribution to our crowdfunding campaign has enabled this action.”
Representing the claimants, Croft Solicitors successfully acted on behalf of parties in the original Article 50 case. Rupert Croft comments: “Obviously, this is a disappointing result and we need time to consider the position and align what we believe are the merits of our case with what is in the judgement before making a decision about next steps.”
Sue Wilson concludes: "Regardless of whether we decide to proceed with the UK in EU Challenge and launch an appeal, we are still in good spirits over the ECJ ruling this morning - i.e. that Article 50 is revocable. We believe this makes a further referendum more likely. At the very least, our case has ensured that any future referendum will be under stricter scrutiny against illegal activity. That alone counts as a win in my book."
For detailed information on the UK in EU Challenge:
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Notes for editors
For further information please contact
Sue Wilson, Chair
Tel: + 34 696 056 328
Deputy Press Officer
Tel: + 44 7549 504281
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