Mishcon destroys government in High Court Brexit battle
04 November 2016
The government has been defeated by anti-Brexit campaigners represented by Mishcon de Reya, Bindmans and Edwin Coe after the High Court ruled that it cannot trigger Article 50 without Parliament's authority.
Government lawyers argued that when Parliament passed the European Communities Act in 1972, it implicitly gave permission to the government to withdraw from it at any time in the future, without further parliamentary involvement.
But Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales ruled that the government had given "no value
" to the "powerful constitutional principle
" put forward by the claimants that, unless Parliament legislates explicitly to the contrary, the government "should not have the power to vary the law of the land by the exercise of its prerogative powers
Concluding that the government's argument was "flawed at this basic level
", the judges ruled that the "wide and profound
" extent of the legal changes in domestic law created when the UK joined the EU made it "especially unlikely that Parliament intended to leave their continued existence in the hands of the Crown
". The government has said it will appeal to the Supreme Court.
||"If all else fails we'll appeal to the ECJ to overrule our sovereign parliament"
Ironically, some Brexiters are enraged by the High Court's stout defence of the UK's parliamentary sovereignty. Nigel Farage paused long enough between Trump rallies to tweet that the judges "have no idea the level of public anger they will provoke
". Richard Tice, co-chairman of Brexit pressure group 'Leave Means Leave' said it was "disgraceful
" and that the need for a vote in Parliament "betrays the democratic will of the people
In a statement Mishcon said it was "pleased
," and that if the government appeals, "We expect the Supreme Court to uphold this very clear decision