A legal challenge to block Brexit has been scrapped
A group led by British barrister Jolyon Maugham QC had raised £70,000 in an attempt to stop Brexit via the Irish High Court.
But after a lack of support from the Irish government, as well as cost and timing issues, the challenge has been scrapped.
Mr Maugham had planned to raise questions about the legitimacy of Article 50 and highlight the fate of EU nationals already in Britain.
But he said it was “clear Ireland does not want” to try to block Brexit, despite being the country most likely to be affected by the EU divorce.
He said in a statement: “Sometimes you try and you do not succeed. With regret, we have agreed between us and with Ireland that the litigation should be discontinued.”
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According to a new index, the EU27 countries fall into three groups: hard-core, hard and soft. These are the countries with the highest scores which indicate a fairly strong opposition to Britain’s position
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He said it was “apparent” the Irish Fine Gael government, which is currently in the process of determining its next leader following the resignation announcement of Enda Kenny, was not interested in getting involved.
Mr Maugham said: “A number of matters have become apparent. In particular, it is clear that Ireland does not want a reference to the Court of Justice in Luxembourg of the questions in the proceedings.
"This stance surprised me. I believed that the Ireland would want to act mindful of the law rather than in the dark. But, surprising or not, it has consequences.”
He said this snub had fatal knock-on effects for his campaign’s timing and costs.
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Despite this defeat, Mr Maugham said it was still possible to block Brexit.
He said: “What does our decision to discontinue the litigation mean? It does not mean Brexit is inevitable.
TWITTER / JOLYON MAUGHAM
Jolyon Maugham said Brexit could still be blocked
The challenge would have highlighted issues within the Article 50 bill
“I think it was right to make the bold decision to seek the answers we need. We knew there was no guarantee of success. But we were right to try.
“It’s now up to all of us to take our love of our country and our optimism that there is a positive way forward and channel it to protect, Brexit or no Brexit, the values we care about.”