A second legal challenge to Brexit has been launched. The full press statement from the claimants (Peter Wilding and Adrian Yalland) is below. This site has no connection with the action and this is being reproduced in order to create a link that can be placed on social media.
"STATEMENT FROM JOINT CLAIMANTS ON JUDICIAL REVIEW OF THE GOVERNMENT OVER ITS LEGAL POSITION ON UK MEMBERSHIP OF THE “SINGLE MARKET”
Peter Wilding and Adrian Yalland commence action in their Judicial Review of the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union over leaving the “single market” Peter Wilding and Adrian Yalland (“joint-claimants”) today confirm they have instructed lawyers to seek a judicial review of the Government’s legal position on membership of the European Economic Area (“EEA” - also known as “the single market”). Mr Wilding (52), solicitor, lecturer in European law, founder of the foreign affairs “re-think tank” British Influence, is a former Conservative media chief and author of “What Next? Britain’s future in Europe”. He was recently credited as being the origin of the word “Brexit” and was a vocal advocate for the UK to remain members of the EU. He fully accepts the referendum decision demands a new relationship with Europe. Mr Yalland (47) is a former adviser to the Magna Carta Trust, was an approved Parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party and works in a London-based law firm. He was a vocal advocate for leaving the EU but believes for any Government act to be legitimate, it must be both democratically mandated and lawfully applied. Each claimant has outlined their respective motivations for seeking this judicial review, which broadly overlap, but are not identical. Mr Wilding believes there is no need to leave the EEA in order to respect the referendum “red lines” and Mr Yalland believes the Government has no legal mandate to leave the EEA and could be acting illegally. Claimants’ Joint Legal Position: The action arises from the Government’s view that upon leaving the European Union, the UK automatically leaves the single market. This is a view which the joint claimants believe the Administrative Court, a division of the High Court, must test the legal basis of in order to ascertain if Parliament must vote to give consent on leaving the EEA. The UK are members of the single market through the EEA Agreement, which is designed to promote continuous and balanced trade and economic relations between the Contracting States. Under the EEA Agreement the UK is a contracting party in its own right and not simply because of its EU membership: the agreement was separately signed by the British Government and implemented by Parliament through the European Economic Area Act . The court will be asked to therefore determine a simple point of law – namely whether or not the Government's position, that the EEA Agreement simply falls away when we leave the EU, is correct. Using the Article 50 notice as a means to bring the EEA Agreement to an end undermines the UK’s EEA rights and obligations and will contradict the terms of that international agreement, which expressly provides for a separate act of voluntary withdrawal under Article 127. If the court agrees with us, then as Parliament ratified membership of the EEA in 1993, Parliament must also repeal that act and give permission for the Government to trigger Article 127. However, that can only be done after full consideration and debate on what terminating the EEA framework will mean for the UK’s future trading relationships. What Parliament chooses to do is a matter for Parliament, but withdrawal from the single market was not covered in the Referendum Act 2015 and was not a question the Referendum itself asked. There is therefore neither a democratic nor legal mandate for Parliament to remove rights which arise under the EEA Agreement. Quite the contrary, the Conservative Manifesto 2015, on which a parliamentary majority was elected, stated in terms: “we say yes to the single market”. Ours is therefore not a case which seeks to thwart the democratic will of the people, but one which seeks to uphold it. Legitimate government relies on the keeping of manifesto commitments and democracy is rooted and established in the rule of law. So for a hard Brexit to be legitimate it must be both democratically mandated and lawfully applied, domestically and internationally. Mr Yalland said: “If the Court determines the Government must trigger Article 127, and needs Parliamentary approval to do so, where would Parliament find its mandate for allowing the Government to trigger article 127 from? Triggering Article 127 and leaving the EEA removes rights which arise under the EEA Agreement. But leaving the EEA contradicts the Conservative Party Manifesto, was not covered in the Referendum Act 2015 and was not a subject which the Referendum question asked. I fully understand why the referendum campaign created an expectation in some minds that leaving the EU meant leaving the EEA, but that expectation is neither a democratic mandate for leaving the EEA nor a legal mechanism to do so. Democracy is rooted and established in the rule of law and for Brexit to be legitimate it must be both democratically mandated and lawfully applied, domestically and internationally.” Mr Yalland believes (a) Article 127 is, first and foremost, central to establishing how the UK fulfils its legal obligations under international law. (b) Secondly since leaving the EEA removes the rights of citizens who have not given their express consent to for those rights to be removed, the Government triggering Article 127 without Parliamentary consent would probably be unlawful. (c) Thirdly, both the Government and Parliament must then determine where their mandate to remove rights by leaving the EEA comes from, as arguably there is almost certainly no direct democratic mandate to do so. Mr Wilding said: "This is not stopping Brexit, this is shaping it. The country demands a win-win, smart Brexit; not a lose-lose ideological hard Brexit which will damage the UK, damage Europe and for which there is no need and no mandate. Continued membership of the single market was a Conservative manifesto promise, respects the referendum "red lines" and avoids the "cliff edge" which British business fears. This helps not hinders the government. If David Davis is smart he will see that the European Economic Area option means a quicker, simpler, better Brexit. We will leave the EU, but not Europe, as Boris says. It preserves the UK's unity, the economy's strength and Europe from years of bitter acrimony.” Mr Wilding believes, aside from the legal issues over Article 127, there is neither mandate nor need to leave the EEA. Both claimants hope to work with the government and the Conservative Party (of which they are both long-time members) so that the Judicial Review can be conducted collaboratively as this is a matter of significant public importance on a complex area of law."