ONE of Northern Ireland’s top legal figures is to be involved in a landmark legal bid to stop the UK leaving the European Union.
A formal notice of devolution has been served to ensure the participation of Attorney General John Larkin QC in what is described as “the most important constitutional legal case in recent history.”
A number of high profile Northern Irish politicians have demanded a judicial review on Brexit, and the case will get underway next month following the preliminary hearing at Belfast’s High Court on Thursday, September 22.
Their argument is that it would be unlawful to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the clause which the UK must invoke to begin the EU exit process, in the absence of Parliamentary authorisation.
A decisive 56 per cent of Northern Irish citizens voted to remain in the EU, and it is not yet known how the country’s border with the Republic of Ireland, the UK’s largest land border with another European country, will be affected by Brexit.
All implications specific to Northern Ireland, including concerns that a break from the EU may damage the peace process, are to be examined during a two-day hearing.
Comparable legal challenges are already underway in London, since the EU vote was an advisory referendum so would not be legally binding should Parliament opt to stay in the bloc.