A lawsuit seeking to force British prime minister Theresa May to hold a vote in parliament before beginning Britain's exit from the EU interferes with democracy and trespasses on government business, her most senior legal adviser said.
Attorney general Jeremy Wright told a panel of three senior judges on Monday that the challenge was seeking to invalidate Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.
Lawyers representing the claimants said on Friday that Ms May's bid to trigger Brexit on her own would amount to an unconstitutional power grab that tramples upon centuries of legal precedent.
The claimants are saying “parliament should be asked the same question put to the people in a referendum” , Mr Wright said during the second day of the hearing. In reality they want to “invalidate the decision already taken to withdraw from the EU.”
Victory for claimants
, who runs an investment start-up, and Deir Dos Santos, a hairdresser, could undermine Ms May’s plans to invoke article 50 by the end of March. Any delay would cheer investors concerned that the prime minister is prioritising immigration controls over safeguards for trade and banking.
The court has not scheduled a date for its ruling, but any opinion would have to be handed down in time for the parties to prepare for an appeal to the supreme court in December.
By forcing Ms May to hold a vote before triggering article 50 the court would be "trespassing on proceedings in parliament", the government said in documents filed to court ahead of the hearing. – Bloomberg