Early hearing sought in High Court to expedite Brexit case

Action seeks to establish if Britain can halt Brexit after triggering article 50

British prime minister Theresa May greets European Council president Donald Tusk in London ahead of Brexit talks. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

British prime minister Theresa May greets European Council president Donald Tusk in London ahead of Brexit talks. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

 

An early hearing is being sought in a High Court action seeking to establish if Britain can halt Brexit after triggering article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

The action is by a number of Green Party leaders in Britain and Northern Ireland, along with British barrister Jolyon Maugham QC.

At the High Court on Thursday it was briefly mentioned by Ronan Lupton BL to Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who adjourned it to April 24th.

The plaintiffs want the court to set an early date to hear a motion seeking to have the court make directions for exchange of legal documents with a view to getting the earliest possible date for a hearing of the full case.

Among the directions sought is whether the proceedings should be served on the British government.

The plaintiffs also want the Irish court to decide whether the Court of Justice of the EU should determine legal issues in the case.

Mr Justice Noonan said he considered the directions motion was a more appropriate matter for the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, to deal with but that was for Mr Justice Kelly to decide.

The plaintiffs are Mr Maugham; Northern Ireland Green Party leader and MLA Steven Agnew; Jonathan Bartley, coleader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and Green Party MEP for the southeast of England Keith Taylor.

The defendants are Ireland and the Attorney General.