Brexit legal challenge rejected by Belfast High Court

Brexit: Belfast High Court rejects claim NI law means royal prerogative can't be used to trigger Article 50

The court has ruled on one of the first legal challenges to block the formal process of leaving the EU

Friday, October 28, 2016

Northern Ireland's High Court has rejected the claim that the devolved country's legal system could block the triggering of Article 50. 

The court has blocked the first legal challenge to Brexit, brought by a cross-community group of politicians and human rights campaigners, who questioned Prime Minister Theresa May's ability to trigger negotiations.

The challengers wanted to establish that devolved decision-makers at Stormont Assembly could veto Brexit and hold their own consultation over whether to embark on talks with Europe.

The aim of the claim was to protect peace process guarantees enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement which largely ended republican and loyalist violence in 1998 - something they claimed would suffer catastrophically if the UK left the EU.

It was also a question of borders, for Northern Ireland shares the UK's only land border with an EU member state, the Republic of Ireland. 

It remains to be decided whether an appeal will be issued.

More on this as it develops.