People’s Challenge salutes Divisional Court as “guardians of parliamentary democracy”

In a landmark decision today, the Divisional Court upheld a judicial review brought by Gina Miller, Dier Dos Santos, the People’s Challenge and others and ruled that the Government cannot use the Royal Prerogative to leave the EU by triggering Article 50.

The Court’s judgment means that the process must be subject to full parliamentary control and oversight. But the government is pursuing an appeal which must be resisted.

The People’s Challenge group has therefore opened a new CrowdJustice campaign in order to raise the money urgently required to defend Parliamentary sovereignty against the government’s appeal which is likely to be heard in early December 2016 by the UK’s Supreme Court.

Thanks to almost 5000 people supporting the People’s Challenge group via Crowd Justice,the interested parties who successfully argued the claim should be allowed included ex pats Grahame and Rob Pigney, Paul Cartwright, a Gibraltarian national who runs Brex-IN, Christopher Formaggia who lives in Wales, Tahmid Chowdhury, a London student and Fergal McFerran, president of the NUS-USI based in Belfast.

Grahame Pigney said today:

We welcome this decision, which clearly establishes the UK’s Parliament as the sovereign authority in terms of the decisions required following the Referendum on 23rd June. The alternative would have meant a horrifying executive power grab that has no place in a modern democracy.

We started this challenge in order to protect parliamentary sovereignty and the rights of millions of UK Citizens; the Court’s decision has justified our action. Hopefully the debate on and passing of primary legislation by Parliament will result in a more positive and less divisive way forward for the UK.  

We also take pride in our judges, who have shown themselves to be true guardians of parliamentary democracy through this judgment. 

The Government will no doubt appeal. It can expect us to defend our position with the same vigour and commitment as we brought to bear when arguing the case in the Divisional Court.”

Rob Pigney said:

The People’s Challenge has made a decisive contribution to the success of this case in the Divisional Court. Our backers have been fully vindicated. Although it is doubtful that the Government is going to abandon its ambitions altogether, I feel confident in quoting one of my heroes and saying ‘Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is,  perhaps, the end of the beginning.’”

Our solicitor John Halford of Bindmans LLP said:

The oversight, control and democratic accountability needed for decisions on Brexit have to match the consequences of those decisions for UK citizens. That is why our constitution empowers Parliament, not the government, to take these decisions. The People’s Challenge group and thousands of backers unhesitatingly committed to defending Parliament’s sovereignty. They have prevailed so far and will resist the anticipated government appeal in the Supreme Court.”

As before, during the Supreme Court stage, the group will provide regular updates on the progress of the preparations for the Court hearing, the hearing itself and the funding campaign.

Later today there will be an update on the group’s Crowd Justice pages giving an analysis of the Divisional Court’s decision.

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