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Friday, 22 March 2019

Latest twists in the Brexit Parliamentary fiasco and about the case to stop any extension to Article 50


Following the latest twists in the Brexit Parliamentary fiasco and my previous blog article about the case to stop any extension to Article 50 except by a full Act of Parliament, I have written again to the Government’s lawyers as follows:-

Mr Jonathan Stowell
c/o Government Legal Department

Dear Sir

Re:  Proposed Action
        English Democrats – v - the Secretary of State for Exiting the          
        European Union

We refer to the above matter and to our letter of 20th March.  We note that, since that letter was dictated, the Prime Minister has written a letter to the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, formally asking for an extension of the Article 50 Notice period.  This request for an extension has been made without the authorisation of an Act of Parliament. 

Ministers, including the Prime Minister, only have official power either on the basis of Statutory powers or on the basis of Royal Prerogative powers. 

A long line of legal authority, including the Gina Miller case, has repeatedly reaffirmed that the Prerogative powers only exist in the absence of Statutory powers.  The only relevant Statutory power was that set out in the EU Withdrawal Act 2017, which gave the Prime Minister power to serve a Notice to terminate the UK’s membership of the EU. 

It follows that on the face of it, the Prime Minister’s request for an extension is illegal. 

Also any agreement for an extension which might have been agreed by the European Council is also without any Statutory authority. 

We thought it only proper to raise these points in the light of on-going developments, especially in view of your not having fully responded to our initial Letter before Claim. 

Yours faithfully


Tilbrook’s


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

A follow up about the case to stop any extension to Article 50 except by Act


The follow up to my previous blog article about the case to stop any extension to Article 50 except by a full Act of Parliament is that I have had this letter from the Government’s lawyers:-

Dear Mr Tilbrook

Re:  Response to Letter Before Claim

1.    We write in response to your letter before claim dated 28 February 2019 in which you seem to argue that any extension to or revocation of the Article 50 Notice required an Act of Parliament.  This letter, sets out the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union’s response to your proposed claim and has been written in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review.

The Proposed Claimant

2.    The proposed Claimant is Mr R Tilbrook:

Quires Green
Willingale
Ongar
Essex
CM5 0QP

The proposed Defendant

3.    The proper Defendant to this matter is the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union:

c/o Government Legal Department
Team B6
One Kemble Street
London
WC2B 4TS

Reference details

4.    Our reference for the matter is Z1904738/JTZ/B6

5.    Jonathan Stowell has conduct of this matter on behalf of the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.  Any further correspondence or service of documents in relation to this matter should be addressed to him at the above address.

Response to the proposed claim

6.    As you will be aware the pre-action protocol for Judicial Review provides that the letter before claim should contain the date and details of the decision, act or omission being challenged.

7.    Your proposed claim fails to identify any decision made by the Secretary of State or indeed any other person or public authority.  The reason you are unable to identify the date or details of any decision to extend or revoke the United Kingdom’s notification to leave the European Union is because no such decision has been taken.  You have not, therefore identified a decision that is capable of being the subject of a judicial review.

8.    To be clear, the Government’s firm policy position is that the Article 50 Notice will not be revoked.  A clear majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU and both the will of the British people and the democratic process which delivered this result must be expected.  The British people gave a clear instruction to leave, and that instruction is being delivered on.

9.    For the above reasons your proposed claim is wholly misconceived and totally without merit.

Details of any other interested parties
10.You have failed to provide any details of the proposed interested parties.  As you will be aware should you decide to issue proceedings, you are required to serve the Claim Form on all persons you consider to be an interested party in the proceedings (see rule 54.7 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998). 

11.We have not identified any other parties who may have an interest in the proposed claim.

Alternative dispute resolution

12.N/A

Action

13.We have explained above why your proposed claim is misconceived, accordingly the Secretary of State shall not be taking any of your requested actions.

Response to requests for information and documents

14.N/A

Address for further correspondence and service of court documents

15.If, after proper consideration of this letter, you decide to issue proceedings, please arrange for all documents to be served on Jonathan Stowell at the above address.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Stowell
For the Treasury Solicitor


I have replied as follows:-

Mr Jonathan Stowell
c/o Government Legal Department

Dear Sir

Re:  Proposed Action
        English Democrats – v - the Secretary of State for Exiting the          
        European Union

Thank you for your letter of 14th March. 

We would point out that our letter of the 28th February was written not on the basis of any decision yet taken, but on the basis of comments made in the House of Commons which suggested that an illegal decision might be in prospect.

We note that you have not denied that only a full Act of Parliament would legally authorise any delay in leaving the EU beyond the 29th March 2019.

In the circumstances we are enclosing a Request for Further Information to request that you formally admit our case.

Yours faithfully


Tilbrook’s

Enc.


And enclosed a formal Request for Further Information as follows:-

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
ADMINISTRATIVE COURT

BETWEEN

THE QUEEN
ON THE APPLICATION OF THE ENGLISH DEMOCRATS
(REG. NO. 6132268)
Applicant

And

THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNION
Respondent


__________________________________________

REQUEST FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
___________________________________________


Of:-

“7. Your proposed claim fails to identify any decision made by the Secretary of State or indeed any other person or public authority.  The reason you are unable to identify the date or details of any decision to extend or revoke the United Kingdom’s notification to leave the European Union is because no such decision has been taken.  You have not, therefore identified a decision that is capable of being the subject of a judicial review.”

Request:-

Is it admitted that any purported extension of the UK’s Article 50 Notice beyond 29th March 2019 can only be authorised prospectively by a full Act of Parliament?

Of:-

“8. To be clear, the Government’s firm policy position is that the Article 50 Notice will not be revoked.  A clear majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU and both the will of the British people and the democratic process which delivered this result must be expected.  The British people gave a clear instruction to leave, and that instruction is being delivered on.”

Request:-

Is it admitted that any Revocation of the UK’s Article 50 Notice can only be authorised prospectively by a full Act of Parliament?

Tilbrook’s of Quires Green, Willingale, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0QP
Solicitors for the Applicant
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
ADMINISTRATIVE COURT

BETWEEN

THE QUEEN
ON THE APPLICATION OF THE ENGLISH DEMOCRATS
(REG. NO. 6132268)
Applicant

And

THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNION
Respondent


__________________________________________

REQUEST FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
___________________________________________




Tilbrook’s
Quires Green
Willingale
Ongar
Essex CM5 0QP
Tel: 01277 896000
Fax: 01277 896050
Ref/Brexit


The purpose in writing in this way is to set up an application to the High Court for Judicial Review in the event that an Act of Parliament is not passed authorising an extension of the Article 50 Notice period beyond 11.00 p.m. on the 29th March 2019.
So if the Government fails to get an Act through by then we shall need to be ready to immediately apply for the High Court to rule that the UK has left the EU with no Withdrawal Treaty or Agreement.  We do therefore need help with a fighting fund to make sure we can do this without delay, given its huge constitutional importance. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

LAWYER STARTS CASE TO BLOCK EXTENSION TO ARTICLE 50 NOTICE.

 
LAWYER STARTS CASE TO BLOCK EXTENSION TO ARTICLE 50 NOTICE.

PRESS RELEASE

Robin Tilbrook, the Chairman of the English Democrats and a Solicitor, has started a case to block the UK Government from extending the Article 50 Notice or revoking it without having to get an Act of Parliament. 

The Civil Procedure Rules protocol letter which Robin has sent to the Government is set out below.  The Government had 21 days to respond, which means that the Court will be likely to rule that any attempt to extend was illegal and invalid after the 29th March and therefore when the UK will have already constitutionally left the EU.  The letter is attached. 

Robin Tilbrook said:-  “I am seeking funding to raise the necessary money to bring this case, which is of vital importance to all those of us who want to see a proper full Brexit implemented, to give full effect to the Will of the English People, expressed in a nearly two million vote majority in the 2016 referendum.”

“The constitutional law set out in the Gina Millar case is, in my legal opinion, clear and unchallengeable that any attempt to extend the Article 50 Notice or to revoke it without a specific Act of Parliament will be invalid and unlawful.  That would mean that if there has been a purported attempt to extend the Notice by agreement without an Act of Parliament that that would be invalid and therefore we would be out of the EU regardless of what the Government said we were.” 

Robin continued:- “For once this is an opportunity to make history through the courts which I hope will attract enough support to make bringing the case financially viable.” 


On the Party Website: http://englishdemocrats.party there is a donation button. Please use that to help us. 


Robin Tilbrook
Chairman,
The English Democrats




The Treasury Solicitor
Government Legal Department
One Kemble Street
London WC2B 4TS


Dear Sirs

Matter: In the matter of a Judicial Review
Letter Before Claim 

This letter is drafted under the judicial review protocol in section C of the White Book, which provides for a response within 14 days. Given the urgency of the matter, we would appreciate a response within 7 to 14 days.

1.    Respondent: Our clients provisionally identify three possible defendants: the Prime Minister (or, if necessary, the First Lord of the Treasury), as the person with overall responsibility for Brexit policy; the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

2.    Applicant: Mr R C W Tilbrook for the English Democrats of Quires Green, Willingale, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0QP, and for and on behalf of the 15,188,406 voters in England who voted to Leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

3.    The details of the Applicant’s legal advisers, if any, dealing with this claim:-

Tilbrook’s Solicitors, of Quires Green, Willingale, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0QP
4.    The details of the matters being challenged:-

Any purported non-statutory Extension or Revocation of the United Kingdom’s notification to Leave the European Union given under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
5.    The details of any Interested Parties:-

Every person in England and in particular the 15,188,406 voters in England who voted to Leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.
6.    The Issues:-

Following the Judgments of the High Court, of the Court of Appeal and of the Supreme Court in R (on the application of Miller and another) – v – Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC5 and the consequent enactment of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017, there is no remaining discretionary prerogative power vested in Her Majesty’s Government to agree any extension to the Article 50 Notice, or to Revoke the said Notice without a further express Act of Parliament to authorise such Extension or Revocation. 

Accordingly any purported Extension or Revocation is void and of no effect. 

7.    The details of the action that the Defendant is required to take:-

What is sought from the Respondents is:

(i)             An undertaking that there will be no attempt to purport to vary the Notice given under the said EU Withdrawal Act except pursuant to an express Act of Parliament; and
(ii)           A formal admission that the Government admits that any such purported extension of the notice period or revocation would be legally invalid; and
(iii)         A formal admission that, in the absence of any further statute, the UK’s departure from the European Union shall go ahead as notified; vis: on the 29th March 2019. 

8.    ADR proposals:-

N/A
9.    The details of any information sought:-

Not applicable.

10.The details of any documents that are considered relevant and necessary:-

          Not applicable.

11. The address for reply and service of all documents:-

Tilbrook’s Solicitors of Quires Green, Willingale, Ongar, Essex, CM5 
 0QP

12.  Proposed reply date:-

14 days from the date hereof.

Yours faithfully


Tilbrook’s