Northern Ireland Assembly members file Brexit judicial review

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In a bipartisan effort, members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are seeking a judicial review of the United Kingdom’s plan to leave the European Union in another move that threatens to further delay the planned departure.
 
According to The Belfast Telegraph, the group filed with the High Court in Belfast on Friday wanting to clarify the government’s approach to the Brexit among other things.
 
“The various assurances sought by our clients have not been forthcoming and, indeed, the response heightened their concerns about the approach the Government was likely to take,” the legal representatives are quoted by the publication as saying.
 
“In light of this, papers were lodged in the High Court in Belfast on Friday 19 August 2016 seeking leave to apply for judicial review.”
 
Part of the group seeking the review – which includes politicians and human-rights activists – is former justice minister David Ford.
 
The movement is a rare bipartisan attempt as the group supporting it also includes Green Party leader Steven Agnew; Social Democratic and Labour Party leader Colum Eastwood; senior Sinn Fein Stormont Assembly member John O'Dowd; former head of the Progressive Unionist Party Dawn Purvis; ex-Equality Commission member and disability rights activist Monica Wilson OBE and the Committee on the Administration of Justice human-rights group, according to the publication.
 
Writing to Prime Minister Theresa May and other Cabinet members, they pushed that Northern Ireland’s peace process and other unique requirements be considered before the process to leave the EU is triggered.
 
The Brexit process will have to follow the rule of law, take into account parliamentary sovereignty, protect progress made towards a more peaceful society and accords adequate weight to the democratic will of those in Northern Ireland who voted in the European referendum and in the 1998 poll on the Good Friday Agreement, The Belfast Telegraph said.
 
A parliamentary legislation which includes consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly should authorise the triggering of the Article 50 leave clause it added.
 
Other lawyers in the UK have also urged for a free parliamentary vote before triggering the Brexit process. Meanwhile, even businessmen are involved in countering the planned exit.
 

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