Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Brexit legal challenge dismissed in Belfast High Court

Johnson considering building bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland Officials studying Boris Johnson's plan for Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge
Russell Knight | 12 September, 2019, 22:33

Scotland's highest court of appeal ruled on Wednesday that Johnson's decision to suspend parliament for five weeks was unlawful and should be annulled, a verdict that will be appealed at the United Kingdom Supreme Court next week.

Lord Justice Bernard McCloskey said the applications were a matter of politics and that was not an area in which courts should intervene.

"Within the world of politics the well-recognised phenomena of claim and counterclaim, assertion and counter-assertion, allegation and denial, blow and counter-blow, adjustment and modification of government policy, public statements, unpublished deliberations, posturing, strategy and tactics are the very essence of what is both countenanced and permitted in a democratic society", he added.

"Within the world of politics, the well-recognised phenomena of claim and counter-claim, assertion and counter-assertion, allegation and denial, blow and counter-blow, adjustment and modification of government policy, public statements, unpublished deliberations, posturing, strategy and tactics are the very essence of what is both countenanced and permitted in a democratic society".

In parallel to the Brexit talks, the Irish government is negotiating with the European Commission about what checks it would have to impose on the border to protect the EU single market if the United Kingdom leaves without a deal.

Asked whether the Northern Ireland-only option was dead after the British government on Tuesday said it was not seeking it, Coveney said nothing had been taken off the table.

The government rejected that argument during two days of legal proceedings in Belfast High Court, PA reported.

Northern Ireland's appeal court will hear appeals against the decision on Friday.

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One of the Northern Ireland case was brought forward by high-profile victims' campaigner Raymond McCord, whose son was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1997.

"As the discussion gets more real, and I hope more honest, I hope that will feed into the discussions that are now needed in the context of anything that can close the gaps", said Coveney, speaking at an annual meeting of his Fine Gael party.

The Appeal Court judges will sit again at 1pm on Thursday to consider the matter. He was represented by the Belfast-based civil rights organisation the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ).

"They referred to political reasons in the court his morning", he said.

"This is for all the people".

"The UK presented ideas in the areas of customs and manufactured goods and we had further exchanges on the political declaration".

"The fight goes on".

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