European expats and UK nationals bring fresh Brexit legal challenges

Published:  30 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: Immigration, UK, Euro, England
As February’s Article 50 invocation draws ever nearer, four anonymous challengers are adding fuel to the legal fire lit by pro-single market group British Influence.

Thursday saw the introduction of new challenges aimed at consolidating Adrian Yelland and Peter Wilding’s case demanding separate approval by the British parliament be mandatory before the Brexit process begins. The high court hearing will decide whether triggering Article 50 will or will not be seen as a mandate for leaving the single market, and will also demand a parliamentary vote on leaving the European free trade bloc and single market once Article 50 is triggered.

British Influence’s stance is that the UK is party to the agreement on free trade in its own right, with Brussels having no right to force it out. The aim of the judicial review is to restore British sovereignty whilst still taking advantage of the EEA’s economic benefits. The development is certain to anger those campaigning for a hard Brexit involving complete separation from the EU and the restoration of British border controls to prevent unchecked immigration.

Wilding, the originator of the term Brexit, told the Guardian his claim is likely to be heard as early as February, whilst the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Gina Miller Article 50 court challenge is due in early January. The four new claimants are a mix of UK, overseas, EEA and EU nationals with one aim – to ensure Brexit has as soft an impact on the UK’s economy as is possible and to protect the rights of expats who’ve made the decision to live and work in the UK.

Brussels has always argued that free movement of people is inextricably bound to the single market. However, uncontrolled immigration formed a strong part of the Leave campaign, and it’s unlikely Theresa May will be prepared to backtrack on her promise to drastically reduce immigration numbers. The new court case comes immediately after a think-tank warning that May’s plan to limit net migration to under 100,000 is impossible unless the UK exits the single market.
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