Mr McCord’s case and that of the cross-party group of politicians are listed for judgment tomorrow at Belfast High court at 10am. This is highly significant as judgment will be handed down in Northern Ireland before London. Therefore, there can be no doubt that the world’s focus will be on Belfast High Court tomorrow morning.
Mr McCord’s case is that there can be no Brexit for Northern Ireland as the people of Northern Ireland are sovereign in respect of Constitutional change and this is based on the text of the Good Friday Agreement and the Northern Ireland Act.
Thus far, Theresa May and our own First Minister have stated “Brexit means Brexit” but we say that this statement is misconceived. Mr McCord is highly disappointed that our First Minister has adopted a submissive attitude and is unwilling to stand up for what the people of Northern Ireland have voted for. To say that Brexit should proceed, even though the people of Northern Ireland did not vote for it, is unconstitutional and plainly wrong. Mr McCord is of the view that, as no-one else is prepared to stand up for the views of the people of Northern Ireland, it is up to his case alone to determine Northern Ireland’s future. He says that we are fortunate to have a legal system in Northern Ireland whereby a citizen is able to challenge the state through judicial review proceedings. If it wasn’t for this right, there would be no hope whatsoever for Northern Ireland, as our politicians have not done anything to stand up for the majority vote.
In short, we say that the people of Northern Ireland have a veto in respect of Brexit. Scotland, England and Wales can Brexit if they so wish but the majority vote in Northern Ireland was to remain.
Mr McCord’s case is the only case which says that Northern Ireland cannot Brexit. The other cases before London High court simply say that Article 50 can only be invoked after Parliamentary scrutiny.
Ciaran O’Hare, instructing solicitor in this case, is confident in our argument and we look forward to receiving judgment tomorrow.