First legal challenge to Brexit starts

The first Brexit legal challenge has got under way in the High Court today (19 July 2016). A number of individuals have initiated proceedings in the High Court arguing that the Prime Minister of the UK cannot invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without Parliament’s express approval. The proceedings brought by London resident and investment manager Gina Miller has been chosen by the High Court as the lead case.

Importantly, counsel for the government, Jason Coppel QC confirmed that the government was not intending to invoke Article 50 until 2017 at the earliest. One of the Defendants in the proceedings is David Davis, the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

Counsel for one of the litigants, Lord Pannick QC, told the court that the firm of solicitors coordinating the proceedings has been subjected to racist and antisemitic abuse.

The full hearing is likely to be in October this year.