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02:53

UK: Case against no-deal Brexit dismissed by Northern Irish court

United Kingdom, Belfast
September 12, 2019 at 15:45 GMT +00:00 · Published

High Court in Belfast dismissed a case which claimed that a no-deal Brexit scenario would cause damage to the Northern Irish peace process, on Thursday.

The judge ruled that this was a matter of politics and therefore not an issue in which the judiciary would intervene.

Three cases were brought before the Northern Irish court, one from prominent victims' campaigner, Raymond McCord, whose son was killed in 1997 by loyalist paramilitaries.

"In relation to prorogation, we say that we need to advance Mr. McCord's case because there is a unique Northern Irish dynamic to Mr. McCord's case and if the case does not proceed to the Supreme Court along with the others, the Supreme Court will simply not know what the position is in Northern Ireland,'' stressed McCord's lawyer Ciaran O'Hare.

The ruling followed similar cases in England and Scotland, although Northern Ireland's cases did not explicitly discuss prorogation, unlike the others. The English judges came to the same conclusion as the Northern Irish, whereas the Scottish court deemed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Parliament prorogation move as unlawful.

The cases will be taken to the Supreme Court next week.

02:53
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High Court in Belfast dismissed a case which claimed that a no-deal Brexit scenario would cause damage to the Northern Irish peace process, on Thursday.

The judge ruled that this was a matter of politics and therefore not an issue in which the judiciary would intervene.

Three cases were brought before the Northern Irish court, one from prominent victims' campaigner, Raymond McCord, whose son was killed in 1997 by loyalist paramilitaries.

"In relation to prorogation, we say that we need to advance Mr. McCord's case because there is a unique Northern Irish dynamic to Mr. McCord's case and if the case does not proceed to the Supreme Court along with the others, the Supreme Court will simply not know what the position is in Northern Ireland,'' stressed McCord's lawyer Ciaran O'Hare.

The ruling followed similar cases in England and Scotland, although Northern Ireland's cases did not explicitly discuss prorogation, unlike the others. The English judges came to the same conclusion as the Northern Irish, whereas the Scottish court deemed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Parliament prorogation move as unlawful.

The cases will be taken to the Supreme Court next week.

W/S Activist Raymond McCord and his lawyer Ciaran O'Hare leaving court, Belfast

M/S McCord and O'Hare outside court

SOT, Raymond McCord, Campaigner and activist: ''This time he said 'no', if he had said 'yes', the government would have appealed it but it's going to be us that will appeal it. I believe strongly in the case and the points of the case.''

SOT, Raymond McCord, Campaigner and activist: ''But this case doesn't justify the fact that 56% of people [in Northern Ireland] voted to remain, they've fixed everybody.''

SOT, Ciaran O'Hare, lawyer for Raymond McCord: ''We say that actually, the case for Northern Ireland is perhaps more important than the cases for the other regions. Now, we're not saying that because we are biased in anyway, we are saying that all analysis points to Northern Ireland becoming an economic wasteland through a no deal Brexit. That is Mr. McCord's fear, that is why he is taking these proceedings and we say, in the absence of an executive, that this is the only real voice that Northern Ireland has - it is through the courts.''

M/S Door to courthouse *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Ciaran O'Hare, lawyer for Raymond McCord: ''Certainly a miserable court case from the outset, from the very outset. We forwarded a letter to the Prime Minster Boris Johnson on his second day of office seeking an undertaking that he would not prorogue parliament, that has been the basis, that is the basis of Mr. McCord's case, because what Mr. McCord says is that the Prime Minister is only proroguing parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit and in that regard, we say that the prorogation is unlawful and unconstitutional and that the effect of stopping parliament and forcing through a no-deal Brexit will have a devastating effect for Northern Ireland of all of the regions of the United Kingdom. So really, Mr. McCord's court case is two-pronged, there is a prorogation issue and then there is the no-deal issue, which we say is a breach of the Good Friday Agreement.''

M/S Entrance to court house *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Ciaran O'Hare, lawyer for Raymond McCord: ''Mr. McCord takes great comfort in the judgment of the Scottish court yesterday because that obviously ties in with his argument and we are confident, we are even more confident now in our case going forward, given the ruling in the Scottish court yesterday. So, in relation to prorogation, we say that we need to advance Mr. McCord's case because there is a unique Northern Irish dynamic to Mr. McCord's case and if the case does not proceed to the Supreme Court along with the others, the Supreme Court will simply not know what the position is in Northern Ireland.''

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