Victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord to bring fresh court challenge against no-deal Brexit

Ciaran O'Hare and Raymond McCord
Ciaran O’Hare and
Raymond McCord

Victims’ rights campaigner Raymond McCord has launched a challenge in the Northern Ireland courts aimed at preventing the Prime Minister from suspending Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

The case will be brought before the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, for the first time this morning, solicitor Ciaran O’Hare told Irish Legal News.

Mr O’Hare, of Belfast-based McIvor Farrell Solicitors, represented Mr McCord in a previous legal bid to prevent Brexit on the basis of the Good Friday Agreement. The case was referred in part to the UK Supreme Court in 2016 but ultimately failed.

The new proceedings seek a declaration that it is “unconstitutional and an abuse of power” for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament in order to prevent MPs from further parliamentary consideration of Brexit.

Mr McCord is also seeking declarations that any “central change” to the UK’s constitutional arrangements and/or removal of fundamental rights “must be brought about by Parliament”, and that a no-deal Brexit would be “unconstitutional” as it would be contrary to the Good Friday Agreement.

He will ask the court to grant an injunction prohibiting ministers of the Crown, in particular the Prime Minister, from advising the Queen to prorogue Parliament.

The court will also be asked to rule that, in the event that a withdrawal agreement is not in place by 24 October 2019, the UK Government must take all necessary steps to seek another extension to the Article 50 period, and further or alternatively that it must take all necessary steps to revoke Article 50 altogether.

Mr O’Hare said: “Mr McCord is a grandfather and he says that he will always have his grandchildren’s best interests at heart. Mr McCord wishes to see Northern Ireland become a more stable and democratic society.

“He believes in democracy and he believes that the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and the intention of those that drafted it should be upheld and should not, in his view, continue to be undermined by a no-deal Brexit.”

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