A slew of legal actions is under way with bids to avoid the UK rushing through the EU exit door – including several which aim to make invoking Article 50 a matter for a parliamentary vote.
There has been uncertainty over whether the exit clause can be triggered simply by the prime minister (possibly with cabinet approval) using royal prerogative powers, or whether parliament is ‘sovereign’ and must have the final say.
One thousand lawyers signed a letter to the prime minister arguing for the primacy of parliament, and more than half a dozen private legal cases have been launched on the point, the first of which to reach court is by hairdresser Deir Dos Santos, whose lawyers argue that the referendum was merely advisory.
His case is now being combined with another one, led by lawyers Mishcon de Reya on behalf of investment manager and philanthropist Gina Miller.
Most of the UK’s MPs were in favour of ‘remain’.
Another challenge comes from a man who raised over £100,000 via crowd-funding in a bid to sue ‘Leave’ campaign leaders over alleged misleading information.
MPs have also launched two Early Day Motions (similar to private member’s bills) with relation to protecting expat rights, and to a second referendum once the government has decided on the deal it will try for.
An expat in Italy and Brussels, Spencer Wain, meanwhile has put in a ‘Freedom of Information’ request seeking information on how many people have complained at not receiving their postal ballots on time. “If sufficient people were disenfranchised I am considering a class action against the government,” he said.
Expat rights campaigners have also started a new website – ecreu.com – to highlight Brexit concerns.