Published: Mon, February 06, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Judges dismiss single market challenge

They wanted a declaration that it would be unlawful for Prime Minister Theresa May to cause the United Kingdom to leave the EEA without prior Parliamentary authorisation through an Act of Parliament, and the serving of a withdrawal notice under Article 127. "What I am proposing can not mean membership of the single market".

The High Court yesterday dismissed a legal challenge to prevent the government taking Britain out of the single market without parliament's assent, saying that the case was premature.

However, the Scottish Government says it believes that because of the direct effects on the devolved responsibilities, the Scottish Parliament should be invited to give its view before the bill is passed.

The Brexit challengers include Peter Wilding - chairman of the pro-Europe lobby group British Influence, and Conservative lobbyist Adrian Yalland.

"The referendum was on membership of the EU, not the EEA, nor of [the European Court of Human Rights]", Yalland said, adding that "it was not an opinion poll on immigration".

Refusing to give the go-ahead to the new challenge, the judges said they would giver their reasons later.

George Peretz QC argued that the government must present the legal mechanism for the withdrawal from the EEA to Parliament.

The two claimants - one of which event voted Leave in the referendum - are trying to keep Britain tied to a "soft Brexit" by keeping Britain in the European Union single market.

But May said in a speech last month that Britain would leave the single market, although she promised to seek the greatest possible access to European markets.

It comes after a Supreme Court ruling empowered Parliament to give its approval before any official talks on Brexit could begin.

A government spokesman said last month: "The UK is party to the EEA agreement only in its capacity as an European Union member state".

Mr Russell said: "The people of Scotland did not vote for Brexit, and only one of the nation's 59 MPs has now backed the UK Government by voting for the triggering Article 50".

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