Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: Supreme Court ruling 'victory for all the people of Northern Ireland', says jubilant Raymond McCord

Raymond McCord outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)
Raymond McCord outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

By Alan Erwin

The Supreme Court ruling that Boris Johnson unlawfully suspended parliament represents a victory for the whole of Northern Ireland, a victims' campaigner who challenged the Prime Minister's move has claimed.

Hours after undergoing major surgery, a jubilant Raymond McCord declared himself fully vindicated by the unanimous decision reached by 11 justices in London who examined the prorogation step taken in the lead up to Brexit.

The Belfast man also called on any critics who questioned his legal action to issue an apology.

Speaking from his hospital bed, he said: "I couldn't have got better news when I woke up after coming out of theatre.

"This is a victory against Boris Johnson for all the people of Northern Ireland, not just for me or Remainers.

"It shows the government can't just treat us any way they want."

Mr McCord was granted permission to participate at the Supreme Court hearing into the legality of Downing Street's decision to shut down parliament for five weeks before the October 31 deadline for leaving the EU.

His lawyers argued that the suspension was wrong, and aimed at forcing through a no-deal Brexit.

Northern Ireland would suffer worse than any other UK region, they contended.

It formed part of the campaigner's wider challenge to quitting the EU without an agreement, with arguments about an alleged breach of the Good Friday Agreement still being examined by appeal judges in Belfast.

Following the Supreme Court verdict Mr McCord hit out at those he claimed had ridiculed his decision to issue proceedings.

"I would have been over in London for the judgment were it not for this operation," he explained.

"But to those detractors who said my arguments were foolish, the 11 top judges in the UK today agreed with me and I hope those same people will now publicly apologise for the unwarranted criticism."

Meanwhile, Mr McCord's solicitor said he was privileged to have played a part in the "truly groundbreaking" case.

Ciaran O'Hare of McIvor Farrell law firm added: "My client has stood up to defend Northern Ireland against this unconstitutional decision to suspend parliament, whilst the vast majority of our politicians have taken a back seat and not voiced the case for Northern Ireland.

"He hopes that parliament will now resume its business and will not be stymied in terms of having its say in regards to Brexit."

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