Belfast Telegraph

Victims' campaigner in bid to take Brexit legal challenge to Supreme Court

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

By Alan Erwin

A victims campaigner who claims Prime Minister Boris Johnson unlawfully shut down parliament is attempting to take his case directly to the UK's highest court.

Raymond McCord was set to appeal the decision not to deal with the prorogation issue as part of his failed wider challenge to a no-deal Brexit.

But his lawyers today confirmed their new legal strategy aimed at being able to make submissions when the Supreme Court sits in London next week.

Ronan Lavery QC told judges in Belfast that he has applied for permission to intervene at the hearing which will make a final determination on the lawfulness of the parliamentary closure.

Meanwhile, Mr McCord and two other applicants are pressing ahead with appeals against the dismissal of their judicial reviews.

Lord Justice McCloskey ruled on Thursday that their challenges, centred on issues specific to Northern Ireland, involved political matters on which the courts should not intervene.

Rejecting all grounds of challenge to the government's Brexit policy, he held that the three cases were non-justiciable.

According to his determination the actions indisputably focused on political issues, and targeted unpredictable and rapidly evolving government policy at national and international levels.

The Court of Appeal in Belfast will examine the ruling on Monday.

Mr McCord, whose son Raymond Jr was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1997, claims a no-deal exit on October 31 would threaten the peace process.

As part of his twin-track legal approach, the campaigner is now attempting to be involved when the Supreme Court deals with English and Scottish cases centred on the prorogation.

He said: "I've instructed my legal team to apply for intervention in the Supreme Court due to the timeframe.

"My appeal would not be dealt with in time for the Supreme Court on Tuesday and Northern Ireland needs to heard and represented.

"This will hopefully ensure my case is heard and Northern Ireland has a voice and representation alongside the rest of the UK at the highest court in the land."

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