The British government has gone on appeal on a London High court ruling which stated that parliamentary approval will have to be required before she triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
In what can be stated to be the latest challenge to the Brexit process, a British think-tank is planning to take up legal action against Therese May’s government as she prepares to take Britain out from EU’s single market bloc and initiate divorce proceedings.
British Influence, a pro-single market group, stated that it believes that May could be breaking British law, by taking the country out of EU’s single market, since it did not get a clear legal opinion on whether Britain’s membership of the EEA will be automatically ended along with its membership to the EU.
Significantly, EEA membership includes all 28 EU countries as well as Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, all of who have access to EU’s single market and abide by its free movement of capital, people, goods and services.
“The single market was not on the ballot paper,” said Jonathan Lis, deputy director of British Influence. “We’re leaving the EU, that’s fine, but we don’t need to leave the single market and the government should be embracing this intervention not disputing it.”
A spokeswoman for the British government has said Britain was only party to the EEA Agreement in its capacity as an EU member state. “Once we leave the European Union we will automatically cease to be a member of the EEA,” said the spokeswoman.
“The referendum result will be respected and we intend to invoke Article 50 (the formal mechanism to leave the bloc) no later than the end of March next year.”
May’s government has already appealed a High Court ruling which stated that parliamentary approval is a must before Article 50 is triggered. It will make its case at the UK Supreme Court in early December.
On its part, British influence has just begun consulting lawyers over its case and could not provide a timetable for any challenge. Furthermore, it will also have to get a permission from the London High Court, for a judicial review, once the case is submitted for consideration.