The Divisional Court has refused permission to apply for judicial review in a public interest challenge to the lawfulness of the ongoing Brexit negotiations. In R (Webster) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, the claimant, who was represented by Leading Counsel and two Junior Counsel, argued that the negotiations were invalid because none of the events preceding the Prime Minister’s notification of 29 March 2017 amount to a decision to leave the EU for the purposes of Article 50(1) of the Treaty on European Union.
Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Green rejected the claim. The Court held that the claim was unarguable, in summary on the basis that the letter of notification made clear that a decision had been made. It also held that the claim was time-barred, and, separately, that it would be detrimental to good administration to grant it permission to proceed. The Court gave permission for its judgment to be reported in due course so that it could be cited in future cases.
Tom Cross appeared for the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union