Landmark bid to halt Brexit to be heard in High Court next month

Raymomd McCord pictured with Ciaran OHare from McIvor Farrell soilicitors  at Belfast High Court ahead of a legal challenge by the Victims group over Brexit. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye

Raymomd McCord pictured with Ciaran OHare from McIvor Farrell soilicitors at Belfast High Court ahead of a legal challenge by the Victims group over Brexit. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton /Presseye

A landmark legal bid to stop the UK’s planned departure from the European Union will be heard at the High Court in Belfast next month, a judge confirmed on Friday.

Mr Justice Maguire said he was setting aside two days for the legal challenges to Brexit.

He is to focus on all issues and implications specific to Northern Ireland - including claims that leaving the EU will inflict damage on the peace process.

The judge said: “We have to be clear on the plan of achieving completion of this litigation in a relatively short period of time.”

Separate proceedings have been issued by the father of a loyalist paramilitary murder victim and a cross-party group of MLAs.

Raymond McCord and politicians including Alliance MLA David Ford, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, Sinn Fein Assemblyman John O’Dowd and Steven Agnew of the Green Party are seeking to judicially review the British Government’s move towards leaving the EU.

They claim it would be unlawful to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - the formal process for confirming the UK’s exit - without first securing Parliamentary authorisation.

Similar legal challenges are already underway in London.