Attempt to block Brexit in NI courts is rejected

A judge has dismissed the UK's first legal challenges to Brexit.

Raymond McCord
Raymond McCord

Mr Justice Paul Maguire said the implications for Northern Ireland were still uncertain after Prime Minister Theresa May said she would begin exit negotiations with Europe before March.

A cross-party group of politicians had claimed the country should have a veto on an exit and said the Stormont Assembly should have a say on whether to trigger negotiations with Europe.

Raymond McCord, whose son was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries, had a separate Brexit challenge surrounding its impact on the peace process heard alongside that of the politicians at the High Court in Belfast.

Ex-Sinn Fein education minister John O'Dowd pictured at court on October 4, 2016. He was one of those challenging the current push towards Brexit.

Mr Justice Maguire said: “While the wind of change may be about to blow, the precise direction in which it will blow cannot yet be determined so there is a level of uncertainty, as evidenced by the discussion about how the Northern Ireland land border with Ireland was affected by withdrawal from the EU.”

He added: “In respect of all issues, the court dismissed the applications.”

Ex-Sinn Fein education minister John O'Dowd pictured at court on October 4, 2016. He was one of those challenging the current push towards Brexit.