Crowdfunded proceedings exploring important issues surrounding Brexit have been commenced before the Irish High Court.

This new set of proceedings which was widely signalled in the media beforehand was commenced last Friday in Dublin. The plaintiffs are Jolyon Maugham QC and a number of UK politicians. Ireland is named as the defendant.

While the proceedings are being brought in Ireland, the applicants’ explicit objective is to have the case referred immediately to the CJEU to rule on certain questions surrounding Brexit. While the draft pleadings seek a variety of reliefs, the applicants have indicated in the media that the main issues that they seek rulings on are:

  • Can the UK change its mind once it gives Article 50 notice and withdraw the notice?
  • Is Article 50 notice on its own enough to ensure the UK quits the single market, or will that require further notice to be given under the European Economic Area Treaty?
  • Has Ireland behaved illegally, along with the other EU Member States, either by refusing to negotiate with the UK until it formally gives notice under Article 50 (the argument being that giving informal notice was enough) or if that’s not correct, by excluding the UK from European council meetings held since the UK referendum on Brexit?

The applicants have indicated that they hope to secure a hearing date by April.