BREXITEER and English Democrats leader Robin Tilbrook is “very confident” of proving Britain already left the European Union in March 29 as his High Court battle against the Government intensifies.
The party chairman has raised £58,000 for the legal case and remains confident of success, despite Government lawyers dismissing this as “totally without merit” as they attempt to get it thrown out. His case focuses on Theresa May not having the legal power to delay Brexit past the proposed long-running deadline of March 29 as she continues to struggle to get majority support for her deal in Parliament. Mr Tilbrook has argued the Prime Minister had the power to begin Britain’s two-year withdrawal process from the European Union, but should not have amended it.
This, he claims, means the extension granted by Brussels is invalid and Britain in fact did leave the bloc on March 29 as originally planned.
Mr Tilbrook said: “I’m very confident. As much as you can be confident of anything in life, I think this is a pretty strong one.”
Commenting on the specifics of the case, he said: “It’s quite simple. If your notice expires, then you’re out.
“They served their notice under that Act of Parliament. If you look at the Act in question, it’s 137 words.
“It just says that she’s got power to serve notice to withdraw the UK from the EU. It doesn’t say she’s got any other powers.
“That’s the crux of the case: that she’s properly served the notice, and at the end of that period of notice of two years, you’re out.”
Mr Tilbrook also responded strongly to claims from Government lawyers Mrs May already had the prerogative powers to agree a Brexit delay, claiming an Act of Parliament actually supersedes these powers.
He added to the Daily Mail: “It displaces all other executive rights to do anything in that area without another Act, and they haven’t got one.”
But Government lawyers want Mr Tilbrook’s case dismissed, raging his claim is “totally without merit”.
The legal team argue the 2017 Act of Parliament in question allowing Mrs May to trigger Article 50 did not set a date for Britain’s departure from the EU.
This, they add, did not restrict the Government’s power to change the date.
They lawyers said: “If the claimant is right, the UK would have withdrawn from the EU by accident.
“That would be directly contrary to the evident intention and belief of Parliament and the other member states of the EU.
“That would be a startling legal position indeed.”
“Parliament has acted on the basis of those lawful extensions and given effect to the extension of the withdrawal date.”
Mr Tilbrook’s legal challenge mirrors Gina Miller’s high-profile court battle against the Government in 2016 over its authority to implement Brexit without approval from Parliament.
Both the High Court and Supreme Court found in her favour, forcing MPs to vote on the former start of the Brexit process.