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Brexit law 'could be challenged', lawyers tell Shrewsbury MP

By Mark Andrews | Shrewsbury | Politics | Published: | Last Updated:

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski is in talks with cabinet ministers about mounting a legal challenge to the law aimed at delaying Brexit if a deal cannot be reached.

Daniel Kawczynski

Mr Kawczynski said he spent the weekend talking to two senior cabinet ministers after meeting a team of top London barristers on Friday.

Mr Kawczynski said the meeting with four leading lawyers was also attended by a fellow Conservative MP who has worked as a barrister. He had received legal written advice suggesting a number of ways the so-called Benn Law could be challenged using either British or European legislation.

"We had an extensive two-and-a-half-hour discussion, they said there would definitely be a case that would be considered by the High Court or the Supreme Court," he said.

"I don't want to tread on the Government's toes, I am sure they are looking at all the loopholes, but would be interested in pursuing a citizen's challenge to the Act.

"I have sent my legal opinion through, and won't be doing anything until I have heard from the Government."

Obliged

The European (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act, sponsored by Hilary Benn, requires the Prime Minister to write to the EU asking for a further delay to Brexit by October 19 unless parliament has approved either a deal or a no-deal Brexit. Given that there is not a parliamentary majority for leaving without a deal, it would mean that Britain could not leave unless MPs back a deal.

It was revealed in a Scottish court hearing on Friday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had admitted he would ask for an extension if he was legally obliged to do so.

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But since then Mr Johnson has insisted that Britain will leave the EU on October 31.

Mr Kawczynski said he decided to pursue legal advice after Remain supporters overturned the Prime Minister's suspension of Parliament.

"We are getting our ducks in a row at how we can protect the rights of 17.4 million people through the courts, because they are not being protected by the House of Commons," he said.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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