The English Democrats claim Mrs May did not have the power to extend Brexit past March 29, the original deadline for the UK’s exit from the European Union. On Friday, group leader Robin Tilbrook claimed the new exit date should have been passed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords before it was approved. Following the launch of a High Court battle claiming the UK has already left the EU and in the judicial review application, the former appeal judge took to social media to confirm his case was considered to be ‘strong’.
In his latest update on the case, Mr Tilbrook posted on Facebook: “High Court Judicial Review cases don’t happen overnight but the case is now fully up and running in the High Court.
“It was issued and papers served last week and this week our barrister has already completed his detailed submissions, which we have also filed and served.
“Our barrister has reported to me that he initially thought that we had a good case but the more he studied it, to draft his detailed Submissions, the stronger he thought it!”
Mrs May is heading to Brussels today to discuss a possible extension with the EU27, following emergency meetings with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.
She will request an Article 50 extension to June 30, although EU sources believe the EU27 would consider either a nine-month extension until the end of the year, or Donald Tusk’s preferred option of a 12-month extension to March 2020.
Another appeal judge, Sir Richard Aikens has said Mrs May’s Article 50 extension “highly unsatisfactory” and “arguably illegal”.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Sir Aitkens said: “If the argument is correct, then it would mean that, under UK law, we left the EU last Friday at 11pm.
“The Treaties would no longer be binding and the UK would no longer be subject to EU law.
Last week, four Tory MPs also wrote to Mrs May to suggest her delay to Brexit was illegal.
Following Mr Tillbrook’s claim, a spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said Mrs May’s extension was reflected in domestic law.
The statement read: “As a matter of international law, the date of the UK’s exit from the EU was changed following the decision of the EU Council held on March 22 and the exchange of letters between the UK and EU on March 25.
“We reflected this change in domestic law when we made the relevant statutory instrument on Thursday, March 28.”