Brexit legal challenge dismissed in Belfast High Court

Concerns about the supply of vaccines and drugs to Northern Ireland in the event of a No Deal Brexit have led to extensive contingency plans

Concerns about the supply of vaccines and drugs to Northern Ireland in the event of a No Deal Brexit have led to extensive contingency plans

In Northern Ireland, three linked cases had argued that a no-deal Brexit would undermine agreements between the British and Irish governments that were struck during the peace process.

If the claimants appeal the ruling, the case could join two other legal challenges to Johnson's Brexit plans due to be heard at the U.K. Supreme Court next week.

Lawyers for the applicants in Belfast argued by creating a hard border on the island of Ireland, a no-deal Brexit on 31 Octoberwould undermine the Good Friday agreement and other agreements which underpin cross-border co-operation between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

"I consider the characterization of the subject matter of these proceedings as inherently and unmistakably political to be beyond plausible dispute", McCloskey said in a 68-page written judgment.

Mr McCord's solicitor Ciaran O'Hare said "we are seeking to appeal".

"Virtually all of the assembled evidence belongs to the world of politics, both national and supra-national", he said.

A separate legal challenge to the suspension, brought by British campaigner Gina Miller, will also be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Rights campaigner Raymond McCord outside Belfast High Court.

In better news for the embattled British leader, a Belfast court rejected claims that hisBrexit strategy will harm Northern Ireland's peace process.

The judge did not deal directly with prorogation since he said it had been been the "centrepiece" of the English and Scottish cases.

Officials studying Boris Johnson's plan for Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge

But Lord Justice McCloskey decided not to consider the prorogation issue because the matter was already being dealt with.

It would first have to be heard by the Court of Appeals in Belfast, where judges have indicated a willingness to fast-track the hearing of any appeal over the weekend, PA reported.

But the Northern Ireland case will not automatically leapfrog other cases to the Supreme Court.

"They referred to political reasons in the court this morning", he said.

"I am an enthusiast for that idea, I'm going to put it out there, I think it's a good idea but again that is the kind of project that should be pursued by a dynamic Northern Ireland government championed by local people with local consent and interest, backed by local business and mobilised by the politicians in Northern Ireland", he said. He now intends to push forward with the issue at the Belfast Appeal Court, which means it could be heard at the Supreme Court next week.

"The fight goes on".

"We will respond positively if there are suggestions and new approaches that are based on realism in terms of what will actually work", he added.

"These are significant issues".

MPs had voted down the backstop and withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May, which would have kept all of the United Kingdom in a "temporary customs territory" with the European Union and would have seen Northern Ireland also continuing to follow other European Union rules.

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