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Friday 14th
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Invoking Article 50 without Commons vote illegal lawsuit claims

PRIME MINISTER Theresa May was yesterday accused in the High Court of attempting to kick-start Brexit proceedings without having prior authorisation of Parliament.

Remain campaigners have lodged a judicial review against plans to invoke Article 50 with the claim that she would be unlawfully using ancient executive powers under the royal prerogative.

Lord Pannick QC argued Ms May must get permission from Parliament before triggering the Brexit process by the end of next March because it’s “entirely a matter for Parliament.”

He was acting for Gina Miller, an investment banker and charity founder from London.

Ms Miller is the lead claimant with several others, including the so-called “People’s Challenge” — which is seeking to overturn Ms May’s decision at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The outcome of the three-day case is expected to be announced on Monday. Any appeal against the decision would be heard by the Supreme Court before the end of the year.

Ms Miller accepted that her challenge could only succeed “if we can satisfy the court that the defendant has no power to notify under royal prerogative powers.”

She also said: “This case is all about the sovereignty of Parliament. It is very important that the [Article 50] issues are dealt with in a serious and grown-up way.”

Lord Pannick claimed that the Tory PM could not use royal prerogative powers to remove rights established by the European Communities Act 1972, which made EU law part of British law.

He added that it was for Parliament to decide whether or not to maintain those rights.

The government has stood firm in its decision to enact the Great Repeal Bill, which would absorb EU legislation into British law so ministers can later scrap elements they do not want to keep.

Attorney general Jeremy Wright said: “The country voted to leave the EU in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament.

“There must be no attempts to remain in the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door and no second referendum.”

Tory former minister Dominic Raab said the challenge was fuelled by a “special kind of arrogance.”

He told BBC Radio 4: “I don’t think it’s right that a