We are delighted to confirm that, despite the tight court timetable and the increased number of represented parties now active in the case, the People’s Challenge lead QC, Helen Mountfield, is to be given 45 minutes of court time during the hearing to develop the rights-based arguments in our Written Case published yesterday. Helen’s speaking slot will be at 12 noon onwards on Thursday 8 December following on from the Scottish and Welsh Governments whose own Written Cases can now be found on line, here and here.
Also available today are the cases referred from the Northern Irish courts of Stephen Agnew and others and Raymond McCord, plus that of Northern Ireland’s Attorney General (who opposes them, though without any instructions from the Northern Irish Executive who he normally represents).
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain has made submissions too, as have Lawyers for Britain Limited, but these will be dealt with in writing only. It is understood over 200 other individuals and bodies have applied to intervene, but none have been permitted to speak at the hearing. There will be a live video feed from the Supreme Court throughout the proceedings and a transcript published twice daily. We will say more about the hearing in a forthcoming update.
Meanwhile, despite David Davis’ indication that the Government would wait and see what the Court decided, his department today published a short Bill intended to create an Article 50-compatible “duty to notify the European Council by 31 March 2017 of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union.” This suggests Mr Davis’ confidence in his appeal succeeding has begun to evaporate as the arguments against him stack up. It remains to be seen whether this Bill will satisfy parliamentarians, can achieve its stated purpose when it says nothing at all about devolution arrangements, and be passed in its current form.