The legal argument from the English Democrats chairman focuses on Theresa May not having the legal power to delay Brexit past the original deadline of March 29. Mr Tilbrook has argued although the outgoing Prime Minister had the power to begin Britain’s two-year withdrawal process from the European Union, she in fact did not have the power to amend it. He claims this means the extension granted by Brussels until October 31 is null and invalid, and Britain actually left the EU on March 29.
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But a letter dated June 19 from HM Courts & Tribunals Service sent to Mr Tilbrook read: “Permission to apply for judicial review has been refused and that refusal is enclosed.”
The letter adds “the application was considered to be totally without merit” and sets out the reasons for the case being refused.
Part of it says: “Parliament plainly intended, by s20 (3) and (4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, that the definition of ‘exit day’ could be amended in the manner prescribed in the circumstances which developed, namely agreement between the UK and the EU to extend the period as envisaged by Article 50 (3).
“Exit day was unarguably amended lawfully, initially to May 22 or April 11 and subsequently to October 31, 2019, by statutory instrument pursuant to s.20(4) of the 2018 Act.
The finding against our case is totally bizarre because the team of leading barristers I have been working with have always said we should win this
“Furthermore the terms of s.1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 confirm that Parliament lawfully authorised the Prime Minister to seek from the EU the extension to October 31, 2019 effected by the statutory instrument laid before Parliament at 4.15pm on April 11, 2019.”
But Mr Tilbrook has remained unmoved, with his ‘Ground of Appeal’ being: “The learned judge erred in law by finding that it was unarguable that there was not a Prerogative or a statutory power to agree to an extension of the period between notification and withdrawal of a Member State by Article 50 of the TEU.”
He has recruited Anthony Speaight QC to his legal team, and according to Mr Tilbrook, the leading barrister is confident he still has a strong case to proceed with.
Mr Tilbrook told Express.co.uk: “The finding against our case is totally bizarre because the team of leading barristers I have been working with have always said we should win this.
“This isn’t a setback for us because we truly believe we have a sustainable and winning argument, and I don’t feel the Government’s defence is very strong at all.
“We are still confident of getting this to the High Court and will do everything possible to win.”
Mr Tilbrook expects to receive a decision on his appeal within weeks and if successful, could make it to court in either September or October.
He added the Court of Appeal could hear the case themselves, or may still grant permission for it to be heard in the High Court.
In May, Mr Tilbrook told Express.co.uk he was “80-90 percent sure of success” in proving Britain had left the European Union in the court case against the Government – claiming “there isn’t a legal professional I haven’t spoken to who doesn’t think we can win”.
The English Democrats chairman told Express.co.uk: “Government lawyers have tried to rubbish our case, but I’ve not had any legal professional tell me we haven’t got an excellent chance of succeeding.”
Mr Tilbrook’s legal challenge is similar to Gina Miller’s high-profile court battle against the Government in 2016, when she challenged its authority to implement Brexit without approval from Parliament.
Both the High Court and Supreme Court found in her favour, forcing MPs to vote on the former start of the Brexit process.
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