A crowdfunding campaign to pay for the legal defence in the Supreme Court of the ruling that Parliament must have a vote on triggering Article 50 has hit its £75,000 ($93,524) target in less than 24 hours.
The High Court ruled on Thursday morning that Parliament must approve the triggering of Article 50, the process which begins Britain’s exit from the European Union. The government had thought that it could begin the Brexit process by using royal prerogative, following the June 23 referendum on EU membership.
The High Court case was brought by a number of claimants, including a group known as “The People’s Challenge to Article 50.” (The lead claimant was Gina Miller, pictured right.) “The People’s Challenge” was a loose band of people who crowdfunded £175,000 to challenge the Brexit process in court.
The government has said it will appeal Thursday’s High Court ruling in the Supreme Court, with the case likely to be fast-tracked and heard in December. “The People’s Challenge” have now launched a second crowdfunding campaign on platform CrowdJustice to fund the defence of the High Court ruling in the Supreme Court.
The campaign, which launched shortly after the verdict was given, has already hit its target of £75,000 in less than 24 hours. As of 8.05 a.m. GMT (4.05 a.m. ET), the campaign has raised £76,515 from 2,055 people.
Grahame Pigney, one of the claimants of “The People’s Challenge” who set up the crowdfunding campaign, says in an emailed statement: “We will defend our position in the Supreme Court with the same vigour and commitment, and we are crowdfunding again to make sure we have the resources to best defend our case against the government.”
Pigney, a Brit who lives in France, writes on the latest crowdfunding page that the High Court ruling means “Parliament can secure a more positive and less divisive way forward for the UK and appropriately protect UK citizens’ rights.”
John Halford, a solicitor from law firm Bindmans LLP that representing “The People’s Challenge,” says: “The People’s Challenge group and thousands of backers unhesitatingly committed to defending Parliament’s sovereignty. They have prevailed so far and will resist the anticipated government appeal in the Supreme Court.”
The CrowdJustice page says that the initial £75,000 targeted will pay for “work on detailed submissions, responding to those prepared by other parties, court fees and our contribution of court papers.”
But the campaign adds: “We may need to raise more if the Government threatens us with having to pay its costs if its appeal succeeds and depending on the hearing length.” The pledge page has a “stretch” target of £100,000.
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