Brexit: Internal Market Bill a step towards ‘dictatorship’, top judge warns

THE Westminster Government is driving forward with Brexit plans that may end with “tyranny” or “dictatorship” in the UK, the former president of the Supreme Court has warned.

David Neuberger, who served as the UK Supreme Court president from 2012 to 2017, gave the warning last night during an online meeting of some of the country’s top lawyers.

Others in attendance included SNP justice spokesperson Joanna Cherry QC, former home secretary and Conservative party leader Michael Howard, and the former attorney general Dominic Grieve QC.

Neuberger said that the Internal Market Bill, which gives Westminster power over devolved areas, breaks international law, and exempts powers exercised by ministers from legal challenge, was a “slippery slope”.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson and Priti Patel warned attacks on lawyers could incite violence

The former Supreme Court president said: “Once you deprive people of the right to go to court to challenge the government, you are in a dictatorship, you are in a tyranny.

“The right of litigants to go to court to protect their rights and ensure that the government complies with its legal obligation is fundamental to any system.

“You could be going down a very slippery slope.”

Cherry told the online meeting that she feared a challenge to the Internal Market Bill would go to the courts, and it may be a case of the Scottish Government initiating legal proceedings against the Westminster one.

Neuberger said any hearing would “put the judges in a position where they are on a collision course with the government or are seen to be craven”.

He added that “you have to sort out problems in court, if you don’t you have a civil war”.

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