February 20, 2019

The Good Law Project writes to the Government over ‘no-deal’ Brexit medical shortages – Newsletter

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Hello,

We’ve been quite busy recently, launching a new crowdfunding campaign…

Leaving without a deal will put lives at risk – we’re not prepared

There has been much concern over medical shortages in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The Government responded by pushing through new regulations which permit “Serious Shortage Protocols” (SSPs) allowing pharmacists – not doctors – to reduce amounts of medicine or prescribe different medicines.

When rushing out these protocols however, the Government did not properly consult with patient and clinical groups. After facing pressure from groups representing those suffering from epilepsy and other neurological disorders, the Government accepted that SSPs were unsuitable for epilepsy patients. But we are aware that other groups of patients also have serious concerns about the use of SSPs.

We urge the Government to withdraw the use of SSPs pending proper consultation and compliance with the Government’s legal duties. If the Government does not take action, the Good Law Project will launch judicial review proceedings in the High Court. Lives are at risk. This is no time to place fast and loose with the law.

We have launched a new crowdfunding campaign for this. Please consider supporting this vital case.

Our challenge against the Electoral Commission

As you may recall, we launched proceedings against the Electoral Commission for its failure to adequately investigate the Constitutional Research Council, the secretive group behind the £435,000 donation to the DUP during the EU Referendum.

The High Court refused us permission to judicial review on the papers (you can read the decision here). We believe that the judge was wrong to refuse us permission, and it is worth noting that we were also refused permission in the Vote Leave case, which we went on to win.

After conferring with our legal team, we asked the High Court for an oral permission hearing which will take place on 14th March.

An Uber update

Last week, the High Court heard our application for a protective costs order against Uber. You can read the Skeleton Arguments here, and for coverage of the hearing, see this Bloomberg piece. Following the hearing, we were contacted by another tax specialist QC – who sits on the right of the political spectrum – who said “I do think HMRC’s ‘nothing to see here’ position is outrageous.”

While we wait for the High Court’s decision, here’s something to be aware of. The Good Law Project raised (net of CrowdJustice’s expenses) about £121,000. Uber’s costs for the application are more than £150,000 and ours are £72,500 (ie. in total over £100,000 more than we raised). The general rule is the loser pays. If we lose, we will try and reduce those liabilities but ultimately, the risk is ours and not that of crowdfunders.

We can’t put our democracy up for sale

The Court of Appeal granted the Electoral Commission permission to appeal the decision of the High Court that the Electoral Commission failed properly to apply electoral law during the EU Referendum. The hearing has been fixed for 4th July 2019.

If the Electoral Commission succeeds, it is difficult to see what is left of the cap on spending in General Elections or Referendums. We can’t put our democracy up for sale to the highest bidder. We need to be in a position to defend the decision of the High Court that Vote Leave broke the law. We thank everyone who has supported us so far. Please consider contributing to our crowdfunding campaign.

The Environment

The news of an Australian court rejecting a coalmine on climate change grounds caught our eye recently. As our environmentally destructive Government tries to impose fracking, courts in Australia are listening to the evidence that climate change is an emergency. If you’re asking ‘could it happen here?’ The answer is the Good Law Project is already working on it with a leading QC. Watch this space!

How can you help

If you think our work will be of interest to friends and family – please send them this email and invite them to join our mailing list. If you like what the Good Law Project is doing, please consider becoming a member or making a one-off donation.

Thank-you,

The Good Law Project

@GoodLawProject


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