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We’ve got a few updates for you.
Our democracy isn’t for sale
In our previous newsletter, we told you the Court of Appeal had 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.
We want to be in a position to defend the decision of the High Court but we need your help. We have launched a new crowdfunding campaign to tell the Court of Appeal that our democracy isn’t up for sale.
We thank everyone who has supported this important case so far.
Just make it stop
Two-and-a-half years since the start of Brexit, what’s the worst thing? It’s not that we’re at the end of it. It’s not that we’re at the beginning of the end of it. It’s not that we’re right in the middle of it. It’s that we’re not even at the end of the beginning of it.
What do we have to look forward to? A transitional period. Maybe an extension. Maybe a referendum. And then trade negotiations – with the EU. Then with everyone else. And it’s all we ever hear about on the news.
Whatever we voted for, we’re now just bored. There are so many bigger problems.
Can we not just make it stop? Cancel Brexit, like the Court of Justice said we could? Please sign and share this petition with your family and friends.
Challenging the government’s hostile environment
As part of its “hostile environment” for immigrants, the Government has imposed a rule which has the effect of discouraging them from exercising their right to appeal against refusals. If they lose an appeal and don’t pay the Government’s costs they will be automatically refused the right to remain in the UK. The Good Law Project is considering whether to bring a judicial review of this rule. We think it undermines the rule of law. We will keep you updated.
Uber, tax, and government contradictions
Back in 2017, the director of the Good Law Project, Jolyon Maugham QC, issued a claim against Uber to establish that it had avoided around £1 billion of VAT. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of pounds of tax are becoming ‘time barred’ – impossible to collect from Uber – because HMRC won’t raise assessments to protect the public purse. For more on this, click here.
When our director made this point, HMRC was asked in a Public Accounts Committee why it wasn’t taking steps to protect the public purse. HMRC said it couldn’t raise so-called ‘protective assessments’ unless it concluded that the tax was due (which seemed wrong).
This remains profoundly concerning to us. Our application for an order to cap our ‘adverse’ costs risk so that our case to force Uber to pay this money can go ahead will be heard on the 5th, 6th or 7th of February.
A legal victory
You may have seen how four working single mothers won a High Court challenge over the government’s universal credit scheme. The case centred on the method of calculating the amount of universal credit payable to them. This is a significant victory for potentially tens of thousands of universal credit claimants.
Congratulations to Child Poverty Action Group and the law firm Leigh Day for bringing this important case. We are also proud to have offered assistance to the successful legal team on some of the tax questions arising.
News from our director
Our director wrote a piece for The Independent, arguing that with all this Brexit turmoil, the UK can “have one last chance to stay the hands on the Article 50 clock”. As you may recall, as established in our case brought before the Court of Justice, we can decide to pull the Article 50 notice and can do this without the permission of other EU Member States.
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.
The Good Law Project