Solicitor and law student launches crowdfunding campaign to ‘give Europeans a voice’ in UK’s EU exit

Avatar photo

By Katie King on

Yet another Brexit legal challenge on behalf of the lawyers

agata challenge

A corporate lawyer and law student is crowdfunding a legal challenge with No5 Chambers to ensure European nationals living in the UK have their say on the country’s exit from the EU.

Polish citizen and solicitor Agata Dmoch — who is currently completing her masters degree in business administration at Aston University — is asking for £10,000 in funds to launch a judicial review challenge. She hopes this will make sure the exit process involves and respects “the voices, concerns and interests of all people who lawfully reside in the UK.”

An EU national resident in the UK, former Mills & Reeve associate Dmoch did not get a vote in the referendum. She is “genuinely concerned” about the future of the country, and wants to make sure the UK government follows its “constitutional requirements” when invoking article 50 (the legal process for withdrawal from the UK).

For University of Westminster graduate Dmoch, this means:

[T]he government will be required to properly involve parliament and pass appropriate primary legislation… This will… mean that MPs will have to consult their constituencies i.e. all people lawfully residing in their area whether British, European or under 18s, so that the voices of all those who will be directly affected by Brexit can be heard.

Just this week, 1,054 barristers signed a letter addressed to the then Prime Minister David Cameron, demanding something not too dissimilar from Dmoch. They made clear that the referendum result is advisory only, and must be subjected to be a free vote in parliament before article 50 can be triggered.

Lawyers from Mischon de Reya have also launched a legal bid, on behalf of their clients, in a last ditch attempt to preserve the UK’s EU membership.

However, in this case, there is just a sole claimant. James Dixon, barrister at No5 Chambers, explains:

The litigation risk in taking on the government is quite acute and this is very much a David and Goliath case with just one individual claimant behind it.

He is quick to point out that he is not seeking a new referendum for the voices of the disenfranchised (EU nationals living in the UK, and 16 and 17-year-olds) to be heard but rather that their interests are taken into account during the parliamentary process. For example, Dixon says:

Transitional provisions in respect of EU nationals’ rights might be made guaranteeing those rights before article 50 is triggered. The difficulty is that once article 50 starts then we are on the train to the exit and if EU nationals’ rights are not embedded there is a significant risk they may be left without proper rights. What we are seeking to do is to give expression to democracy in its fullest sense.