Gina Miller: The woman who put Theresa May’s plans for leaving the EU in peril

The Guardian reports: The businesswoman at the centre of the legal challenge to ensure parliament is consulted before Theresa May triggers Brexit has said the landmark case was motivated by her fear that the UK faced a “treacherous future”.

In an interview with the Guardian, Gina Miller said she knew the ruling would leave her unpopular with many EU referendum voters, but believed that the UK had failed itself and the rest of Europe by voting to leave the bloc rather than reform it from within.

“I was never binary remain or leave. I was very much of the sentiment, and still am, that it was about remain, reform and review,” Miller said. “The UK actually has a very powerful place in Europe … and we have not just let ourselves down but I think the whole of Europe down by not taking up that challenge.”

Before launching her case, the 51-year-old who runs the investment firm SCM Private with her husband, Alan, had spent a decade campaigning for transparency in investment and pension funds, and for reform in the charity sector. “I’ve stood up and made myself very unpopular,” she said. “But it’s not about being unpopular, it’s about doing the right thing.”

Miller told the Guardian she felt compelled to take some form of action following the referendum result in June, hiring City law firm Mishcon de Reya with her own money. “I simply couldn’t keep going to bed every night thinking, well what does [the Brexit vote] mean for my children, what does this mean for the future, what does it mean for everyone?” Miller said. “Knowing that there was no plan in place, and knowing that we were really facing a treacherous future … I just felt I had no other alternative.” [Continue reading…]

The Guardian reports: Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish government will “actively consider” whether it will formally join in the next legal battle over the right of MPs to vote on article 50 after the British government’s defeat in the high court.

Scotland’s first minister told Holyrood on Thursday that the court ruling was “hugely significant and it underlines the total chaos and confusion at the heart of the UK government”.

Sturgeon hinted that the SNP’s 56 MPs in Westminster would vote against the triggering of article 50, given that Scotland voted to remain in the EU. [Continue reading…]

Heather Stewart writes: If you’re an ardent remainer hoping the high court judgment is a chink of light that could ultimately result in Britain remaining in the European Union, don’t hold your breath. Brexit itself was not on trial – but Theresa May’s bullish approach to it, and ultimately her political judgment, was.

If the government fails in its bid to have the ruling overturned on appeal, the Brexit secretary, David Davis, has made clear he would put a bill before both houses of parliament, presumably authorising the government to trigger article 50.

But while there are plenty of MPs on both sides of the House of Commons who backed remain during the referendum campaign, and still believe Britain would be better off in, only a handful of diehards now say they want to block Brexit.

One prominent pro-EU MP on the Conservative back benches told the Guardian “almost every one of my colleagues, apart perhaps from Ken Clarke, will vote to trigger article 50”.

In the House of Lords, meanwhile, where there is a strong remain majority, Labour’s leader Baroness Smith says there is little appetite for trying to prevent it. “It’s not a case of the Lords trying to block the government,” she insists. [Continue reading…]

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