23:14 GMT29 November 2020
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    A Northern Ireland victims campaigner has launched a legal challenge to the UK leaving the EU, amid concerns that European peace money which goes towards victims of the Troubles may be discontinued, Sputnik has been told.

    Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond Jr was murdered by the UVF in north Belfast in 1997, is believed to be the first person in Northern Ireland to issue proceedings over Brexit. 

    He is taking the case amid concerns that European peace money which goes towards victims of the Troubles may be discontinued. The challenge centers on the Government's response to the June 23 referendum result. 

    Although the UK-wide result of the referendum was 52 percent Leave and 48 percent Remain, in Northern Ireland itself, 56 percent voted to remain.

    Speaking about the case McIvor Farrell Solicitor Ciaran O'Hare told Sputnik:

    "As a victim of the most recent conflict in Northern Ireland, Mr McCord is very concerned about the profoundly damaging effect that a unilateral withdrawal of the UK from the EU will have upon the ongoing relative stability in Northern Ireland."

    ​"He is concerned that any withdrawal would be contrary to the UK's international law obligations pursuant to the Good Friday Agreement. He is also concerned about the abrogation of his fundamental rights that withdrawal will entail. In the alternative, any notification under Art 50 should at least be done lawfully and constitutionally, in particular by way of a prior mandate from Parliament."

    In his affidavit to the High Court of Northern Ireland — which Sputnik has seen — Mr McCord says:

    "I am a 62-year-old male British citizen and resident of Northern Ireland who has for many years acted as a victims' campaigner following the murder of the eldest of my three sons, Raymond McCord Junior, by loyalist paramilitaries on 9 November 1997."

    ​"I have dedicated much of my life to campaigning on behalf of victims and seeking justice in respect of my son's murder. The peace process is based upon a fundamental recognition of equality of traditions and upon a shared future for the UK and the Republic of Ireland within the European Union.

    "I am therefore worried that a departure from the European Union will have an adverse effect on the current stability in Northern Ireland and the level of support and resources as currently provided by the European Union. I am also worried that my and others' fundamental rights under EU law and treaties will be removed if the UK were to leave the European Union."

    Ciaran O'Hare told Sputnik:

    "Mr McCord's application is an important constitutional case which engages the Northern Irish public interest in a way that no other case has or is likely to for many decades."


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