But a letter dated June 19 from HM Courts & Tribunals Service sent to Mr Tilbrook read: “Permission to apply for judicial review has been refused and that refusal is enclosed.”
The letter adds “the application was considered to be totally without merit” and sets out the reasons for the case being refused.
Part of it says: “Parliament plainly intended, by s20 (3) and (4) of the 2018 Act, that the definition of ‘exit day’ could be amended in the manner prescribed in the circumstances which developed, namely agreement between the UK and the EU to extend the period as envisaged by Article 50(3).
“Exit day” was unarguably amended lawfully, initially to 22nd May or 11th April 2019 and subsequently to 31st October 2019, by statutory instrument pursuant to s.20(4) of the 2018 Act.
“Furthermore the terms of s.1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 confirm that Parliament lawfully authorised the Prime Minister to seek from the EU the extension to 31st October 2019 effected by the statutory instrument laid before Parliament at 4.15pm on 11th April 2019.”
But Mr Tilbrook has remained unmoved, with his ‘Ground of Appeal’ being: “The learned judge erred in law by finding that it was unarguable that there was not a Prerogative or a statutory power to agree to an extension of the period between notification and withdrawal of a Member State by Article 50 of the TEU.”
He has recruited Anthony Speaight QC to his legal team, and according to Mr Tilbrook, the leading barrister is confident he still has a strong case to proceed with.
Mr Tilbrook told Express.co.uk: “The finding against our case is totally bizarre because the team of leading barristers I have been working with have always said we should win this.
“This isn’t a setback for us because we truly believe we have a sustainable and winning argument, and I don’t feel the Government’s defence is very strong at all.
“We are still confident of getting this to the High Court and will do everything possible to win.”
Mr Tilbrook expects to receive a decision on his appeal within weeks and if successful, could make it to court in either September or October.
He added the Court of Appeal could hear the case themselves, or may still grant permission for it to be heard in the High Court.