The woman behind the landmark Article 50 legal case, Gina Miller delivered a withering attack on politicians, the financial sector, the regulators, and the media at a breakfast event hosted by WACL.
One of the biggest challenges today, according to Miller is “leadership not behaving responsibly.”
She launched a legal challenge to the UK Government within days of the Brexit referendum in June 2016, arguing that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could not be triggered, nor Brexit implemented by the Prime Minister or the Government, without a binding parliamentary vote. After she won in the High Court, the Government fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court where Miller eventually triumphed in January last year.
Beyond these high-profile court cases, Gina is also a marketer, and campaigns against the mis-selling of, and hidden charges in, pension and asset management, and also, controversially, on the allocation of charitable funds to overheads and administration, through her True and Fair Foundation.
“Mrs May has no vision”, she said and went on to say “the goal of Momentum (a grassroots campaigning network) is to run the Labour party, and not run the country.” But it was not just political leaders, Miller also censured business leaders and media for “not behaving responsibly.” Talking about the emotional division and angst in Britain, she noted “there’s something very odd going on in the media.”
She touched on the toxic media storm, personal abuse, racism, and threats to her life, and her family’s lives, and revealed that she had received “suspicious packages” to her house and office.
Miller added that she was involved in the landmark case against Ribena Toothkind almost two decades ago, when the High Court rejected claims that the children's soft drink does not encourage tooth decay. (The brand was owned by GlaxoSmithKline at the time).
“Every industry needs to think about its ‘social consequences’. It needs to be fit for purpose. The role of leadership is to affect change, and leaders need to behave differently. And the role of citizens is to hold institutions to account or they become lazy and forget other people matter. That is what I do exactly, as a conscious capitalist,” she added.
Miller is now planning to sue the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
She is set to take legal action against the City watchdog over its lenient approach in allowing wealth and asset managers to flout new rules which forces them to reveal their fees. “The regulator is not fit for purpose,” she continued.
The pro-remain activist said it was "common sense" for the British public to have a second chance to decide whether to remain inside the European Union to "reform" it but rejected the idea of a second referendum, when asked the question by The Drum. “No, not a second referendum but a people’s vote on all the options that we are given and whatever deal we get. The will of the people started this journey and this is what the people’s vote will be about.”
Observing the current wave of women’s movements, Miller added: “I need women to rise up. It is more than just a gender-quake. I want women to use their voice and end this madness — the Brexit madness, the madness of how divided our country is and how it has become the laughing stock on the world stage. We (women) have to take that responsibility. This is a fight for our country.”