"The Courts will decide whether The Charlatan can cast Parliament aside as an inconvenience."
Petitioners who have launched legal action to stop Boris Johnson suspending parliament are considering the option of pursuing an emergency ruling from the courts.
A cross-party group of more than 70 MPs and peers will now consider seeking an interim interdict – similar to an injunction in England and Wales – in Edinburgh’s Court of Session to block prorogation.
A hearing is currently scheduled for September 6th – just a few days before Johnson’s planned suspension of Parliament is due to take place.
Asked whether the Queen could say no to the PM’s request to suspend Parliament, Jo Maugham QC – who is leading the legal challenge with the Good Law Project – told Left Foot Forward:
“I do not expect this to be a decision that the Queen has to make. We have a hearing on 6 September and we expect the Courts to decide whether The Charlatan can cast Parliament aside as an inconvenience.”
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson MP told LFF she was adding her name as a petitioner to the legal challenge – joining around 70 other Parliamentarians backing the cause:
“Liberal Democrats will do everything we possibly can to stop the next Tory Prime Minister from crashing the UK out of the EU.
“That is why I am adding my name as a petitioner to this important case.
“Proroguing Parliament so as to crash the UK out without a deal would be catastrophic for our NHS, jobs, and our environment. Even entertaining the idea is reckless and demonstrates the degree to which Boris Johnson will always put his own career ahead of the future of our country.
“Liberal Democrats will continue to work cross-party to stop Brexit. This legal challenge is one of the many ways in which we will fight to ensure that the Tory government do not ride roughshod over our Parliament and democracy.”
Petitioner Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, said:
“Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament is an assault on our democracy.
“This is the people’s parliament, and the people deserve to have their representatives in Parliament during this vital period. This is the opposite of taking back control.
“Legal action to prevent the Prime Minister suspending Parliament has already been fast-tracked through the courts and the legal team will now consider the appropriate next steps, including seeking interim orders.
“A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Scotland and the UK, and we will do everything we can to stop Boris Johnson inflicting such hardship on the people. The final say on Brexit should be handed back to the people.”
On Tuesday petitioners updated their claim against the government to prevent it cancelling Parliament.
They contend that: “as a matter of constitutional law, the United Kingdom Government may not permit a ‘no deal Brexit’ unless and until explicit statutory authorisation from the Union Parliament is provided in the form of primary legislation to this effect.”
They add that the courts would, in certain circumstances, “be obliged to pronounce a mandatory order ordaining the United Kingdom Government duly to revoke, prior to exit day, its Article 50 [of the EU Treaty] withdrawal notification.”
The crowdfunded case is expected to proceed very quickly when it comes back to court.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.
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