A group of about 70 MPs from opposition parties are backing a bid to have Scotland’s highest civil court rule that Mr Johnson cannot ask Queen Elizabeth to prorogue, or suspend, parliament before the UK leaves the European Union on October 31. The case was first heard this morning, where the Court of Session decided that a substantive hearing would take place on September 6. This is because English courts do not sit in August.
Lawyer Jolyon Maugham from the Good Law Project, which is supporting the challenge, said: “A man with no mandate seeks to cancel parliament for fear it will stop him inflicting on an unwilling public an outcome they did not vote for and do not want.
“That’s certainly not democracy and I expect our courts to say it’s not the law.”
Mr Johnson has said the UK will leave the bloc on Halloween whether it has a divorce agreement or not.
But many MPs have previously said they will not allow a no-deal Brexit.
This includes Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and the Scottish National party MP Joanna Cherry.
They were among other MPs who won a ruling last year that the U can cancel Brexit without the permission of other EU countries.
Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, who is also backing the case, said: “When Boris Johnson unveiled his vacuous slogan ‘taking back control’, voters weren’t told that this could mean shutting down parliament.
“The Prime Minister’s undemocratic proposal to hold Westminster in contempt simply can’t go unchallenged.”
These Remainer MPs have been investigating what parliamentary procedures can be used to prevent a no deal Brexit.
Last month, they backed proposals to make it harder for Mr Johnson to force through any departure without a deal.
In June, House Speaker John Bercow said it was “blindingly obvious” that the Prime Minister could not sideline parliament.
He said: ”That is simply not going to happen.”
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Mr Johnson replaced Theresa May on July 24 after she failed three times to get her withdrawal agreement through Parliament.
As the Brexit deadline looms closer, he has refused to rule out proroguing the House of Commons to ensure there is no further delay.
But Brexit opponents say a no-deal divorce would bring disruption at borders and cause significant economic damage.
They believe this could tip the UK into a recession.
But supporters of Brexit say while it might cause some short-term issues, Britain will actually thrive outside the bloc.
US national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday that the United States would support a no-deal Brexit if that was the British government’s decision and Washington was ready to work fast on a U.S.-UK trade agreement.
Next chief executive Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise also said he will be “much less frightened” of the UK leaving the EU without a deal if the government is well prepared – and he has “every indication” they are now taking it seriously under the new Prime Minister.
He was also sharply critical of the no-deal planning by Theresa May’s administration, insisting there was “almost a wilful attempt” to not prepare as they did not want to admit it could happen.
The Conservative peer said the required level of confidence, energy and vigour “certainly wasn’t” in Mrs May’s Government.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m very pleased to see that that vigour has now come to government and we are properly preparing for all eventualities.
“I think if businesses and the Government prepare well for no-deal then I think the worst outcome will be mild disruption, but the best outcome is we will actually get a better deal – one that is acceptable to Parliament.”
He said the UK needs to be “prepared to walk away” to secure the best deal.
He said: “The vast majority of deals I’ve done in my life, if the deadline has been midnight then the deal has been done at 11.55pm.
“The reality is very few deals get done long before the deadline and people will negotiate right up to the wire.
“So I think we’re going to have to have nerves of steel, be prepared for both eventualities – deal and no-deal – and make sure we make the best of whichever one of those outcomes materialises.”
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