A judge in Edinburgh has agreed to a fast-tracked hearing on whether Boris Johnson can legally suspend Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.
The court action by Jo Maugham and the Good Law project is backed by a cross-party group of 75 MPs and peers and led by the Scottish National party MP Joanna Cherry QC, it alleges it would be illegal and unconstitutional for the prime minister to suspend the Commons to prevent MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit before 31 October.
At a preliminary hearing in the Court of Session this morning, Lord Doherty agreed to expedite the timetable for the legal challenge to take place, setting the date for the substantive hearing as Friday 6 September 2019.
Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South is one of the petitioners. He said:“The courts are there to enhance our democracy by giving the public the ability to hold the government to account.
“It’s great progress to have a full hearing in September before the Prime Minister can consider closing down parliament to force through a no deal Brexit. Congratulations thus far to the legal team.”
Another of the petitioners, Joanna Cherry QC MP said: “I am pleased to be able to lead this case against Boris Johnson and the UK Government. I believe Scotland should be an independent member state of the EU. However, I felt it was important to show leadership in exploring every option to protect my constituents and people across Scotland from the disastrous effects of a no deal Brexit.
“The Tories have steadfastly ignored the democratically expressed will of Scotland’s voters and parliament to stay in the EU. Now we face a no deal Brexit with potentially catastrophic damage to Scotland’s economy, society & culture. Scotland is well on the path to independence but preventing the damage that a ‘No Deal Brexit’ would do to our economy and society is very much in our interests ahead of a second independence referendum
“I am grateful to Jo Maugham and the Good Law Project for backing this litigation. I delighted to be joined by such a large cross-party group of petitioners particularly so many of my SNP colleagues.”