'The campaigner and businesswoman Gina Miller will launch immediate legal action to prevent Boris Johnson from shutting down parliament in order to drive through a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of MPs, the Observer can reveal.
Miller’s lawyers, Mishcon de Reya, have written to the likely next prime minister, saying that such a move would be not only “constitutionally unacceptable” but also unlawful, and would lead them to mount an urgent challenge in the courts.
Miller has assembled the same legal team, including the QCs Lord (David) Pannick and Tom Hickman, that successfully forced Theresa May in early 2017 to grant MPs a vote before triggering article 50, the process that set the clock ticking on the UK’s exit from the EU.
Her latest move will add to the drama as the country faces political and economic uncertainty with the approach of the latest Brexit deadline of 31 October.
In a letter sent to Johnson, seen by the Observer, the team at Mishcon de Reya make clear that prorogation of parliament – something Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out – would involve the use of prerogative powers, which courts would seek to limit. “Such powers cannot be exercised in a manner which is contrary to fundamental constitutional principles,” they say.
The letter adds: “It would seriously undermine parliamentary sovereignty for you, as prime minister, to prorogue parliament to prevent it from considering whether to legislate to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
“You would be closing the doors of parliament to prevent it from legislating on the most important political issue of the day, when time is of the essence. In such circumstances it would be unlawful for you as prime minister to advise Her Majesty to prorogue parliament for the purpose of preventing parliament from considering the enactment of a law to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal.”'
Read more: I’ll take you to court to block a no-deal Brexit, Gina Miller tells Boris Johnson
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