Tuesday 27 August 2019 9:42 am

Going prorogue: Boris Johnson could face legal action if Brexit battle builds

The Prime Minister could be open to an immediate legal challenge by the High Court if he pushes ahead with proroguing parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit, Labour has been told.

Shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti claims Boris Johnson would be committing “the gravest abuse of power and attack on UK constitutional principle in living memory”.

Read more: Analysts raise chance of Brexit deal after Boris Johnson’s G7 meetings

The comments appeared in a six-page document compiled for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that has been seen by The Guardian.


Chakrabarti argues any such move would be subject to judicial review and the courts “might well even grant interim injunctive relief in order to allow both houses of parliament to continue to sit and discharge their primary and sovereign constitutional role in this current moment of national crisis”.

Labour commissioned the advice following reports that Number 10 had sought advice from attorney general Geoffrey Cox on whether a five-week prorogation from 9 September might be possible.

Johnson is seeking to avoid a no confidence vote from derailing his plan to have the UK leave the EU by 31 October “do or die”.

He advised that shutting parliament may be possible, unless action being taken in the courts by anti-Brexit campaigners succeeds in the meantime.

Corbyn is meeting figures from across the Commons today to thrash out options in order to thwart a no deal Brexit.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson – who had originally rubbished the idea of a government of national unity led by Corbyn as “a nonsense” – is among those attending, however none of the prominent Conservative MPs who had been invited are thought to be going.

Read more: Johnson and EU leaders disagree over £39bn EU divorce bill


However, support is gathering around legislative action instead of a vote of no confidence, with no one candidate receiving cross-party support to form a caretaker government. A

City A.M. has previously reported that Downing Street is readying itself for a showdown on 9 September, when insiders expect MPs to try and seize control of parliamentary proceedings during a debate on the Northern Ireland Act.

Main image: Getty

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