Tuesday 13 August 2019 12:09 pm

PM braced for September showdown over parliament suspension threat

A court case designed to stop Boris Johnson suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit has been fast-tracked for the first week of September – when MPs return from summer recess.

The case, which was heard this morning in Edinburgh’s Court of Session while English courts are closed for the holidays, has been signed by about 70 MPs from the Scottish National Party (SNP), Liberal Democrats, Labour and Plaid Cymru.

Read more: Downing Street eyes early September for Brexit showdown

The petitioners argue that it would be unlawful for the Prime Minister to prorogue parliament – in effect shutting it down – to allow a no-deal Brexit to occur by default on 31 October.

The date of the case’s hearing on 6 September marks what is likely to be an eventful week for Johnson.

Read more: UK ‘first in line’ for trade deal with US after Brexit: Bolton

MPs return to parliament from 3 September, and the Labour party is thought to be exploring a vote of no confidence in Johnson’s leadership during that week.

Johnson’s closest aide, former Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings, has suggested that Johnson would not resign in the event that he lost a no-confidence vote, and could therefore schedule a general election for 1 November, after the Brexit deadline of 31 October.