Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

Brexit news: Challenge to Johnson unlikely to succeed – ‘Courts want no involvement’ | Politics | News

has been facing criticism over his decision to suspend the parliamentary session for five weeks before to work on his legislative plan for the future. The Prime Minister could soon face a legal challenge from anti-Brexit campaigner and former Prime Minister John Major also threatened to drag the Government to court if MPs were to be kept from discussing plans on how to leave the with a deal. But speaking to ahead of Mr Johnson’s election in July, Richard Toye, Professor in the Department of History and Head of History at the University of Exeter, suggested Courts may be reluctant to intervene over Government policy. 

Prof Toye said: “I don’t think anybody attempted to challenge the Government on the exercise of this particular power.

“The challenge is a very, very long shot. The Courts would be very reluctant to involve themselves.

“Clearly, John Major can hire the lawyers to attempt this but I would be doubtful of the prospects of ultimate success – the chances of preventing it are more likely to come from within the House of Commons itself.”

Indeed leaders of the opposition and MPs alike have , claiming the Prime Minister is seeking to avoid their intervention to avoid a no deal Brexit scenario from happening.

Prof Toye continued:We’ve already seen the attempt to ensure that reports from the Government are asked in September and October in such a way as to compel Parliament is sitting at that time. That could work.

“I don’t think the Courts would want to put themselves into a position where they were directly overruling the Prime Minister on the operation of his power.”

MPs voted ahead of the Summer recess on an amendment to the that would have granted them the right to head back to the House to be updated on the creation of new Northern Irish executive and effectively create an obstacle to attempts of prorogation. 

Mr Johnson denied the decision to suspend Parliament had been influenced by growing concerns of Parliament intervening to take a no deal Brexit off the table. 

Ms Miller conceded proroguing Parliament falls into the remit of the Prime Minister but said her legal challenge questioned the impact the suspension would have on the Brexit process.

She continued: “It’s the intention and the effect of prorogation which would be, in this use, to actually close down and fetter Parliament at a time when Parliament is expressing their will to sit.

“We must remember very crucially that there is normally a vote in Parliament before they rise for conference season and that vote has not happened yet.”

Sir John Major in July threatened to take Boris Johnson to court in the event of the Prime Minister seeking to “bypass Parliament” to get a no deal Brexit delivered on October 31. 

The former Conservative leader said: “If that were to happen I think there would be a queue of people who would seek judicial review, the Queen’s decision cannot be challenged in law, but the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen can I believe be challenged in law. I for one would be prepared to go and seek judicial review to prevent Parliament from being bypassed.”

He added: “I served in Parliament for over 20-years. I am very proud to have done so. I am not going to stand by and see Parliamentary traditions disregarded in this way.”

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