Anti-Brexit Legal Bid to Block Boris Suspending UK Parliament Rejected by Court

Miller
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

The High Court has rejected a legal appeal launched by anti-Brexit lawfare activist Gina Miller and supported by former Prime Minister John Major, after they attempted to block Boris Johnson from proroguing Parliament this month.

Lord Justice Burnett rejected the case brought against the government Friday, but set a date for appeal later in September to allow the complainants to challenge the decision quickly.

Gina Miller, the former model turned businesswoman and political activist had argued Prime Minister Boris Johnson Proroguing Parliament — Westminster slang for suspending the house to begin a new session weeks later — was an “abuse of power”. The judge disagreed.

Boris Johnson’s defence told the judge that the move was constitutional, lawful, and at best Miller’s counter-claim was “academic”, reports The Metro.

The decision by the High Court follows another decision against anti-Brexit complainants in Scotland this week, which sought but failed to acheive the same result.

In normal times, Parliament would be Prorogued frequently — as often as once a year — but as Parliament has stalled on its attempts to block Brexit, the session has ground on. In a clear indication of the extraordinary nature of the present political situation, the Parliamentary session Miller attempted to take the government to court over terminating is now the longest in modern British history, the last longest having taken place around the English civil war.

Former British Prime Minister John Major, one of the architects of taking Britain into the European Union, had intended to launch his own legal campaign against the government but subsequently decided to join Gina Miller’s case instead, to improve the chances of one challenge succeeding.

The Prime Minister announced last month that he would be proroguing Parliament for a five-week break over September and October. Despite the length of the prorogation, it takes place over a period that was already earmarked for a parliamentary recess (holiday) for conference season, and according to the BBC only something between “three and eight” actual sitting days will be lost.

While the government insists the Prorogation is an innocent move intended to end an over-long Parliament, it is generally agreed in Westminster that the true motivation is to limit the amount of time available to rebels to derail Brexit.

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