Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller vows to take government to court if next PM tries to shut down Parliament to push through No-Deal
- Boris Johnson has refused to rule out sidestepping MPs to force a No Deal Brexit
- Ms Miller said that prorogation would be an extraordinary ‘abuse of power’
- She won the 2016 Article 50 Supreme Court battle against the government
Hardline Remain activist Gina Miller has vowed to take the government to court if the next prime minister tries to ram through a No-Deal Brexit by proroguing Parliament.
In a clear threat to Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson – who has refused to rule out sidestepping MPs to pursue a No-Deal departure – the anti-Brexit campaigner said prorogation would be an extraordinary ‘abuse of power’.
Ms Miller told Sky News: ‘I have never been a fan of Brexit… but that is completely separate, completely different, from defending the central pillar of our constitution.
Hardline Remainer Gina Miller (pictured on Sky News today) has vowed to take the government to court if the next prime minister pushes through a No-Deal Brexit by proroguing Parliament
‘We think that it’s beyond the prime minister’s powers because parliamentary sovereignty is actually the jewel in the constitutional crown.
‘To bypass and to close the doors of Parliament, we feel from the advice and the… case law we’ve looked at, that that would be beyond a prime minister’s powers.
‘It would be an abuse of his powers to close Parliament, to get through or to not get through, to limit the voice of the representatives that we all elect.’
In the wake of the 2016 referendum, Ms Miller won a Supreme Court battle which forced the government to secure the approval of Parliament before triggering Article 50.
Now, the businesswoman and People’s Vote campaigner said that she had drafted a team of lawyers who have written to Mr Johnson, warning him of impending legal action if the would-be prime minister moved to shut down Parliament.
The businesswoman and People’s Vote campaigner said that she had drafted a team of lawyers who have written to Mr Johnson, warning him of impending legal action if the would-be prime minister shut down Parliament
In the wake of the 2016 referendum, Ms Miller won a Supreme Court battle which forced the government to secure the approval of Parliament before triggering Article 50
When asked on the campaign stump if he would take the drastic step of proroguing Parliament, Mr Johnson has repeatedly refused to ‘rule anything out’.
The former London Mayor has vowed to stick with the scheduled October 31 departure date ‘do or die’.
How would proroguing Parliament help force through Brexit?
Brexiteers have mooted the prospect of suspending Parliament to stop MPs preventing the UK from leaving the EU by Halloween.
The idea would mean using the PM’s executive powers to bring the Commons session to a close in the run-up to Brexit, so there is no opportunity for MPs to take control of the process.
Proroguing Parliament requires royal permission, and asking the Queen would draw her into a massive political debate over Brexit.
There is the potential that MPs could force an indicative vote on proroguing – which would put her under more pressure to act.
Yet this commitment could be hamstrung by MPs who would vote to block a No Deal exit, in the event that an agreement with the EU cannot be struck.
This has caused some speculation that Mr Johnson intends to bypass votes in the House of Commons.
Former international development secretary Priti Patel, who is backing Mr Johnson’s leadership bid, said she was ‘not at all surprised’ by possible legal action, as she hit out at the ‘absolutely relentless movement to delay Brexit’.
She told Sky News: ‘It’s now down to MPs and a new government to actually take action, not for third parties by going through the courts.
‘I think that’s exactly how it should have been previously as well, after 2016. After the referendum the Government was very clear back then that Brexit meant Brexit and that we were going to leave the EU.
‘Instead we had a range of third-party anti-Brexit organisations and positions that chose to go to the court to derail basically the whole Brexit delivery and also to tie the hands of politicians, the Government and Parliament.
‘That is simply not acceptable and quite frankly the British public are sick to death of this, they want to see a government now, with renewed conviction, get out there and do exactly what it said it will do, which is now to deliver Brexit.
‘This should not be about the semantics of Parliament or just votes in Parliament or proroguing Parliament. We now have to get behind a new government.’
When asked throughout the campaign if he would prorogue Parliament, Mr Johnson has refused to rule anything out
Former international development secretary Priti Patel hit out at the ‘absolutely relentless movement to delay Brexit’