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MPs launch Court of Session bid to halt no-deal Brexit

Pro-remain MPs want to stop Boris Johnson from overriding Parliament's wishes on Brexit.

Boris Johnson: Legal action has been lodged.
Boris Johnson: Legal action has been lodged. Getty Images

A cross party group of pro-remain MPs have began an action at Scotland's highest court to stop Boris Johnson from overriding Parliament's wishes on Brexit.

A total of 24 parliamentarians, including Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, SNP MP Joanna Cherry, and former Change UK leader Heidi Allen, have lodged legal papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The politicians have teamed up with English lawyer Jo Maugham QC to get Scottish judges to rule it would be unlawful for the Prime Minister to close Parliament in order to force through a no deal Brexit.

Sources close to the PM have suggested the PM may carry out the move, which is called proroguing, to allow the UK to leave the EU by October 31 this year.

The parliamentarians believe there is no majority in the Houses of Parliament for a so called "Hard Brexit" and it is unlawful for the PM to carry out the proroguing process.

The team of remainers have instructed the same legal team which won a victory at the Court of Session and the European Court of Justice last year.

A group of judges ruled on that occasion it would be lawful for the UK government to stop Brexit by notifying the EU of its intention to withdraw its article 50 notification.

On Tuesday, a source close to the case said the lawyer who acted in that case, Aidan O'Neill QC, has been instructed to represent the Parliamentarians in this new action.

The source added: "This action is all to do with the idea that Parliament can be prorogued in order for the government to bring through a hard Brexit.

"We firmly believe that this would breach the constitution and it would be unlawful.

"So we have brought this latest action in a bid to stop Parliament from being prorogued. We are very confident that we will be successful."

'This action is all to do with the idea that Parliament can be prorogued in order for the government to bring through a hard Brexit.'
Source close to the case

Among the Scots MPs also bringing this latest action are Labour's Ian Murray and the SNP's Hannah Bardell and Ronnie Cowan.

A source close to the case says the action has been raised in Scotland because it is urgent.

The English court which would hear the case is currently on holiday whereas the Court of Session continues to sit through the summer.

The case is expected to be heard sometime in the next month.

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