GINA Miller has arrived at the Supreme Court for her Brexit battle with Boris Johnson over his Parliament shutdown.
Today’s legal showdown will be heard at Britain’s highest court after judges in England and Scotland delivered differing decisions on whether the PM’s move was “unlawful”.
The appeals from two separate challenges over the next three days are starting this morning.
Sir John Major joined forces with Remainer lawyer Miller and the ex-Pm will give a speech to the court on Thursday.
No10 claims the five-week suspension – or proroguing – is to allow the Government to set out a new legislative agenda in a Queen’s Speech when MPs return to Parliament on October 14.
But those who brought legal challenges against the Prime Minister’s decision argue the prorogation is designed to avoid parliamentary scrutiny over Brexit.
The Supreme Court, which will sit as a panel of 11 justices for only the second time in its 10-year history, must reconcile contradictory judgements issued by the English and Scottish courts.
The High Court in London dismissed the case brought by Miller – who previously brought a successful legal challenge against the Government over the triggering of the Article 50 – finding that the length of the prorogation was “purely political”.
Giving reasons for their ruling on September 11, three of the most senior judges in England and Wales said: “We concluded that the decision of the Prime Minister was not justiciable (capable of challenge). It is not a matter for the courts.”
But, on the same day, the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled that Boris’ decision was unlawful because “it was motivated by the improper purpose of stymying Parliament”.
Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, said: “The circumstances demonstrate that the true reason for the prorogation is to reduce the time available for parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit at a time when such scrutiny would appear to be a matter of considerable importance, given the issues at stake.”
This prompted a No10 source to suggest the Remainer group of 75MPs and peers who brought the legal challenge “chose the Scottish courts for a reason”.
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Victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord – who brought separate proceedings in Belfast, arguing that a no-deal Brexit would damage the Northern Ireland peace process – has also been given permission to intervene in the Supreme Court case.
In a statement ahead of the hearing, Miller said: “The precedent Mr Johnson will set – if this is allowed to stand – is terrifying: any prime minister trying to push through a policy that is unpopular in the House and in the country at large would from now on simply be able to resort to prorogation.
“No one could ever have envisaged it being used in this way: this is a classic power-grab.”
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