Home Brexit Mishcon de Reya lawyers tell MPs to reconvene as parliament proroguing is meaningless

Mishcon de Reya lawyers tell MPs to reconvene as parliament proroguing is meaningless

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
11th Sep 19 5:03 pm

Gina Miller’s legal team said on Wednesday that MPs should return back to parliament as the suspension now means nothing after today’s ruling in Edinburgh.

Mishcon de Reya lawyers who represent Miller sent a letter to the government legal department, saying, “The Scottish court has ruled that the current prorogation of parliament is unlawful and declared that it is unlawful. We understand that no application has been made to stay that ruling.

“In any event, as the Supreme Court made clear in Ahmed v HM Treasury [2010] UKSC 5, [2010] 2 AC 534 (Judgment on suspension of Order) at [3]-[8] where a Superior Court finds a decision to be unlawful this means that any Order in Council made on the basis of such decision is “of no effect” and null and void whether or not it has been quashed and this position is incapable of suspension.

“There is therefore no legal basis for Parliament to be prorogued and the Commissioners were acting (wholly innocently) without legal authority to do so.

“We note that the prime minister has stated in the Miller case that he ‘will take the necessary steps to comply with the terms of any declaration made by the court.’ [see paragraph 60 of the Prime Minister’s Detailed Grounds and Skeleton Argument.]

“Accordingly, please inform us what steps will be taken to reconvene parliament with immediate effect.

“In our view, parliament can simply resume its functions. We are copying this letter to the Speaker of both Houses of Parliament and to the claimants in the Scottish action.”


Speaking to Sky News earlier this morning, Sir Keir Starmer the shadow Brexit secretary said, “Across the country I don’t think many people actually believe the prime minister when he said this was just for a Queen’s Speech.

“But for a court to say that the documents really point one way and that they undermine his case to a point where they’ve ruled him unlawful, that’s an incredibly powerful thing for them to have done.”

“We need to be back in parliament doing our job, at the very least looking at this judgement and deciding collectively what should happen next.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said of today’s ruling in Edinburgh, “It is a landmark ruling when a court, this time in Scotland, rules that it is unlawful to prorogue parliament. The issue will now go to the Supreme Court next week.

“We did everything we could to prevent the prorogation of parliament. That is actually shutting down parliament which is what the prime minister has done in order to prevent questioning and debate right through to the middle of October.

“Whatever happens next week we will continue to press for parliament to be recalled so that we can question the PM as to why he seems, still, unable to give an undertaking that he will abide by the European law that we passed last week requiring him to seek an extension if necessary to prevent a no-deal crash out from the European Union at the end of October.

“These are interesting times when courts rule in favour of democracy against a prime minister who wants to shut down our democracy.”

Joanna Cherry QC, SNP MP told the BBC that MPs “have lost about 10 days of Parliamentary time… so we in the SNP are calling for parliament to be resumed.

“We think parliament should go back and get on with the job of scrutinising this government, looking at what they’re up to.”

She added, “We have uncovered more and more evidence that this was a plot by Boris Johnson and his cronies to prevent us from stopping them taking Scotland and the UK off a Brexit cliff edge by forcing through a damaging no-deal against the will of parliament.

“This ruling takes us one step closer to ensuring the UK government cancels their shameful prorogation and blatant plot to force through an extreme Brexit. Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to break the law with impunity.”

However a Downing Street source said today that that parliament will remain prorogued until the governments appeal is heard next week in the Supreme Court.

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