LONDON, July 14 (Xinhua) — Boris Johnson, contender for Britain’s next prime minister, has been warned by businesswoman Gina Miller that he will face a legal challenge if he attempts to force through a European Union (EU) exit by suspending the British Parliament.
Miller was at a center of a major legal challenge two years ago when she won a landmark case in the British Supreme Court, ensuring that parliament has a meaningful vote in Britain’s Brexit process.
The Observer newspaper reported Sunday that the pro-Euro campaigner Miller would launch immediate legal action to prevent the next likely prime minister Johnson from shutting down parliament in order to drive through a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of MPs.
Miller, according to the report, has assembled the same legal team that successfully forced Prime Minister Theresa May in early 2017 to grant MPs a vote before triggering article 50, the process that set the clock ticking on Britain’s exit from the EU.
Johnson has said if he, as expected, becomes the new prime minister, Britain will leave EU with or without a deal, and he has so far refused to rule out suspending parliament, a process known as prorogation.
The newspaper said Miller’s lawyers have written to Johnson saying that such a move would be not only “constitutionally unacceptable” but also unlawful, and would lead them to mount an urgent challenge in the courts.
The Observer said Miller’s latest move would add to the drama as Britain faces political and economic uncertainty with the approach of the current Brexit deadline of October 31.
The suspension of parliament would prevent the House of Commons from using measures such as a no-confidence vote to block a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson’s rival in the Conservative Party leadership contest Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has ruled out suspending parliament.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Hunt pledged that if he succeeds May as prime minister he would take on the added role of Brexit Secretary himself.
Opinion polls so far are predicting a Johnson victory by a margin of around 70-30. The result of the leadership vote among 160,000 Conservative Party members will be announced next week.