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Scottish court to hear no-deal Brexit suspension case next month

LONDON (Reuters) – A legal bid to prevent British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspending parliament to stop lawmakers blocking a no-deal Brexit will be heard at a Scottish court next month.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks next to Youth Justice Board Adviser Roy Sefa-Attakora during a roundtable on the criminal justice system at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain August 12, 2019. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS

A group of about 70 lawmakers from opposition parties are backing a bid to have Scotland’s highest civil court rule that Johnson cannot ask Queen Elizabeth to prorogue, or suspend, parliament before Britain leaves the European Union on Oct. 31.

The case had its first court outing on Tuesday at which the Court of Session decided that a substantive hearing would take place on Sept. 6, said lawyer Jo Maugham from the Good Law Project which is supporting the challenge.

English courts do not sit in August.

Johnson has said Britain will leave the world’s biggest trading bloc on Halloween whether it has a divorce agreement or not and that also remains the legal default position.

However, a majority of lawmakers in parliament have previously indicated they would not allow a no-deal Brexit.

They have been investigating what parliamentary procedures can be used to prevent such an outcome, and in July backed proposals to make it harder for Johnson to force through any departure without a deal.

In June, House Speaker John Bercow said it was “blindingly obvious” that the prime minister could not sideline parliament.

“That is simply not going to happen,” he said.

“STOP NO DEAL”

However, Johnson, who replaced Theresa May on July 24 aft

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