Prominent Indian-origin anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has filed an urgent judicial review application over United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament prior to leaving the European Union.
Miller had earlier mounted a successful legal challenge to prevent former British premier Theresa May triggering the Brexit without Parliament's approval. She has come out in opposition after Johnson's announcement that Parliament would be suspended from the week of September 9 until October 14, giving MPs hardly any time to debate Brexit before the October 31 deadline for the UK to leave the 28-member economic bloc.
Her urgent legal challenge came as the announcement sparked a major backlash, triggering impromptu protests in London and over a million signing an online petition against the move.
“All right-minded Britons who believe in the rule of law and the preservation of Britain's internationally respected and democratic traditions will share my profound sense of dismay at the cynical and cowardly prorogation of Parliament,” said Miller.
The 53-year-old investment fund manager had already issued a legal letter of warning to Johnson in the run up to the prime ministerial leadership contest last month on his failure at the time to rule out proroguing Parliament in order to meet the Brexit deadline.
"I have received legal correspondence from the Government Legal Department in the last two weeks stating that the whole issue of prorogation is of no more than academic interest. It is, sadly, all too clear that prorogation is a desperate reality, not a mere theoretical nicety,” Miller said.
Opposition parties and those campaigning against a feared no-deal Brexit branded Johnson’s move a blatant attempt at rail-roading Britain's exit from the EU by blocking MPs from tabling motions to prevent a damaging Brexit.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described Johnson's move as "a smash-and-grab on our democracy" in order to force through no-deal by leaving MPs without enough time to pass laws in Parliament. He has pledged to try to stop the suspension.
The leader of the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, said Johnson was denying people a voice through their representatives in Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.
A snap opinion poll by YouGov found 47 per cent of British adults thought the decision was unacceptable, with 27 per cent saying it was acceptable and 27 per cent unsure. But it found the suspension was supported by Brexiteers, with 51 per cent of people who voted to leave the EU approving of Johnson's actions.