Ian Blackford: No-deal Brexit would ‘trample on democracy'

A leaked email suggests Boris Johnson has sought legal advice for the suspension of Parliament.
A leaked email suggests Boris Johnson has sought legal advice for the suspension of Parliament.
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Shutting down Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit would be "trampling on democracy" according to SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, after reports that Boris Johnson has sought legal advice on such a plan.

Mr Blackford said that any moves to exclude MPs from deciding on Brexit would be "outrageous", while Scottish Labour MP, Ian Murray said it was an attempt to "silence the voices of voters".

Shutting down Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit would be "trampling on democracy" according to SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

Shutting down Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit would be "trampling on democracy" according to SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

The Prime Minister has asked Attorney General Geoffrey Cox whether Parliament can be shut down for five weeks, in an apparent bid to stop MPs securing a further extension to Brexit, according to leaked government correspondence reported in today's Observer newspaper.

The email from senior government advisors to No 10, written within the last ten days, allegedly makes clear that Mr Johnson has recently requested guidance on the legality of such a move.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of proroguing parliament, despite votes in favour of ensuring there are sitting parliamentary business days before Brexit deadline day of October 31. A judicial hearing on whether the Prime Minister can legally suspend Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit is due to be held on September 6, and is backed by a cross-party group of MPs and Lords from Scotland, Wales and England, supported by the Good Law Project.

READ MORE: Court bid to stop Boris Johnson from forcing no-deal Brexit

Mr Blackford said: "Any plan to shut down Parliament at this stage would be outrageous, and utterly undemocratic. Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to trample over democracy. He must urgently ditch his plans to drag Scotland and the UK off the Brexit cliff-edge.

“Scotland will no longer be ignored by Westminster. Any form of Brexit would be a disaster and crashing out of the EU with no deal at all could cause a recession - costing every person in the country £2,300 a year. That is a price that Scotland must not pay."

Ian Murray, who is one of the legal petitioners, added: “This attempt to shut down Parliament would be a democratic outrage. Treating the Commons with contempt like this is an attempt to silence the voices of voters.

“This demonstrates how vitally important it was to launch the cross-party legal challenge, which has been fast-tracked through the courts.”

A government source said it was "a matter of routine" for No 10 officials to "ask for legal and policy advice every day" and added "the claim that the Government is considering proroguing parliament in September in order to stop MPs debating Brexit is entirely false."