Appeal launched after court dismisses legal action against PM

The appeal will be heard in Scotland tomorrow

Monday, October 7, 2019

An appeal is to be launched after a Scottish court threw out a legal bid to force Boris Johnson to seek a Brexit extension if a deal with the EU is not agreed.

Legal action had been launched over fears the Prime Minister would attempt to find a loophole the so-called Benn Act.

The legislation states that Mr Johnson must ask the EU to extend the Brexit deadline beyond October 31 if Parliament does not back a deal or no deal exit by October 19.

But Judge Lord Pentland said today that documents shown to the court demonstrated “unequivocal assurances” that the government will comply with the legislation.

Following the hearing in the Court of Session’s Outer House in Edinburgh, he ruled it was “neither necessary nor appropriate” to issue a court order forcing them to do so.

The court also said that the case against the Prime Minister, launched by Businessman Dale Vince, SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC and Jolyon Maugham QC, had not been “based on reasonable apprehension of breach of statutory duty”.

Mr Maugham said after the ruling: “There is very real doubt in my mind that the government will act in accordance with the law.”

Despite accepting the Benn Act, the Prime Minister has repeatedly vowed to take Britain out of the EU by the Halloween deadline with or without a deal, “do or die”.

However, Lord Pentland warned that if Mr Johnson went back on his promises, it could damage the “mutual trust” that exists between the courts and the politicians.

The appeal against the decision is expected to be heard tomorrow at the court’s Inner House.

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