Gina Miller vows to continue prorogation ‘fight for democracy’ at Supreme Court
Campaigner Gina Miller has vowed to continue her legal “fight for democracy” at the UK’s highest court after leading judges rejected her challenge over the suspension of Parliament.
Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice after the ruling, Ms Miller said she was “very disappointed with the judgment”.
The businesswoman told reporters: “To give up now would be a dereliction of our responsibility. We need to protect our institutions.
“It is not right that they should be shut down or bullied, especially at this most momentous time in history.
“My legal team and I will not give up our fight for democracy.”
Ms Miller added: “We feel it is absolutely vital that Parliament should be sitting. We are therefore pleased that the judges have given us permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, which we will be doing, and they feel that our case has the merit to be handed up.
“Today, we stand for everyone. We stand for the future generations and we stand for representative democracy.”
The Supreme Court will hear Ms Miller’s appeal, along with an appeal from a similar case in the Scottish Court of Session, on September 17.
Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and President of the Queen’s Bench Division Dame Victoria Sharp dismissed Ms Miller’s challenge against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks.
They announced their decision on Friday at the High Court in London.
Rejecting Ms Miller’s case, Lord Burnett said: “We have concluded that, whilst we should grant permission to apply for judicial review, the claim must be dismissed.”
Their ruling comes in the same week Mr Johnson fought off a similar legal attack in Scotland.
Ms Miller’s QC had argued that Mr Johnson’s advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks was an “unlawful abuse of power”.
The judges were urged to make a declaration that the decision taken on August 28 to advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament was unlawful.
The urgent judicial review application brought byMs Miller – who successfully challenged the Government at the High Court in 2016 over the triggering of the Article 50 process to start the Brexit countdown – was supported by a number of other parties, including former prime minister Sir John Major.
The action was contested by the Prime Minister, whose lawyers argued that the advice given to the Queen was not unlawful and that Ms Miller’s claim was in any event “academic”.
Lord Pannick QC, representing Ms Miller, argued during the hearing that the Prime Minister’s decision to advise the Queen to suspend Parliament was “extraordinary” – both because of the “exceptional length” of the suspension and because Parliament will be “silenced” during the critical period leading up to the October 31 deadline.
In submitting that the judges should reject Ms Miller’s arguments, Sir James Eadie, on behalf of Mr Johnson, said: “The exercise of this prerogative power is intrinsically one of high policy and politics, not law.”
Arguing that the claim was “academic”, he pointed out that each House of Parliament will sit before the UK leaves the EU on October 31 “and may consider any matter it chooses”.
The three judges are expected to give their reasons for dismissing the case in writing next week.
The judges granted permission for the case to go the Supreme Court.