MORE than 70 MPs and peers are backing a case being brought in the Scottish courts this week aiming to prevent Parliament from being suspended for a no-deal Brexit.

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out proroguing – or closing down – Parliament ahead of the Halloween Brexit deadline, which would mean MPs would be unable to vote against a no deal.

A cross-party group of parliamentarians is bringing the case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, with formal proceedings expected to be filed tomorrow.

The case has been backed by 70 MPs from the SNP, Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats, as well as independents and five members of the House of Lords.

It is being brought in Scotland as the Court of Session sits throughout August, unlike the High Court in London which is in recess next month.

Jo Maugham QC, who is co-ordinating the legal challenge, said: “These are MPs who are going to the courts and saying we are so disempowered that we have to ask you to stop the Prime Minister from suspending Parliament. I think that is absolutely extraordinary.

“This is not the stuff of civilised, mature democracies.

“Yet we are in world in which the Prime Minister is explicitly contemplating it here.

“I think it shows quite what profound damage Brexit has done to the democratic fabric of the UK.”

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Convention means the House of Commons is suspended in the two weeks prior to the Queen’s Speech, which marks the start of a new Parliamentary session.

If Johnson was to time it for the start of November, it would mean Westminster would be closed as the deadline for leaving the EU passes.

The legal action – which will ask the court to declare Parliament cannot be suspended for the purposes of a no-deal Brexit – is being funded by a crowdfunding campaign.

Maugham said it was supported by “thousands of people profoundly worried about the state of democracy in the UK”.

He added: “I have no doubt that what the Prime Minister is proposing is an outrage – I very much hope the courts will have the courage to say so.”

SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, who is also bringing the challenge, said it was unclear what protections were in place against Prime Minister Johnson “collapsing Parliament for his own ends”.

She said: “The Tories have steadfastly ignored the democratically expressed will of Scotland’s voters and Parliament to stay in the EU. Now we face a no-deal Brexit with potentially catastrophic damage to Scotland’s economy, society and culture.

“It is unconscionable that the incoming PM should simply do away with the Westminster Parliament in order to fulfil this slow-motion car crash. Therefore we must take all steps we can to prevent prorogation.

“I firmly believe that Scotland is well on the path to independence but preventing the damage that a no-deal Brexit would do to our economy and society is very much in our interests ahead of a second independence referendum.”