Government joins legal battle to prevent suspension of Parliament
The Welsh Government has issued a statement confirming it has been granted permission to join the legal fight, fronted by activist Gina Miller, that is seeking to prevent the UK government from suspending parliament before the Brexit deadline on October 31st.
The suspension was confirmed after the request of the Tory Government was approved by the Queen last Wednesday.
Counsel General Jeremy Miles AM wrote: “Whatever the government’s stated reasons for it, the effect of such an unusually lengthy prorogation is to curtail Parliament’s ability to properly debate and scrutinise the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union; and to deprive Parliament of the opportunity to exercise its will, should it wish to do so, through legislation.
“The wider ramifications of shutting down Parliament to force through a no deal Brexit are grave. The issues raised have significant implications for the protection of the rule of law and the fundamental constitutional principles of the UK.
“It is important that the interests of the National Assembly for Wales are represented in ensuring a functioning constitution. The dialogue between the National Assembly and the Westminster Parliament and how Parliament takes into account representations of the Assembly is a key part of the constitution and must be protected.
“The Assembly has given its consent to Parliament to legislate in devolved areas, trusting that Parliament would have the opportunity to pass that legislation. By closing down Parliament, the Prime Minister has frustrated this process and has prevented Parliament from legislating for the terms of exit. This may result in the Assembly having to bring forward new legislation in very limited time in these crucial areas.
“Therefore, in accordance with my power under section 67 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, on Friday I made an urgent application to be granted permission to intervene in the legal action launched by Gina Miller. My application was granted by the High Court and I have filed written representations in support of Miller’s case which highlight the implications of the government’s decision for Wales.”
The former Conservative Prime Minister John Major has also joined the case to be heard in the High Court in London on Thursday along with the shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti, who was granted permission last week to join the case on behalf of the official opposition.
Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, has said he will seek to intervene in his role as an MP. Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also sought permission from the court to join the case.