British activist readies legal bid over no-deal Brexit

International

FILE – In this Wednesday, April 26, 2017 file photo, Entrepreneur Gina Miller answers a journalist’s question at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. An anti-Brexit campaigner who won a major legal case against the British government says she will go to court again if the next prime minister tries to force the country out of the European Union without a deal. Businesswoman Gina Miller says Sunday, July 14, 2019 she has instructed lawyers in anticipation of Boris Johnson winning a Conservative Party leadership contest later this month. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)

LONDON (AP) — An anti-Brexit activist who won a major legal case against the British government said Sunday she will go to court again if the next prime minister tries to force the U.K. out of the European Union without a deal.

Businesswoman Gina Miller said she instructed her lawyers to serve notice to Conservative Party lawmaker Boris Johnson in anticipation of him becoming the next prime minister.

Johnson is the favorite to succeed Theresa May as prime minister later this month. He says it is imperative Britain leaves the EU on the rescheduled date of Oct. 31. He has refused to rule out suspending Parliament if lawmakers tried to block Brexit.

Opponents say that would be undemocratic.

Miller said “it would be an abuse of his powers to close Parliament … to limit the voice of the representatives that we all elect.”

In 2017, Miller won a ruling in the Supreme Court that stopped the government from triggering the countdown to Brexit without a vote in Parliament.

Britain’s departure from the EU was postponed twice because Parliament refused to back the divorce deal the government struck with the bloc. British lawmakers have also ruled out leaving without an agreement.

Most economists say leaving the EU without an agreement on divorce terms would disrupt trade between Britain and the bloc and plunge the country into recession.

But Johnson and his rival for the Conservative Party leader who will become prime minister, Jeremy Hunt, both argue that failing to go through with Brexit, deal or no deal, would betray voters’ 2016 decision to leave the EU — and devastate the governing Conservatives.

Conservative lawmaker Priti Patel, who supports Johnson, said “frankly the British public are sick to death of this.”

“They want to see a government now, with renewed conviction, get out there and do exactly what it said it will do, which is now to deliver Brexit,” she told Sky News.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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