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Brexit

Lawyers say prorogation 'improper and should not proceed'

The decision by the Government to prorogue Parliament is improper and should not proceed, a group of law professors has claimed.

Some 21 professors from the University of Oxford and University College London, among others, have urged the Government to reverse their decision in a letter to the Times.

Criticising the decision by Boris Johnson - which has prompted legal challenges in England, Scotland and Belfast - the signatories said the current situation was "far from normal".

"The prorogation is clearly designed to evade scrutiny, including legislation, and even a potential no-confidence vote," the letter to the newspaper said.

"It prevents MPs from asking wholly reasonable questions on key matters such as the EU negotiations and no-deal planning.

"This sits badly with the core principle in our democracy of government accountability to parliament."

It concluded: "This improper prorogation should hence not proceed. MPs may seek to block it, and so may the courts.

"The preferable route would be for the Government to recognise its mistake and reverse it."

Signatories include Professor Meg Russell, director of the Constitution Unit at UCL, Murray Hunt, director for Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, Paul Craig, professor of English law at University of Oxford, and Rodney Brazier, emeritus professor of constitutional law at the University of Manchester.

The Prime Minister has been strongly condemned from his decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks ahead of a Queen's Speech on October 14.

A cross-party group of MPs and peers who want to block the suspension will have the full hearing of their application in Edinburgh on Tuesday, and the High Court will consider a judicial review request by businesswoman Gina Miller on Thursday.

Tuesday will also see a victims' campaigner in Belfast resume his own legal bid to block the suspension.