Gina Miller Considering New Brexit Lawsuit Over Parliament VoteBy
Miller says government can’t invoke ‘Henry VIII’ powers
U.K. Supreme Court backed Miller’s first challenge in January
Gina Miller, who brought the lawsuit that forced U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to get parliamentary approval for her Brexit plans, is considering another legal challenge.
The investment manager said that she is considering filing a new case if Parliament isn’t given a full vote on the final deal for the U.K. to leave the European Union. Her initial lawsuit forced May to introduce a bill to gain the authority to trigger Brexit. That draft law is currently going through the upper, unelected House of Lords.
“If the government includes the amendment to give Parliament a meaningful vote in 18 months time, before handing to the EU Commission, there will be no need for further legal action,” Miller said in an email Thursday. “But if the government tries to invoke the Henry VIII powers to prevent full scrutiny, that is another matter. Parliament is the sole, supreme legislative authority to create, repeal or amend our laws.”
Last year, after the June 23 referendum, Miller filed what was initially considered a long-shot lawsuit demanding Parliament approve May’s plan to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which starts two years of negotiations to leave the EU. After a pair of riveting courtroom battles, the U.K. Supreme Court in January backed her arguments.
The Lords voted on Wednesday voted in favor of an amendment to the draft law that would protect the right of EU nationals to remain living in Britain. Further changes to the wording will be discussed next week, including the demand for a “substantive” vote on the eventual Brexit deal. May will seek to overturn the changed made by the Lords when the bill goes back to the Commons while still meeting her self-imposed March 31 deadline to trigger Article 50.
Miller told BBC Radio 5 Live earlier Thursday that she would file any new challenge reluctantly, because lawmakers aren’t holding the government accountable.
“It’s frustrating that they’re taking their salaries, they’re taking their expenses and they’re sitting there and not doing their job,” she said. “They’re not putting the country first; they’re putting their political careers first.”