The prospect that the courts will intervene to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal has moved a step closer, but a lengthy legal battle still lies ahead.

More than 70 MPs and peers are taking action in the Scottish courts to try to prevent Boris Johnson suspending parliament so he can force through a no-deal departure on 31 October. They argue that such a move would be “unlawful and unconstitutional”.

Lord Doherty, a judge, has scheduled a full hearing in the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 6 September. However, the petitioners are worried the case might not be resolved by 31 October, as it could eventually go to the UK Supreme Court. They fear the government could play for time so the case is not resolved by Brexit day, though its lawyers deny that will happen.

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