A cross-party group of MPs and peers will next week launch a bid in the Scottish courts to stop Boris Johnson from being able to suspend the UK Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.

As the Tory leadership frontrunner is expected this morning to be named as the new Prime Minister, parliamentarians fear that the amendment passed last week in the Commons could still leave a way open for Mr Johnson to prorogue Parliament to prevent MPs from blocking a no-deal outcome.

So, they have adopted a “belt and braces approach” to seek a court order to prevent any attempt to close Westminster down in the run-up to the October 31 deadline.

The crowdfunded action will be brought before the Court of Session – which unlike courts in England sits through August – and is for a so-called “declaratory,” stipulating that the Prime Minister cannot lawfully advise the Queen to suspend Parliament.

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The cross-party group, which is made up of MPs and peers from the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Plaid Cymru, includes some of the parliamentarians who, together with the barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, secured the ruling by the European Court of Justice that Article 50 could be revoked unilaterally.

They have informed Lord Keen of Elie, the Advocate General, of their intention to seek a judicial review in the Edinburgh court in the next seven days.

Last week, MPs passed an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill, which required progress reports on restoring devolved government in the province, which would need to be debated regularly in Parliament.

While some believed this would stop prorogation, others feared Mr Johnson – who has conspicuously refused to rule out suspending Parliament – could still find a way to do so.

Jo Swinson, the new Liberal Democrat leader, said: “Liberal Democrats will do everything we possibly can to stop the next Tory Prime Minister from crashing the UK out of the EU. That is why I am adding my name as a petitioner to this important case.”

The East Dunbartonshire MP said proroguing Parliament in order to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal would be “catastrophic for our NHS, jobs, and our environment”.

She went on: “Even entertaining the idea is reckless and demonstrates the degree to which Boris Johnson will always put his own career ahead of the future of our country.”

Ms Swinson added: “Liberal Democrats will continue to work cross-party to stop Brexit. This legal challenge is one of the many ways in which we will fight to ensure that the Tory Government do not ride roughshod over our Parliament and democracy.”

The SNP’s Joanna Cherry said: “The Tories have steadfastly ignored the democratically expressed will of Scotland’s voters and Parliament to stay in the EU. Now we face a no-deal Brexit with potentially catastrophic damage to Scotland’s economy, society and culture.

“It is unconscionable that the incoming PM should simply do away with the Westminster Parliament in order to fulfil this slow-motion car crash. Therefore, we must take all steps we can to prevent prorogation,” she added.

Her fellow Edinburgh MP, Labour’s Ian Murray said the legal action showed MPs from across different parties were standing up for the people of Britain.

“Taking back control surely didn’t mean shutting down Parliament. This exposes yet another vacuous lie of the Leave campaign,” he declared.

“Boris Johnson’s dangerous and reckless proposal to shut Parliament down is undemocratic and simply cannot go unchallenged.”

Mr Murray added: “The future of the country is at stake, and working together across parties in the best interests of the people of the entire UK has never been more important.”

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Mr Maugham, founder of the Good Law Project, said: “If the Prime Minister asks the Queen to suspend Parliament she faces an impossible choice. Either she ignores his advice and breaks with convention or she dismisses Parliament so the Prime Minister can use her prerogative to force through no-deal.

“Both options explode the notion of the UK as a modern, functioning democracy. We will ask the Courts to assist Her Majesty by ruling on that choice.”

Meanwhile, ahead of today’s election of a new Conservative leader, speculation was mounting at Westminster that more disgruntled ministers could resign before Theresa May formally leaves office on Wednesday afternoon so as to avoid being sacked by Mr Johnson, who is widely expected to beat his challenger Jeremy Hunt to the Tory crown.

On Monday, Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office Minister, tendered his resignation, hitting out at the "haphazard and ramshackle" would-be PM.

In an extraordinary move, the Midlands MP launched an effort to hold an emergency Commons debate on the new Tory leader today; a move which could have potentially dealt Mr Johnson a fatal blow even before he would have formally taken office.

Yet, John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, turned down Sir Alan’s application.

If it had been allowed, MPs would have been given the chance to consider "the merits of the newly chosen leader of the Conservative Party" and, crucially, whether or not the Commons "supports his wish to form a government".

Aid Secretary Rory Stewart, a former leadership rival, has joined Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, and David Gauke, the Justice Secretary, in pre-announcing his resignation in the event Mr Johnson entering Downing St.

Elsewhere, Ian Blackford for the SNP said a Johnson premiership meant it would be “clearer than ever before that Scotland faces the very real threat of being dragged down the road to economic and social Brexit self-harm”.

The Highland MP added: “Rather than fanatically fanning the flames of a devastating no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson must take a step back from the brink and, for once in his career, act in the national interest.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to launch Scottish 'charm offensive' with quick visit to Scotland to bolster Union

In other developments -

*The new Conservative PM will have to govern with a Tory-DUP majority of just two as Charlie Elphicke had the Conservative whip suspended after being charged with sexually assaulting two women; claims he denies. That majority could be further reduced to just one next week if the Tories failed to win the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, which the Lib Dems are confident of winning back.

*It has been suggested that as many as six Conservatives are considering jumping ship to Ms Swinson’s party, which would leave Mr Johnson in a perilous parliamentary position.

*a ComRes poll found 43 per cent of voters were “less likely” to back the Conservative Party in a no-deal Brexit.