A LEGAL bid to stop Boris Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit will have its first court hearing today.

The cross-party challenge – which is being supported by more than 70 MPs and peers – will be heard at the Court of Session before Lord Doherty.

It comes as a crowdfunding campaign backing the effort exceeded its £100,000 target.

The legal petition will ask the court to declare that the Prime Minister cannot advise the Queen to suspend Parliament to stop it voting on a no-deal exit.

If it is successful, Boris Johnson will not be able to suspend Parliament for that purpose without Parliament's permission.

Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project, which is behind the bid, said: "A man with no mandate seeks to cancel Parliament for fear it will stop him inflicting on an unwilling public an outcome they did not vote for and do not want.

"That's certainly not democracy and I expect our courts to say it's not the law."

The challenge is supported by the same legal team that secured a victory at the European Court of Justice last year over whether the UK could unilaterally cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50.

The initial hearing this morning will determine further procedure.

Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South and one of the names behind the petition, said: “When Boris Johnson unveiled his vacuous slogan ‘taking back control’, voters weren’t told that this could mean shutting down Parliament.

“The Prime Minister’s undemocratic proposal to hold Westminster in contempt simply can’t go unchallenged.

“On behalf of voters across the UK, this cross-party legal challenge aims to prevent him riding roughshod over British democracy.

“A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Scotland and the UK, and voters deserve a final say on whether they want to keep the best deal we have and remain in the EU.”

Other politicians involved in the effort include Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and the SNP's justice and home affairs spokeswoman Joanna Cherry.

The legal papers state: "Seeking to use the power to prorogue Parliament to avoid further parliamentary participation in the withdrawal of the UK from the EU is both unlawful and unconstitutional."

Warning that "the exercise of the power of prorogation would have irreversible legal, constitutional and practical implications for the United Kingdom", the challenge calls for the court to declare that proroguing Parliament before October 31 would be both unconstitutional and unlawful by denying MPs and the Lords the chance to debate and approve the decision.

Mr Johnson has pledged to take the UK out of the EU by the end of October "come what may".