Court rules British PM's suspension of Parliament is illegal

2019-09-11 | Since 10 Month

Nicky Harley


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend the UK Parliament this week has been ruled as unlawful.

On Wednesday, Scotland’s highest civil court, the Court of Session, ruled that Mr Johnson was attempting to prevent Parliament holding the government to account ahead of Brexit.

A panel of three judges found in favour of a case brought by a cross-party group of politicians to challenge it.

But Mr Johnson said on Wednesday that he wanted to "push on" with his own plans to improve the country and called on opposition parties to agree to a general election.

The UK government said it will appeal against the ruling to the Supreme Court in London.

“We are disappointed by today’s decision, and will appeal to the UK Supreme Court,”a government spokesman said.

“The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.”

The suspension began in the early hours of Tuesday and is due to last until October 14.

Mr Johnson claims the move will enable him to thrash out a divorce deal with the European Union without the scrutiny of Parliament.

The British political system is presently deadlocked ahead of October 31 when the nation is due to leave the EU.

Despite the ruling, it will not be implemented until an appeal hearing has been heard at the Supreme Court in London next week.

A group of more than 70 lawmakers had argued the premier’s move was unconstitutional because it curtailed debate in the run-up to the Brexit deadline.

On Wednesday, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the government is “negotiating very hard’’ with the EU to “very explicitly remove the backstop from the withdrawal agreement.’’

Shadow Secretary of State for Brexit, Keir Starmer said: "I welcome the Court's judgement. No one in their right mind believed Boris Johnson's reason for shutting down Parliament.

"I urge the Prime Minister to immediately recall Parliament so we can debate this judgement and decide what happens next."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government will work until the “last day” to ensure the UK leaves the EU in an orderly way, but insisted Germany is ready for a no-deal Brexit.

“I’m firmly convinced as before that we have every opportunity to do it in an orderly fashion -- and the German government will work until the last day to ensure that that’s possible,” she said on Wednesday. “But I can also say that we’re prepared for a disorderly exit.”

However, Spain said it will not allow further concessions to the UK.

Euro-sceptics like Mr Johnson are particularly critical of the Irish backstop, the insurance agreement to ensure the border on the island of Ireland stays open. Critics say it leaves Northern Ireland potentially forever linked to the EU.

"The backstop is going to be removed I very much hope, I insist, because that's the only way to get a deal," Mr Johnson said during a broadcast on Facebook.


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