The Prime Minister’s suspension of the UK Parliament has been ruled unlawful in Scotland’s highest civil court. And Parliament may have to be recalled due to the court’s ruling.
A panel of three judges said the PM was attempting to prevent Parliament holding the government to account ahead of Brexit. And said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen was also unlawful.
WHAT DID THE JUDGES SAY
The judges said they were unanimous in their belief that the PM was motivated by the “improper purpose of stymying Parliament.”
Adding: “ The Court will accordingly make an Order declaring that the Prime Minister’s advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect.”
One of the three judges, Lord Brodie said: “This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities.
“It was to be inferred that the principle reasons for the prorogation were to prevent or impede Parliament holding the executive to account and legislating with regard to Brexit, and to allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no-deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference.”
And Lord Drummond Young said the UK government failed to show a valid reason for the suspension, adding: “The circumstances, particularly the length of the prorogation, showed that the purpose was to prevent such scrutiny.
“The only inference that could be drawn was that the UK government and the prime minister wished to restrict Parliament.”
The decision overturns an earlier ruling which said last week Boris Johnson had not broken the law. But it’s unclear what impact the ruling will have on the current suspension.
The full findings will be released on Friday.
THE ORIGINAL CASE
The original case was bought forward by a cross-party of 70 MPs and anti-Brexiteers. They wanted to reverse the PM’s decision to shut down Parliament for more than a month. Believing the shut down was Johnson dodging Parliamentary scrutiny over his handling of Brexit – and in particular, No Deal.
However, they defeated the PM in the Commons after a bill was put into place that effectively rules out No-Deal.
The UK government is “disappointed” by the decision, and they will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court in London.
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