It has been ruled by Scotland’s highest civil court that Boris Johnson’s suspension of the UK Parliament is unlawful. A cross-party group of politicians, challenging the prime minister’s move, gained the support of a panel comprising three judges at the Court of Session. The judges said that the PM was trying to prevent Parliament holding the government to account ahead of Brexit.
The UK government said that it will appeal to the Supreme Court in London against the ruling. The court of Session decision overturns a previous ruling out from the court, which said last week that Mr. Johnson had not broken the law.
However, it is not clear what impact the judgment will have on the current suspension of Parliament, which started in the early hours of Tuesday. MPs will not return to Parliament until October 14, when Queen Elizabeth will give her speech highlighting Mr. Johnson’s legislative plans. The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.
Making a conclusion on their decision, the Court of Session judges said Mr. Johnson was motivated by the “improper purpose of stymying Parliament”.
They added: “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.”
A group of more than 70 largely pro-Remain MPs and rivals behind the legal challenge were headed by SNP MP Joanna Cherry who demanded that the Parliament must be resumed immediately. “We feel utterly vindicated and I would be confident that the UK Supreme Court will uphold this decision,” she added.
The Inner House of the Court of Session was urged by the parliamentarians after their original challenge to the suspension of Parliament was dismissed by judge Lord Doherty last week.
One of the three judges, Lord Brodie, said: “This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behavior of public authorities.”
“It was to be inferred that the principal 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,” she added.
However, the judges will be releasing their final decision on Friday. A spokesman of Number 10 stated that “The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.”