On Wednesday, the Britain Supreme Court heard that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is the “father of lies” who shut down the mother of parliaments in the run-up to Brexit and the court was also told that his move was destroying parliamentary democracy.
There has been a huge debate in the parliament over whether Johnson’s advice to Queen Elizabeth II to suspend the legislature was unlawful. It was the second of three days’ debate.
Challenging Johnson’s actions, the lawyer who is representing 75 parliamentarians said the premier had unlawfully abused his power by closing parliament for five weeks until October 14 while Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31.
Lawyer Aidan O’Neil said one might think that a government “would engage solely in high politics as opposed to low, dishonest dirty tricks but I’m not sure we can assume that of this government.”
“The mother of parliaments is being shut down by the father of lies. Rule that this prorogation is an unlawful abuse of power,” O’Neill told judges.
Johnson became Britain’s Prime Minister in July. His decision to suspend the parliament was heavily criticized by many. His opponents claimed that he did so to silence opposition to his plans to take Britain out of the EU on October 31, with or without a divorce deal with Brussels.
The Supreme Court is hearing appeals against two conflicting lower court decisions. The suspension was declared as unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court, but the High Court in England said it was not a matter for judges to intervene in.
“If the basic attack is this was improper purpose, motivation or effect because it was designed to stymie parliament, we respectfully submit: that is unsustainable,” James Eadie said.
According to him, the parliament had previously passed laws on prorogation but there was no legislation relevant to the case and so England’s High Court was right that prorogation was not something the judiciary could intervene in.