UK Supreme Court Rules That Boris Johnson’s Suspension of Parliament Was Unlawful

The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

Johnson, who has been at odds with members of Parliament over the looming Brexit deadline, shut down Parliament for five weeks earlier this month. Johnson argued that it was to prepare for a new session while opponents accused him of using the shutdown to stifle opposition to his Brexit plan.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Johnson. Supreme Court President Lady Hale said that the suspension was unlawful because it "had the effect of frustrating or preventing Parliament from carrying out its constitutional functions."

“Parliament, as elected representatives of the people, has a right to a voice,” Hale said. “The effect on our elected democracy was extreme.”

"It is important once again to emphasize that these cases are not about how and when the UK leaves the EU, they are about whether the PM’s advice" was unlawful, she explained.

The ruling means that the Parliament was never legally suspended and members of both Houses can return to work.

Johnson complains ruling wasn’t “the right decision”:

Johnson said after the ruling that the Supreme Court’s was “not the right decision.”

"There are a lot of people who want to frustrate Brexit,” he said. “Parliament has been debating Brexit for three years solidly now is the chance for us to get a deal, come out of the EU on Oct 31 and that is what we are going to do.”

“I strongly disagree with this decision of the Supreme Court,” he added. “I have the upmost respect for our judiciary, I don’t think this was the right decision I think that the prorogation has been used for centuries without this kind of challenge.”

Mounting calls for Johnson to resign:

“The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, should resign,” said Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbin.

Jo Swinson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said that the ruling confirms that Johnson “misled Queen and county, and unlawfully silenced the people's representatives.” She added that she would try to “stop Brexit altogether.”

Joanna Cherry, a Scottish National Party MP who led the Scottish case against Johnson’s suspension of Parliament praised the decision and said Johnson “must resign.”

Former Prime Minister John Major, a member of Johnson’s own party, said that he hopes the ruling “will deter any future Prime Minister from attempting to shut down Parliament, with the effect of stifling proper scrutiny and debate, when it’s sitting so plainly in the national interest.”

“No Prime Minister must ever treat The Monarch or Parliament in this way again.”

 

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