LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may droop parliament once more even when the Supreme Courtroom guidelines that his unique suspension, or prorogation, was illegal, a court docket doc tweeted by an opposition lawyer confirmed on Thursday.
A professional-Brexit demonstrator holds a bag outdoors the Supreme Courtroom in London, Britain September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
The doc, submitted to the court docket by Johnson’s legal professionals, was disclosed as Britain’s high judicial physique was listening to a 3rd and closing day of authorized arguments on whether or not the prime minister’s choice to droop parliament from Sept. 10 to Oct. 14 was lawful.
On Tuesday, one in all Johnson’s legal professionals had informed the court docket that if the prime minister misplaced the case, he may recall parliament sooner than scheduled.
This may give extra time for legislators to scrutinise and oppose his plans to steer Britain out of the European Union, with or with out a divorce deal, on Oct. 31.
However within the new doc, not disclosed to media however revealed by lawyer Jo Maugham – a type of concerned within the authorized problem – Johnson’s authorized group appeared to say there would nonetheless be a manner for him to maintain parliament from sitting, relying on the precise wording of the court docket’s judgment.
“Relying on the court docket’s reasoning it might nonetheless both be open or not open to the PM to contemplate an additional prorogation,” two senior legal professionals representing Johnson stated in a written submission to the court docket.
Johnson’s legal professionals had been requested by the judges to elucidate what he would do if it dominated towards him. The doc tweeted by Maugham was their response, he stated.
“The (submissions from Johnson’s legal professionals) ponder a world the place the Supreme Courtroom guidelines this prorogation illegal and the federal government is plainly considering, in that world, persevering with the prorogation till October 14,” Maugham stated on Sky Information.
“So they’re very delicate, very cautious submissions, in search of to steer the Supreme Courtroom to depart that door open to the federal government. That’s hanging stuff.”
COUNTDOWN TO BREXIT
The explanation given by Johnson for suspending parliament for 5 weeks was that he wanted time to arrange a brand new legislative agenda. His opponents say the actual purpose why he sought the suspension was to stop parliament from interfering together with his Brexit technique.
Earlier than the suspension, Johnson suffered one defeat after one other in parliament, the place he has no majority.
Most members of the Home of Commons are against a so-called “no-deal Brexit” state of affairs, predicting that it might trigger financial injury and extreme disruption, together with to meals and medication provide chains.
A ruling may come late on Thursday on the earliest, however is extra prone to be delivered within the following days. The 11 justices have given no indication of how lengthy they’d take.
Amongst Johnson’s opponents within the Supreme Courtroom listening to is one in all his predecessors as prime minister and Conservative Get together chief, John Main, who has submitted a written witness assertion saying that the proof confirmed that the explanation given by Johnson for the suspension was not true.
“The inescapable inference to be drawn (from the proof) is that the prorogation is to stop parliament from exercising its proper to disagree with the federal government and legislate because it sees match,” Main stated within the witness assertion, in line with an excerpt learn out in court docket by his lawyer.
Main’s years in workplace between 1990 and 1997 had been marked by bitter divisions and battle inside his social gathering and authorities over Britain’s relations with the EU. He described a few of his personal anti-EU cupboard members as “bastards”.
The Conservatives are extra divided than ever over the EU challenge. Utilizing his authority as an elder statesman, Main has stated Britain ought to stay within the EU, and has warned no-deal Brexit could be disastrous for the nation.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Kate Holton; Modifying by Man Faulconbridge, Timothy Heritage and Hugh Lawson