Johnson dealt fresh blow over Brexit after Scottish ruling


UK government ‘disappointed’ by Scottish court ruling

The FT’s Sebastian Payne writes:

A government spokesperson has confirmed that it will appeal the Scottish court decision in the UK Supreme Court:

We are disappointed by today’s decision, and will appeal to the UK Supreme Court. The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.

The hearing is expected to take place next week.

Labour’s Keir Starmer heads for London with call to ‘reopen the doors’ of parliament

News of the result broke while Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, was speaking at the Trades Union Congress in Brighton and he was informed of the result after he finished speaking, writes the FT’s social policy correspondent, Robert Wright.

“I’ve got to get back to London,” Mr Starmer said before collecting his thoughts and giving an immediate response.

“It was obvious, I think, to everybody that not only was shutting down parliament at a crucial time the absolutely wrong thing to do – we should be sitting each and every day to resolve this crisis – but that the prime minister was not telling the truth about why he was doing it.”

It summed up Boris Johnson’s character that he had not told the truth about the reasons for the suspension, Mr Starmer added.

Mr Starmer, a former lawyer and director of public prosecutions, added he was surprised the court had made the decision.

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“What we need to do is get back to parliament and see if we can reopen up those doors and get Boris Johnson back in parliament and hold him properly to account,” he said.

Lawyer who petitioned for case says prorogation should be lifted instantly

Jo Maugham, a lawyer who was one of the petitioners behind the case, told the Financial Times he believed the lifting of the prorogation should now be instant given the government has not applied to the Supreme Court to halt it, reports Jim Pickard.

Our understanding is that parliament is unprorogued, we think that in order for the effect of the judgment today to be suspended, the government has to make an application to have it suspended, the government has made no application.

Mr Maugham said MPs would be able to use the extra time to try to “break through the Gordian Knot” of Brexit in the coming weeks.

He described the judgment as a historic triumph.

If it were to be the law that the courts now could not get involved with a decision by the prime minister, a decision that parliament doesn’t get to vote on – to suspend parliament – we would now be living in a dictatorship where the prime minister could suspend parliament for four years if he felt like it.

Scotland’s highest court rules prorogation of parliament unlawful

Scotland’s highest court has ruled that the prorogation of parliament was unlawful, reports Mure Dickie from Edinburgh.

However, it said it will not seek to recall parliamentarians before the UK Supreme Court makes a final decision on the issue.

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Colin Sutherland, Lord Carloway, Lord President of Edinburgh’s Court of Session, ruled in a case brought by more than 70 parliamentarians to stop prime minister Boris Johnson from suspending parliament.

The Edinburgh court’s lower outer house had ruled last week that the prorogation was a matter of “high policy and political judgment” and not something that courts could pass judgment on.

But Lord Carloway said the inner court’s judges had agreed it was unlawful.

A draft of the court ruling said the prime minister’s decision to advise the Queen to prorogue parliament was “unlawful because it had the purpose of stymying parliament”.

Welcome back

The latest twist in the Brexit saga has seen Scotland’s highest court rule that Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue parliament was unlawful.

Join us throughout the day as we bring you the latest news and insights from FT reporters on this developing drama.



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