On Wendesday morning, the court ruled that the Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful. It will be seen as a major win for Remainers plotting to derail the Prime Minister’s Brexit Strategy. The cross-party, anti-Brexit case was led by Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and SNP MP Joanna Cherry.
Ms Cherry tweeted: “Huge thanks to all our supporters and our fantastic legal team who have achieved the historic ruling that #prorogation is #unlawful.”
The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard the full arguments against Boris Johnson’s controversial decision to suspend Parliament.
The case was originally dismissed last week, where Judge Lord Doherty said it was for politicians and not the courts to decide on shutting down the Commons and Lords for five weeks.
But three judges disagreed with Lord Doherty’s ruling and overturned the ruling at the Inner House supreme civil court on Wednesday.
Judges in Scotland’s highest court have ruled that prorogation is unlawful
The Prime Minister will challenge the decision at the Supreme Court
The wording of the ruling said the prorogration was unlawful because “it had the purpose of styming Parliament”.
A summary of the case said: “This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities.”
It added there were two main reasons for Mr Johnson shutting down the Commons.
First, the prorogation was done to “prevent or impede parliament holding the executive to account and legislating with regard to Brexit”.
Secondly, it was to “allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no-deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference”.
The group of Remainer MPs sought a ruling that Mr Johnson’s suspension of Parliament is illegal – and it seems they have triumphed in Scotland’s highest court.
The Queen granted Mr Johnson request to suspend Parliament until October 14.
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and SNP member Joanna Cherry led the group of 75 MPs – and first went to the Court of Session in August of this year.
Jolyon Maugham QC, the anti-Brexit barrister who was second petitioner in the case, said the Supreme Court would hear the case next week.
He tweeted: “We have won. Appeal begins in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
“We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued.
“I have never been able to contemplate the possibility that the law could be that our sovereign Parliament might be treated as an inconvenience by the Prime Minister.
“I am pleased that Scotland’s highest court agrees. But ultimately, as has always been the case, it’s the final arbiter’s decision that matters.
“We will convene again in the Supreme Court next week.”
He tweeted: “We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued.”
Labour’s Keir Starmer said of the remainer victory: “I’m really pleased with this result, but I’m surprised because for a court to make a decision like this is a huge thing. It vindicates what happened last week”.
Speaking at the TUC Congress in Brighton, he said: ”I need to get back to Parliament, to see if we can reopen the doors and hold Johnson to account.
”It was obvious to everyone that shutting down Parliament at this crucial time was the wrong thing to do.”
SNP Westminiter leader Ian Blackford tweeted: “This is great news congratulations to you and all involved. This battle has further to run but my message to @BorisJohnson is you are playing fast and loose with the law.
“You have acted in an anti-democratic manner and need to respond by recalling Parliament.”
The UK government plans to appeal the latest ruling at the Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial body in the country.
Mr Johnson insisted he took the measure to suspend Parliament in order to create a solid legislatory programme covering domestic issues such as crime, education and healthcare in the run up to the Queen’s speech.
Mr Johnson has also dismissed claims his suspension was undemocratic as “a load of nonsense”.
This is a breaking story. More to follow…