Lord Justice Bernard McCloskey will deliver his ruling at Belfast High Court this morning on three joined cases against the Prime Minister’s handling of the UK’s scheduled exit from the European Union. The three challenges argue a no deal Brexit on October 31 would undermine agreements involving the UK and Irish Governments. The Government rejected that contention during two days of legal proceedings in the High Court.
The Good Friday Agreement signed on April 10, 1998, helps to enable cross-border co-operation between the two nations.
Yesterday in a separate legal challenge, Scotland’s highest civil court ruled Mr Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament was “unlawful”.
Three senior Scottish judges concluded it had been done with “the purpose of stymying Parliament”.
The UK Government said it was “disappointed” by the decision and would be appealing to the UK’s Supreme Court.
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8.15am update: Grieve says disruption outlined by Yellowhammer documents ‘unprecedented’
Remainer Dominic Grieve has said the level of disruption outlined in the Yellowhammer documents is “unprecedented”.
The former Tory MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am pleased they are taking contingency plans, but it is still the most extraordinary document.
“This is a government which, in peace time, is content on inflicting on the British public the level of disruption which is set out in the Yellowhammer papers.
“It is unprecedented. I can’t think of an occasion where I have seen something of this kind before.”
The former attorney general added: “Even if we are ready for a no-deal Brexit, this is highly disruptive and costly. I think the issue here is that the public should have a proper understanding of the sort of level of disruption that no-deal is going to cause.”
8am update: Johnson under pressure over Yellowhammer documents
Boris Johnson has come under severe pressure following the release of the ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ documents which assess the impact of Britain leaving the bloc without an agreement.
The papers outline the “reasonable worst case planning assessments” and highlight the risk of medical shortages, food price rises and major cross-channel trade delays.
On food, the document warned that some fresh supplies will decrease and that “critical dependencies for the food chain” such as key ingredients “may be in shorter supply”.
It said these factors would not lead to overall food shortages “but will reduce the availability and choice of products and will increase price, which could impact vulnerable groups”.
The document also said: “Low-income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel.”
Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who is in charge of no deal preparations played down the fears and insisted the document outlined a “worst case scenario.”