UK

Government lawyer can’t rule out PM suspending parliament again

A authorities lawyer wouldn’t rule out Boris Johnson making an attempt to shut parliament for a second time throughout a Supreme Court listening to.

Lord Keen QC was outlining the federal government’s enchantment in opposition to a Scottish court docket’s ruling that the prime minister suspending, or proroguing, parliament for 5 weeks was illegal.

Boris Johnson wants a new Queen's Speech to push through his agenda
Image: Boris Johnson needs a brand new Queen’s Speech to push by way of his agenda

Mr Johnson made the transfer on the finish of August, asking the Queen to approve a suspension from the week starting 9 September to 14 October.

The PM mentioned this was so he may set out his authorities’s legislative agenda at the beginning of the brand new session of parliament subsequent month – however opponents argue he wished to curtail scrutiny of his Brexit technique.

Lord Pannick QC, the lawyer representing activist Gina Miller, earlier instructed the listening to that Mr Johnson wished to “avoid parliamentary control” and “silence” MPs within the run-up to Brexit.

The UK’s highest court docket has begun a three-day listening to which can hear two separate challenges introduced in England and Scotland over the legality of prorogation.

The High Court in London dismissed Mrs Miller’s case, ruling that the problem was “purely political” and never a matter for the courts.

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However, the Court of Session in Edinburgh concluded that the PM’s transfer was illegal, after a authorized problem was launched by a cross-party group of greater than 70 MPs.

The Supreme Court will take into account the 2 appeals and decide whether or not Mr Johnson’s recommendation to the Queen to droop parliament is “justiciable” – able to problem within the courts.

If they do, the justices will then rule whether or not it was lawful.

Legal activist Gina Miller, one of the campaigners fighting parliament's suspension spoke to Sky News as she arrived at court
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The court docket will hear extra submissions on Wednesday and Thursday, though it’s not clear precisely when a ruling might be made.

The query of what the federal government will do if the Supreme Court guidelines in opposition to it was raised throughout proceedings.

Lord Keen mentioned Mr Johnson would “take the necessary steps” to adjust to the court docket’s ruling.

But when requested by Lord Kerr, one of many 11 justices listening to the appeals, what would occur if the court docket guidelines that the prorogation was illegal, and whether or not parliament can be recalled, he responded: “It will be then for the prime minister to address the consequences of that declaration.”

Lord Pannick, Gina Miller's lawyer
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Lord Keen, Scotland’s advocate common, continued: “I have given a very clear undertaking that the prime minister will respond by all necessary means to any declaration that the… prorogation was effected by any unlawful advice that he may have given.”

Lord Kerr then requested if it was the case that parliament couldn’t be prorogued for a second time.

“I’m not in a position to comment on that,” Lord Keen replied.

“That will have to be addressed by the decision maker.”

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He added: “If the court finds it was unlawful, the prime minister will take the necessary steps to comply with any declaration made by the court.”

Referring to the Scottish case, Lord Keen mentioned the courts “must not cross the boundaries and intrude upon the business of parliament”.

He added that MPs would solely lose “seven sitting days” due to prorogation, as it could have been in recess for get together convention season for a lot of the 5 weeks.

Protesters gather outside The Supreme Court ahead of a hearing on the legality of proroguing Parliament
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Lord Keen mentioned: “It is quite plain that the inner house [the Scottish court that ruled against the government], in addressing this issue and deciding that it could impugn the decision of the prime minister, was proceeding upon a fundamental misconception about how parliament works.”

Speaking earlier than Lord Keen on Tuesday morning, Mrs Miller’s barrister mentioned the case raises “fundamental questions of constitutional law”.

Lord Pannick mentioned: “The exceptional length of the prorogation in this case is strong evidence that the prime minister’s motive was to silence parliament for that period because he sees parliament as an obstacle to the furtherance of his political aims.”

He mentioned it was “remarkable” that the PM had not given a press release to the court docket explaining why he had suggested the Queen to prorogue for an “exceptionally long period”.

Protesters gather outside The Supreme Court ahead of a hearing on the legality of proroguing Parliament
Image: Protesters collect exterior the Supreme Court forward of the listening to starting

Lord Pannick argued that the High Court had “erred in law” in Mrs Miller’s case and that the Court of Session had come to the “correct” conclusion about Mr Johnson’s motives.

A crowd of round 40 protesters, holding indicators saying “Defend democracy”, “Reopen Parliament” and “They misled the Queen”, remained exterior all through the listening to.

A smaller crowd of pro-Brexit demonstrators, together with one who shouted “traitor” at Mrs Miller as she left, additionally gathered exterior.

Lawyers for Mr Johnson will define the PM’s case that his recommendation on the suspension was lawful from 10.30am on Wednesday.

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