In yet another stunning moment of the ongoing Brexit saga, the highest Scottish civil court has found Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen to shut down, or prorogue, Parliament to be unlawful. This comes after the strange move that Johnson took to keep Parliament from meeting for five weeks ahead of the looming October 31 deadline for the UK’s exit from the EU.
Johnson had advised the Queen of the need to Prorogue last week, citing that it was customary for a new government to do so in order to get their affairs in order. Opposition parties in Parliament disagreed, however, stating that Johnson’s goal was to silence Parliament in order to brute-force his vision for Brexit. Johnson has loudly boasted he’ll be happy to see the UK leave the EU, with or without a trade deal in place.
A panel of three Scottish judges found Johnson’s conduct unlawful, and submitted a ruling counter to an earlier decision by the High Court of London. The Scottish panel stated that this was motivated by the desire to “stymie Parliament” and that the conduct was “improper.”
“This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour [sic] of public authorities,” ruled judge Lord Brodie. This ran counter to Johnson’s assertions that the prorogue was a completely acceptable and standard practice for a new government to start fresh with a new agenda.
UK Supreme Court
Since the top Scottish court and the High Court of London have turned in contradictory rulings, the government’s appeal will now be heard in the UK Supreme Court. This means that the ability of Parliament to even discuss the mater of Brexit now rests with the Supreme Court.
The prorogue began early Tuesday morning, meaning that no members of Parliament could take any legislative actions. As of the time of this writing, Parliament has not yet resumed their sessions, as they will have to wait for the Supreme Court ruling. This has many nervous and on edge, as Parliament is only scheduled to come back from this break by mid-October, a scant few weeks before the UK is set to leave the EU.