In Landmark Ruling, Top UK Court Says Johnson’s Suspension Of Parliament Illegal
Update 2: In his first comments since the ruling, Johnson says he “strongly disagrees” with the court’s decision, but acknowledges that parliament will return tomorrow:
- *JOHNSON: `STRONGLY DISAGREE’ WITH DECISION OF SUPREME COURT
- *JOHNSON: `OF COURSE PARLIAMENT WILL COME BACK’
- *JOHNSON: A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT TO FRUSTRATE BREXIT
Citing sources, Sky News reports that Johnson will not resign, and will fly back to the UK after his speech at the General Assembly.
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Update: Bercow has ruled that Parliament will resume on Wednesday following Tuesday’s landmark UK Supreme Court decision invalidating Johnson’s suspension of Parliament as ‘unconstitutional’ – as if it never happened.
Watch Bercow call Parliament back to order:
— Ian Pannell (@IanPannell) September 24, 2019
Parliament will resume at 11:30 am on Wednesday, but without PMQs. All of this is happening while Johnson is in New York trying to negotiate with EU leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. For his part, the PM has said he won’t resign.
But some are even calling for his top advisor, Dominic Cummings, who has become closely associated with Johnson’s Brexit policy and the decision to ‘prorogue’ parliament, which Nigel Farage called “the worst political decision ever.”
The calling of a Queen’s Speech and prorogation is the worst political decision ever. Dominic Cummings must go.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) September 24, 2019
As the pound continued to climb on Tuesday, gaining more than 0.5%, Danske bank warned that the currency’s upside on the news will ultimately be ‘limited’. “Optimism can be fleeting,” said strategists Mikael Olai Milhoj and Lars Merkin. “This ruling does not really take us closer to or further from a (no-)deal, and hence it should not move much.”
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In a landmark ruling that delivers what Bloomberg called an “unprecedented” defeat for Boris Johnson and his Brexit strategy, Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled on Tuesday that the prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks was unlawful.
Now, the Speakers of the Commons and Lords simply need to summon ministers and peers to order and Parliament will be back in session as if it had never been suspended. The Speaker of the Commons is still John Bercow, though he recently announced his plans to resign.
“This was not a normal prorogation in the runup to a Queen’s speech,” said Lady Brenda Hale, the president of the Supreme Court of the UK. The decision did prevent Parliament from carrying out its duties, the court decided. Hale also found that Johnson hasn’t furnished “an explanation” for such extreme action.
Hale added that “the effect on the function of our democracy” from Johnson’s decision “was extreme.”
Here’s the key excerpt from the court’s judgment, courtesy of the FT:
This Court has already concluded that the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty was unlawful, void and of no effect. This means that the Order in Council to which it led was also unlawful, void and of no effect and should be quashed. This means that when the Royal Commissioners walked into the House of Lords it was as if they walked in with a blank sheet of paper. The prorogation was also void and of no effect. Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous judgment of all 11 Justices.
It is for Parliament, and in particular the Speaker and the Lord Speaker to decide what to do next. Unless there is some Parliamentary rule of which we are unaware, they can take immediate steps to enable each House to meet as soon as possible. It is not clear to us that any step is needed from the Prime Minister, but if it is, the court is pleased that his counsel have told the court that he will take all necessary steps to comply with the terms of any declaration made by this court.
Johnson insisted that he had every right to prorogue Parliament for the five weeks before a speech from the Queen on Oct. 14.
It’s unclear what Johnson plans to do once Parliament is recalled – proroguing parliament for five weeks was a desperate gambit to try and strongarm the UK into a ‘no deal’ exit on Oct. 31. But with Parliament back in session, it’s looking very likely that opponents of a no-deal exit will succeed in forestalling a ‘no deal’ Brexit if Johnson can’t negotiate some kind of breakthrough deal with the EU. With the Tories in chaos following a welter of defections and expulsions, it’s looking like a general election might be the only way forward, though it might not deliver the results Johnson hopes.
As the odds of ‘no deal’ are once again dimming, the pound is on an upswing…
… however according to Danske Bank strategists Mikael Olai Milhoj and Lars Merklin, the pound’s gains on the Supreme Court ruling will be limited, noting that “optimism can be fleeting,” say strategists.
“This ruling does not really take us closer to or further from a (no-)deal, and hence it should not move much” the said, adding that “Bigger moves will come once we get going with the election and thus have a better idea of who will win, and what the corresponding (future) Brexit policy will be.”