“Courts are not to cross the boundaries and intrude upon the proceedings of Parliament.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the country’s Supreme Court to stay out of “political arena.” The top judges will soon hear evidence on whether he acted lawfully by suspending the parliament until October 14. Johnson “warned Britain’s most senior judges not to intervene in his decision to suspend Parliament,” UK’s Daily Mail reported.
The suspension of parliament is an “inherently and fundamentally political” matter and is not something for the judiciary to decide, the government’s lawyer Sir James Eadie argued before the UK Supreme Court.
Last month, Johnson suspended parliament for five weeks starting September 9, much to the dismay of the lawmakers opposed to Brexit. A group of around 70 members of parliament (MPs) challenged the decision before a Scottish court. The European Union supporters in Britain see parliament’s suspension as a move to prevent lawmakers from mobilizing support in the House to block a no-deal Brexit as the October 31 deadline approaches. Johnson’s government has vowed to take the country out of the EU, with or without a deal with Brussels.
Last week, the lawsuit reached Scotland’s highest civil court, which ruled the suspension unlawful. The case is now before a bench of eleven Supreme Court Justices.
London-based newspaper The Sun reported the stance taken by Johnson’s government before the Supreme Court:
Boris Johnson today told the Supreme Court to butt out of the extraordinary legal row over Brexit – as 11 judges launched a historic hearing into whether he misled the Queen.
The PM’s top QC insisted it was not for the highest court in the country to rule on whether he was right or wrong to suspend Parliament.
Lord Keen said the Supreme Court would be guilty of “intrusion” in ruling on something that was “political convention”.
And he stormed: “The courts are not to cross the boundaries and intrude upon the proceedings of Parliament.”
There is a lot at stake for the government and the nation. The UK’s Daily Telegraph explained: “If the Government loses the case, Mr Johnson could be forced to recall MPs to the Commons, giving Remainers the opportunity to find new ways of tying his hands over Brexit, and maybe thwarting Brexit altogether.”
The lawmakers opposed to Brexit allege that the government is undermining parliamentary sovereignty by sending the House on recess. As many Brexiteers have long argued, the overwhelmingly support for the EU in parliament does not reflect the will of the British people. Out of 648 seats in the British Lower House, 406 constituencies voted in favor of Brexit in the 2016 referendum, opposed to just 242 that wanted to remain.
Those numbers have moved profoundly in favor of Brexit if one believes the recent polls. The latest snap poll conducted by Sky News showed that close to 74 percent of British respondents now favor a no-deal Brexit. “The best thing about Brexit is that it has confirmed again and again that the crowd is so much wiser than the elite,” British columnist Brendan O’Neill commented on social media in response to the poll.
The political elite and mainstream media continue to pedal the fear campaign. They began this campaign in the wake of the referendum three years ago, which has failed to cower down the British people into accepting the Brussels’ yoke and break their resolve to leave the EU. Now it’s up to the elected government to steer the country out of the European bloc on October 31. Anything less will shatter their trust in the parliamentary democracy.
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