Johnson not “deterred” by the ruling, vows to deliver Brexit on October 31.
The British Supreme Court has ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend the country’s parliament for five weeks “unlawful, void and of no effect.” The verdict paves the way for the UK House of Commons to reconvene tomorrow.
Johnson, who was in New York for a United Nations summit at the time of the court ruling, promised to respect the top court’s decision but “strongly disagreed” with it. He also reiterated his commitment to take his country out of the EU by the end of the next month.
“Obviously this is a verdict we will respect, we will respect the judicial process,” Johnson told the BBC. “The important thing is we get on and deliver Brexit on October 31.”
Johnson accused the elite sitting in the country’s parliament and judiciary of trying to prevent the UK from leaving the European Union.
“Boris Johnson hits back at Supreme Court ruling saying people want to ‘frustrate Brexit’ and ‘stop this country coming out of the EU,'” British newspaper Daily Telegraph reported.
The BBC reported Tuesday’s court ruling and Johnson’s response:
Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful, the Supreme Court has ruled.
Mr Johnson suspended – or prorogued – Parliament for five weeks earlier this month, but judges said it was wrong to stop MPs carrying out duties in the run-up to Brexit on 31 October.
Supreme Court president Lady Hale said “the effect on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme.”
The PM said he “profoundly disagreed” with the ruling but would “respect” it. (…)
The court ruling does not prevent him from proroguing again in order to hold one, as long as it does not stop Parliament carrying out its duties “without reasonable justification”.
A No 10 source said the Supreme Court had “made a serious mistake in extending its reach to these political matters”, and had “made it clear that its reasons [were] connected to the Parliamentary disputes over, and timetable for” Brexit.
The UK mainstream media and the opposition Labour Party used the Supreme Court judgment to attack Johnson. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn asked Johnson to resign. “He is not fit to be prime minister,” Corbyn said in response to the court ruling.
EU officials joined the chorus. They believe that the verdict will weaken the UK government ahead of the Brexit deadline.
“The UK supreme court ruling against Boris Johnson was celebrated in EU capitals,” the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian reported, adding that Brussels is “convinced that the prime minister has lost control of events and will not be able to crash Britain out on 31 October.”
The UK government we ‘not be deterred’ by the court ruling
The beleaguered prime minister received backing from his American counterpart. President Donald Trump came to the defense of Johnson in a joint press conference today. He slammed a reporter for asking if Johnson should resign after the court’s judgment. “That was a very nasty question,” Trump responded. “I know him well, he’s not going anywhere.”
The Supreme Court judgment was politically motivated, British commentator Brendan O’Neill suggested.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a vile assault on the democratic order,” O’Neill wrote in the magazine Spike. “This was a decisively political act by 11 unelected judges who have taken sides against the government of the day, and this opens up a new, dark era in British political life,” he added.
It may be too early for the EU supporters to write off Johnson or celebrate the derailment of Brexit. As the Daily Telegraph noted: The ruling is “of course a significant blow but let’s be clear – Mr Johnson won’t be resigning any time soon, and whilst he maintains the support of party members, the Parliamentary Conservative party and the Cabinet, he remains the Prime Minister and leads an administration committed to leaving the European Union on October 31.”
Following the verdict, the lawmakers will return to the Lower House tomorrow, the outgoing Speaker of the Parliament John Bercow announced.
“In reaching their conclusion, they have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinize the executive and hold Ministers to account,” Bercow said. The move paves the way for lawmakers to put up legislative hurdles as country braces to leave the EU.
The europhile lawmakers may have a majority in the parliament, but they lack democratic legitimacy. Out of 644 constituencies in parliament, 406 voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. The lawmakers conniving with Brussels to overturn the people’s verdict will sooner or later face the wrath of voters at the ballot boxes.
UK Supreme Court rules PM Johnson’s prorogation of parliament is unlawful.
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