Britain’s top court to hear challenges to suspension of parliament

Picture: succo/Pixabay

London – Britain’s Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing legal arguments on Tuesday against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament, amid accusations that Johnson wants to reduce scrutiny of his Brexit plans.

The hearing is expected to last three days, with evidence from three separate appeals in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Johnson has rejected calls to recall parliament, insisting he did not mislead Queen Elizabeth II when he asked her to approve its prorogation, or suspension.

He said he requested the suspension to allow him to present a programme for improvements to health services, policing and other “people’s priorities” to a new parliamentary session.

Anti-Brexit legal activist Gina Miller, the lead plaintiff in the English case, said the issue at stake is “so much more important even than Brexit.”

“It is about how we are governed, about preserving our ancient democratic freedoms, and trying at all costs to stop a dangerous precedent being created that threatens constitutionally, politically and economically to impoverish us all,” Miller wrote in Monday’s Independent newspaper.

If the 11 judges rule that the suspension is unlawful, Johnson is expected to recall the legislature.

He would also come under more political pressure to explain his advice to the queen.

In a video aimed at British voters and released via Twitter on Monday, Johnson said some lawmakers “thought that that [suspension] was anti-democratic, even though we offered them an election twice, which they turned down, spinelessly.”

“They have had three years to think about Brexit, these people,” Johnson said.

dpa

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