YESTERDAY the judge of the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest court, ruled that Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson had no case to answer and he dismissed the attempt to see Johnson either jailed or fined if he refuses to write a letter to the EU asking for an extension to Brexit beyond 31 October.
In his ruling, the Scottish judge Lord Pentland said that, in his legal opinion, it was ‘neither necessary nor appropriate’ to compel the Prime Minister to ask for an extension because ‘there can be no doubt that the first respondent (the PM’s legal team) now accepts that he must comply with the requirements of the 2019 Act and has affirmed that he intends to do so.’
He warned it would be ‘destructive of one of the core principles of constitutional propriety and of the mutual trust that is the bedrock of the relationship between the court and the Crown for the prime minister or the government to renege on what they have assured the court that the prime minister intends to do.’
The claimants, ex-Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, SNP MP and QC Joanne Cherry and remainer QC Jo Maugham were not satisfied with this ruling.
Maugham said the decision would be appealed.
Shortly after the ruling was publicly released, he tweeted: ‘There are now risks of an unlawful Brexit that would not, had the decision gone the other way, have existed.’
Speaking outside the Court Maugham said: ‘The Court has dismissed our petition.
‘The Court has said that it has promises from the government, that the government will send the letter mandated by Parliament and will act in a way that will not frustrate Parliament’s intention in enacting the so-called “Benn Act”.
‘For myself I very much hope that the Court is right and that the government will, as the government has promised to do, abide by the law, that is all that I, Mr Cable and Ms Cherry have sought from these proceedings.
‘But there is very much doubt in my mind that the government will act in accordance with the law, and so tomorrow we will pursue our appeal against the decision of the Outer House to the Inner House of the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest court.’