Scottish court rules prorogation ‘unlawful’

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Leave campaigners outside Parliament being betrayed by Remainer MPs and the courts

WE ARE of the opinion that the advice given by the government to Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue Parliament was unlawful and that the prorogation itself was unlawful,’ Lord Carloway said, announcing the ruling of Scotland’s highest civil court yesterday morning, a decision made by three judges, chaired by Carloway.

The court issued an official summary of its decision declaring the prorogation order was ‘null and of no effect’.

Johnson’s government said that it is ‘disappointed’ and will appeal to the Supreme Court. That appeal will start next Tuesday.

Carloway said however that he would not order Parliament to reconvene until the UK Supreme Court ruled on the case.

The group of more than 70 Remain MPs and peers behind the legal challenge were headed by Scottish Nationalist MP Joanna Cherry, who called for Parliament to be immediately reconvened following the ruling. She added: ‘We feel utterly vindicated and I would be confident that the UK Supreme Court will uphold this decision.’

The decision to prorogue was ordered by the Queen on the advice of Johnson’s government.

Ex-Tory minister Dominic Grieve said: ‘It is absolutely essential that the relationship between the Prime Minister and the Queen is one of the utmost confidentiality and the utmost good faith.

‘So if it were to be the case that the government had misled the Queen about the reasons for suspending Parliament and the motives for it, that would be a very serious matter indeed.

‘And in my opinion that would be the moment for Mr Johnson to resign and very swiftly.’

General Secretary of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, speaking from the TUC Congress in Brighton said: ‘This certainly is an extraordinary decision that has come out of Scotland and my advice to the Prime Minister is that he should stay clear of Scotland otherwise he may find himself under citizens arrest.’

Earlier in the day, Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson put forward a different position on Brexit from that of Labour leader Corbyn to the TUC the day before.

Watson said that Labour should announce that they are ‘unequivocally for remaining’ in the European Union and that they should have a second referendum before any general election.

Asked about this, McCluskey said: ‘It is sad. I mean now and again Tom pops up from wherever he has been hiding and comes up with something.

‘Instead of supporting his leader, it is normally trying to undermine him.’

Speaking at London’s Somerset House, Watson said: ‘The only way to break the Brexit deadlock once and for all is a public vote in a referendum. A general election might well fail to solve this Brexit chaos.’

In the event of another general election in the coming months, Watson said Labour must be ‘crystal clear’ about where it stands on Brexit.

‘There is no such thing as a good Brexit deal,’ he said, ‘which is why I believe we should advocate for Remain.’

Dave Wiltshire Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance commented: ‘There is only one way for the working class to sort this mess out and that is through a general strike to bring down the Tory Johnson government and bring in a workers government which will break with the European Union on October 31, nationalise the banks and the major industries without compensation and bring in socialism.’