Supreme Court rules proroguing ‘unlawful’

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Demonstrators in Parliament Square on March 29 condemning Parliament for not leaving the EU on that day

THE SUPREME Court yesterday openly sided with a Parliament full of Remainers condemning the proroguing of Parliament by Tory PM Boris Johnson as completely illegal.

Supreme Court president Lady Hale declared yesterday: ‘The Court is bound to conclude therefore, that to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful, because it had the affect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its functions without reasonable justification.’

This ruling was unanimous by all eleven judges.

Hale said: ‘This was not a normal prorogation in the run up to a Queen’s speech. It prevented Parliament from carrying out its constitutional role for five out of the possible eight weeks, between the end of the summer recess and exit day on 31st October.

‘The court can certainly declare that the advice was unlawful, the Inner House went further and declared that any prorogation resulting from it was null and of no effect.’

This means that as far as the judges are concerned, proroguing never took place at all and that Parliament can immediately resume.

This was an unprecedented judgement with the Courts openly backing a Parliament which is defying the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU, in an attempt to completely scupper Brexit.

Tory PM Johnson, speaking from New York where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly, said: ‘I strongly disagree with the judgement, but I will respect it.

‘I don’t think this was the right decision. The prerogative of prorogation has been used for centuries without this kind of challenge.

‘There are a lot of people who basically want to stop this country from coming out of the EU and we have a Parliament that is unable to be prorogued and doesn’t want to have an election. I think it is time we took things forward.’

Pushed on whether he would attempt to suspend Parliament again, he said there was ‘a good case for getting on with a Queen’s Speech anyway,’ and the Supreme Court had not ‘remotely excluded’ the possibility.

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘The Supreme Court has just announced its decision. It shows that the Prime Minister has acted wrongly in shutting down Parliament.

‘It demonstrates a contempt for democracy and an abuse of power by him, and the Supreme Court therefore passes the baton to the Speaker to recall Parliament. I will be in touch immediately to demand that Parliament is recalled so that we can question the Prime Minister, demand that he obeys the law that has been passed by Parliament, and recognise that our Parliament is elected by our people to hold government to account.’

He added: ‘And I invite Boris Johnson in the historic words “to consider his position”.’

Speaker of the House and avid Remainer John Bercow said the Commons will sit today.

He said: ‘I welcome the judgement this morning of the Supreme Court, that judgement is unanimous, that judgement is unambiguous, and that judgement is unqualified.’

He concluded: ‘In the light of that explicit judgement I have instructed the House Authorities not for the recall, the prorogation was unlawful and is void, but to prepare for the resumption of the business of the House of Commons.’

This judgement proves that the Supreme Court is an agency of the ruling class and a crucial part of its state apparatus. Workers will be all the more determined to fight for Brexit and to take industrial and political action to ensure that the UK leaves the European Union on 31 October and that Britain goes forward to a workers’ government and socialism.