- Title: Supreme Court to give its ruling next week
- Date: 19th September 2019
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY (SNP) JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS SPOKESPERSON, JOANNA CHERRY WALKING OUT OF SUPREME COURT BUILDING TOWARDS WAITING MEDIA
- Embargoed: 3rd October 2019 17:22
- Keywords: Britain Supreme Court Prime Minister Boris Johnson parliament suspension Brexit European Union power to prorogue Parliament
- Location: LONDON AND WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON AND WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002AXBP4XZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Britain's Supreme Court aims to deliver its ruling early next week on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he suspended parliament for five weeks in the run-up to Brexit, the president of the court said on Thursday (September 19).
Among Johnson's opponents at the Supreme Court hearing was one of his predecessors as prime minister and Conservative Party leader, John Major, who submitted a written witness statement saying that the reason given by Johnson for the suspension was not true.
If the ruling goes against Johnson, he could be compelled to recall parliament ahead of schedule, giving the legislature additional time to challenge his plan to lead Britain out of the European Union on October 31, with or without a divorce deal.
However, a legal document submitted to the court by Johnson's lawyer indicated that the prime minister's legal team was seeking to keep the option open for him to suspend parliament again even if the court ruled against him.
Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth to prorogue or suspend parliament from September 10 to October 14 on the grounds that he needed time to prepare a new legislative agenda. His opponents say the real reason was to prevent members of parliament (MPs) from thwarting his plans.
Under Britain's unwritten constitution, the power to suspend or dissolve parliament formally remains with the monarch, a politically impartial figure who acts in accordance with the advice of the prime minister.
At the end of three days of hearings, Supreme Court President Brenda Hale said the case was not about when and how Britain would leave the EU but only about the lawfulness of Johnson's advice to the queen.
"As we have heard, it is not a simple question and we will now consider carefully all the arguments which are being presented to us," she told the court. "But we also know this case must be resolved as quickly as possible and we hope to be able to publish our decision early next week."
(Production: Graham Kelly, Alex Fraser, Tanya Lezaic)
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