The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on Tuesday ruled that the suspension of Parliament for five weeks by Prime Minister Boris Johnson was unlawful and commented that the “prolonged prorogation” was unusual, The Guardian reported. The decision was unanimous. “The effects on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme,” said Justice Lady Hale.
The court overturned the ruling of the English High Court and determined that it could rule on the matter, BBC reported. The decision on the matter was unanimous, Lady Hale added. On September 11, Scotland’s highest civil court had also ruled that Johnson’s decision was unlawful.
Johnson had asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament for a month on August 28. This left a week between the MPs’ return from summer break and the suspension and no time for politicians to block a no-deal Brexit from happening. In a no-deal situation, the country would leave the Union immediately with no agreement about the procedure.
As a result of the government’s decision, MPs were supposed to return to Parliament only on October 14. Last month, the prime minister had refuted allegations that the suspension had anything to do with forcing the no-deal Brexit. He had also said that he did not want to wait till after Brexit to get on with “plans to take this country forward”. The United Kingdom is supposed to leave the European Union on October 31.
A bill mandating Johnson to seek a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline was passed before the prorogation. According to the bill, the extension will have to be sought unless Parliament approves a Brexit deal or consents by October 31 to leave the European Union without one. Johnson has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than request such an extension. The bill prompted him to ask for an election in October. The MPs blocked his motion for snap polls.