William Barton/iStock(LONDON) — The U.K. Supreme Court has ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament was unlawful in a historic judgement Tuesday.
The court ruled that Johnson’s advice to the queen requesting that prorogation, meaning the suspension of Parliament in the lead up to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, was “unlawful.”
The Supreme Court Judge Lady Brenda Hale announced the judgement at the Supreme Court in London Tuesday morning, saying the prorogration had the effect of frustrating the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justifications. She declared the prorogation was now “void and of no effect,” and that Johnson’s advice to the queen was “unlawful.”
The decision was unanimously agreed upon by 11 Supreme Court judges.
The bitterly fought and historically unprecedented court case which has huge implications for the future of Brexit means that lawmakers will return to Parliament Wednesday to scrutinize Johnson’s plans for Brexit.
Queen Elizabeth approved a request by Johnson to suspend Parliament on Aug. 28. This was a move that observers said was designed to thwart opposition lawmakers from blocking Brexit, prompting protests in cities across the United Kingdom.
Two court cases were then brought to challenge the suspension of Parliament which, after various appeals, reached the highest court in the land last week. Now, the court has ruled this was illegal. The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, who presides over debates in Parliament, said lawmakers would be returning to work as soon as possible.
Johnson, who helped lead the push to exit the European Union in a national referendum three years ago and took over from Theresa May in July, has previously said he will accept the court’s ruling.
Lawmakers and lawyers who campaigned against the move to suspend Parliament immediately called for Johnson’s resignation in the aftermath of the ruling.
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