Scottish ruling puts pressure on Johnson to recall parliament

Lord Carloway Scotland's most senior judge said Brexit was a

"The legal activists choose the Scottish courts for a reason".

The UK Government said it would appeal against the court's decision. "Central", he told the BBC.

The ruling comes a day after the prorogation took place in the early hours of Tuesday, with parliament now suspended for five weeks.

Stephen Tierney, professor of Constitutional Theory at Edinburgh University, believed the significance of this judgement would be felt not only in the short term but in the longer term also.

I have never been able to contemplate the possibility that the law could be that our sovereign Parliament might be treated as an inconvenience by the Prime Minister.

The appeals court, however, decided that the order was "null and void" after lawyers acting on behalf of 75 MPs and peers said suspending parliament would stifle action on Brexit.

A judge in Scotland's highest civil court says the government's reason to suspend Parliament was not valid.

In their official rulings, issued by the Scottish courts late on Thursday afternoon (pdf), they agreed unanimously there was no other reason for the suspension.

The UK parliamentary rulebook Erskine May notes: "When Parliament stands prorogued to a certain day, the Queen may issue a proclamation, giving notice of her intention that Parliament shall meet for the dispatch of business on any day after the date of the proclamation; and Parliament then stands prorogued to that day, notwithstanding the previous prorogation".

"The lower court had said the actions of the executive were "non-justiciable" - meaning they were not to be examined by judges".

Union leaders called on Johnson to recall parliament or face further protest and court proceedings.

Tim Roache, the general secretary of the GMB, said: "Shutting down parliament for your own ends at a time of national crisis, when people's jobs and livelihoods are on the line, beggars belief".

What will happen next, and whether MPs head back to Westminster, will be fought out in both the political and legal arenas.

Len McClusky, the leader of Unite, one of Britain's biggest trade unions, and one which gives financial support to Labour, has advised the United Kingdom prime minister not to visit Scotland as he may "face a citizen's arrest".

The court is likely to make a ruling later in the week. "He's broken the law, is not fit to hold office and along with this disgraceful government must be held to account", he said.

Parliament last week passed a law requiring Johnson to seek an extension to the October 31 deadline for Britain's exit, essentially taking no-deal off the table. As of Monday, that is now law.

"It means that if the prime minister fails to get a Brexit deal by 19 October - as looks increasingly inevitable - or a mandate for no deal - which is equally unlikely - he will have to seek and accept an extension to article 50".

"The legal advice is clear that the prime minister must abide by this".

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