UK Supreme Court to issue parliament ruling 'early next week'

Parliament may stay suspended even if PM loses in court case			
				 
   by Metro Reporter 
  Published

The clock is ticking down on Britain's departure from the European Union, now set for October 31, but it appears increasingly likely it will crash out without any agreement.

Judges will rule on appeals against two conflicting lower court decisions, after Scotland's highest civil court found the suspension was unlawful, but the High Court in England said it was not a matter for judges to intervene in.

Britain finally put some documents on the table Thursday to break an impasse in its Brexit talks with the European Union, but the bloc is anxious that London is banking too much on a meeting of the 28 national leaders next month to get a deal across the line.

"We are exclusively concerned with the lawfulness of the prime minister's decision to advise her majesty (Queen Elizabeth II) to prorogue parliament on the dates in question".

Mr Johnson is set to defend his controversial decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks at the UK's highest court today.

The system of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks on agricultural products were hoped to prove acceptable to Ireland but Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said they only account for around 30% of border checks. But in a more recent document submitted to the court, the prime minister's legal team appeared to say there could still be a way for him to prevent parliament from sitting, even in the event of an adverse ruling.

Lawyers representing the PM will argue that his advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament was lawful and that, in any event, the court can not interfere in political matters. It also has not ruled out trying to suspend Parliament for a second time.

In one of the forceful presentations, barrister Aidan O'Neill told the 11 judges: "What we have with this prorogation is the mother of parliaments closed down by the father of lies".

"I will wait to see what transpires", he said.

Brussels has rejected London's past suggestions for the Irish border issue and has called for a clear alternative well before Johnson attends a potentially decisive European Union summit in Brussels on October 17-18.

Court battle Anti Brexit campaigner Gina Miller
Court battle Anti Brexit campaigner Gina Miller

"Neither Finland, nor I, nor the other 26 member states have much enthusiasm for an extension unless there is a sensible solution in sight for the future", said Rinne, whose country now holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

Britain says it has not revealed detailed proposals because they would likely leak, to the detriment of negotiations.

The British government spokesman said London has submitted "a series of confidential technical non-papers" with its thoughts on the dispute. Non-papers are documents intended for discussion, rather than formal proposals.

The backstop - the contingency measure to keep the United Kingdom closely aligned to Brussels's rules in order to prevent a hard border with Ireland - is seen as the main stumbling block to a deal.

A Brexit deal is possible, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday, adding that if the Irish border backstop which the British government wants removed could be replaced with alternatives, it would not be needed.

Britain's new proposals are believed to revolve around a collection of ideas, known as the alternative arrangements, created to offer a suite of separate guarantees that would satisfy politicians in Brussels and London, while avoiding the need for infrastructure on the border.

"The prize of a deal should focus the minds of both sides on this need for creativity and flexibility", he said.

"A rigid approach now at this point is no way to progress a deal and the responsibility sits with both sides to find a solution", he said during a visit to Madrid.

"I don't want to exaggerate the progress that we are making", he said.

"I think we can have a deal".


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