Brexit Wins A Court Case!
Well, what a surprise! A Brexiteer success in the courts, no less!
You could have knocked me down with a feather when the news came through that Brexiteers had won a court case against the Remain campaigners.
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Who’d have thought that?!
But a judge in the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh has rejected the case brought by Joanna Cherry of the SNP and others that tried to get the court to rule that Boris Johnson had acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally, by proroguing parliament for so long in the run up to Brexit Day.
The judge, Lord Doherty, said: “It is not for the courts to decide further restraints on prorogation which go beyond those which parliament provides.”
And that is the point.
The Royal Prerogative can only be restrained by an Act of Parliament. It is otherwise open to the Government to use it, as required.
But those bringing this case have not been deterred. They plan to appeal and that could be heard heard tomorrow, or even this afternoon.
Now I bet there are many people around the country who wished their court cases could be heard that fast.
One of those bringing the case, the Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, said that the fight against the prime Minister and his plans to, as he put it, crash the UK out of the EU would continue.
And the director of the Good Law Project, Jolyon Maugham QC, said that if the government can prorogue for so long without court intervention, then it lets loose some ‘ugly demons’ and went on to say that, “If he can do it for 34 days why not 34 weeks or 34 months? Where does this political power end?”
I think the judge set out the position there. And that is, that it is up to Parliament to decide, not the courts. I think we should also consider that those seeking to diminish or nullify a prerogative power, should be careful lest it turn around and bite them later when they end up needing it.
The leader of the Scottish Green Party, MSP Patrick Harvie, said that this would leave open the route for a government to shut down parliament indefinitely. So a future independent Scotland should have a written constitution that prevented such a thing happening.
Lord Doherty also said that:
“In my view, the advice given in relation to the prorogation decision is a matter involving high policy and political judgement.
“This is political territory and decision making, which cannot be measured against legal standards, but only by political judgements.
“Accountability for the advice is to parliament, and ultimately the electorate – not to the courts.”
He also said that the PM had not contravened the rule of law and that:
“The power to prorogue is a prerogative power and the prime minister had the vires (that means the power) to advise the sovereign as to its exercise.”
Let’s hope the same is said in the appeal, as well as in London and Belfast when those cases come up.
Then how about rejigging the current political programme a bit and bringing forward the prorogation to Friday to cut the legs out from under this traitor’s surrender bill about to be debated in the Commons this afternoon, before it gets through the Lords?