Boris Johnson’s controversial decision to prorogue Parliament for five weeks during a time of political and constitutional crisis has been found unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court.
In a unanimous decision, three judges at the Court of Session found in favour of a cross-party group of politicians who were challenging the prime minister’s move.
The damning judgement accuses Johnson of misleading the Queen in the reasoning he gave for the prorogation, and says his intention was to prevent Parliament from holding the government to account ahead of Brexit. The judges said the PM’s decision was based on the “improper purpose of stymying Parliament”.
Lord Brodie, one of the three judges that heard the case, said: “This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities.
“It was to be inferred that the principal reasons for the prorogation were to prevent or impede Parliament holding the executive to account and legislating with regard to Brexit, and to allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no-deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference.”
The UK government said it will appeal against the ruling to the Supreme Court, with the case expected to be heard next week.
The ruling overturns an earlier ruling from the court, but the judges made no order to cancel the prorogation prior to the case being heard by the Supreme Court. However, the decision has given merit to calls from opposition MPs to recall Parliament and give MPs the opportunity to scrutinise the actions of the government in the build up to the Brexit deadline on 31 October.