the British Supreme Court inflicts a setback on Boris Johnson

The highest court in the United Kingdom considered "null and void" the suspension of the parliamentary session that the Prime Minister had decided.

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Boris Johnson in New York, Tuesday, September 24th. Matt Rourke / AP

The British Supreme Court unanimously "Illegal"Tuesday, September 24, the suspension of Parliament decided by Boris Johnson. This spectacular decision is a major defeat for the Prime Minister. The eleven judges unanimously decided that the opinion of Mr. Johnson asking the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks, until October 14, two weeks before Brexit, was not legal. "Not only is the suspension illegal, but it is null and void. It is as if the sheet on which the decision to suspend Parliament was written, was in fact white, insists the judgment ", analyzes Philippe Bernard, editorialist at World and former correspondent in the United Kingdom.

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  • Parliament can meet "as soon as possible"

Parliament simply has "Not suspended", said Supreme Court President Brenda Hale, ruling that he should sit again " as soon as possible ". John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, said that "To meet without delay" and that he would consult to this end the leaders of the different parties " urgently ". He invited the members to sit as early as Wednesday morning.

President of the British Supreme Court Brenda Hale on 24 September.
President of the British Supreme Court Brenda Hale on 24 September. Supreme Court / AP

From Brighton, where the Labor Congress is being held, Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately called Boris Johnson "Consider one's position" – more prosaically: resign. Labor delegates greeted their leader's speech with enthusiasm, screaming "Johnson out! ". The person concerned excluded this possibility.

The judges followed the arguments of the opponents of the head of government, who accused him of having suspended the Parliament to muzzle the opposition and to leave the United Kingdom of the European Union on October 31, with or without a divorce agreement. with Brussels. Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that Parliament's suspension was justified in order to prepare and present its priorities after taking office in late July.

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It is not unusual for a leader in the United Kingdom to adjourn the parliamentary session for this purpose. In addition, Parliament does not traditionally sit for a few weeks in September, at the time of the annual party congresses. But this suspension, especially because of its length, had sparked a wave of indignation in the country of parliamentarism, triggering demonstrations and a judicial offensive.

"MPs must be brave and hold this government accountable without scruple, said Gina Miller, an anti-Brexit activist behind one of the appeals reviewed by the Supreme Court. Today is a day of victory for parliamentary sovereignty. Members must return to work tomorrow and continue to monitor this government. "

The Supreme Court had been seized after two different decisions: the London High Court had considered that it did not have to decide on a political decision, while Scottish justice had ruled the Prime Minister's decision "illegal".

  • Boris Johnson calls for elections

The fact that the Supreme Court considered that the debate was not only a political issue could set an important precedent. It was not only whether the suspension was "Illegal", but also to see "If the British Supreme Court becomes an arbitrator, a kind of constitutional court in a country without a written constitution"explained Tony Travers, a policy expert at the London School of Economics, before reading the judgment.

The Prime Minister learned of the court ruling in New York Tuesday where he is currently attending the UN General Assembly. It is a devastating blow for him, while the parliamentarians had urgently adopted, before the suspension on 9 September, a law obliging him to request a three-month postponement of Brexit in case of absence of an agreement with Brussels. , scenario that Boris Johnson categorically excludes. However, he explained that even if he was not " not agree at all " with the decision rendered on Tuesday, he would respect it.

" The obvious thing to do is to hold elections, said Mr. Johnson again after an appointment with businessmen in New York. Because despite a succession of setbacks in front of Parliament and, now, before the courts, the polls remain very favorable while they are bad for Labor, whose position on the Brexit remains ambiguous. The Conservatives are given winners of the next elections with 32 to 35% of voting intention against 22 to 25% for Labor.

Labor leader also pleaded Tuesday for elections but should be held "As soon as the threat of this government" an exit without the agreement of the European Union will be rejected.


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