Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 October 2019

Boris Johnson denies misleading Queen as court quashes no-deal legal challenge

Denial and dilemma as court rulings pile up against the prime minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces pressure from the courts as well as political opposition. Getty Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces pressure from the courts as well as political opposition. Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied lying to the Queen on another day of Brexit twists and turns involving yet another UK court.

A day after Scotland’s highest court ruled that the parliament shutdown was unlawful, Mr Johnson said he had “absolutely not” misled the Queen in his advice. Under British law, the prime minister must ask for the Queen’ approval to suspend – or prorogue – parliament.

He did, however, back the independence of Britain’s top courts.

“The High Court in England plainly agrees with us, but the Supreme Court will have to decide.”

England’s highest court rejected a case presented by campaigner Gina Miller, backed by former prime minister Sir John Major.

Both cases heard in England and Scotland will now head towards the UK Supreme Court.

In a further pile up of legal challenges, a judge at a high court in Belfast, Northern Ireland, rejected a case against a no-deal Brexit.

Critics say a no-deal Brexit would contravene the Good Friday Agreement, the peace deal which brought an end to sectarian violence in Northern Ireland and allows for free, unchecked movement on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. They also fear it could send the UK economy tumbling into a recession.

In Brussels, the European Parliament President on Thursday ruled out any Brexit deal without an Irish backstop but said the EU was willing to revive a proposal that would keep only Northern Ireland in the bloc's orbit to maintain a seamless border on the island of Ireland.

“We want an agreement but we are aware that an agreement without a backstop wouldn't work,” the new head of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, told a news conference. “There can't be an agreement without a backstop. There won't be one.”

“I would like to stress this point: the United Kingdom hasn't provided any alternatives ... (or) anything that has been workable,” said the Italian.

“We are willing to go back to the original EU proposal which is that a backstop will only be added for Northern Ireland.”

The pressure is rising against Mr Johnson’s “do or die” hardline approach to pulling Britain out of the EU on 31 October rather than asking the EU for another Brexit delay.

The British government on Wednesday released its planning document detailing its predictions for the effects of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

The document reveals that low-income groups would be worst off in no-deal Brexit, while the British public would suffer shortages in fresh food and medical supplies.

Updated: September 12, 2019 07:37 PM

SHARE

SHARE