British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered another setback on Wednesday as Scottish justice declared "illegal" the controversial parliamentary suspension until October 14th, just two weeks before the date of Brexit.
The government, "disappointed", immediately announced an appeal to the Supreme Court in London, and the hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
In the meantime, Parliament remains suspended. The court decision "does not change anything" for now, said a government source.
Labor, the main opposition party, as well as Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, demanded that Parliament, suspended since Tuesday, be recalled "immediately".
Seized by 78 parliamentarians, the Edinburgh Court of Appeal ruled that Boris Johnson's decision was "intended to obstruct the Parliament" and declared the prorogation "illegal" and "null and void". This is the first judicial victory of the opponents of this suspension of Parliament, described as a maneuver to impose a Brexit without agreement.
In the first instance, the Scottish judiciary dismissed the action to block the suspension, finding that it was not up to the court but to "Parliament or, ultimately, the electorate" to decide.
- "Political decision" -
This is the same argument used by the London High Court on Wednesday to explain its refusal last week to cancel Parliament's suspension following the legal action of an anti-human rights activist. Brexit.
The prorogation of Parliament is an "inherently political" decision that "does not fall within the jurisdiction of the courts" because "there are no legal criteria to judge its legitimacy," she said. An appeal hearing before the Supreme Court is scheduled for Tuesday, the same day as the review of the decision of the Scottish Appeal Judges.
The latter, on the other hand, considered that they could declare the suspension "unlawful" because its aim was to remove the government's action from the control of the deputies, according to a summary of the decision issued by the Edinburgh Court of Appeal. .
The British Parliament was suspended early Tuesday for five weeks in a tense political climate.
"If members of the opposition in Parliament do not agree with our approach, then it is always possible for them to accept the offer I made them - twice! - to have an election," he said. Boris Johnson argued on Wednesday during a question-and-answer session with Facebook users.
During this communication exercise, which on Wednesday replaced the traditional weekly questioning of the prime minister in the House of Commons, Johnson rejected the accusation that he was "the leader of an authoritarian regime". .
"What we are trying to do is apply the result of the 2016 referendum," which gave victory to the Brexit camp, and "there is nothing more democratic" than an election. he insisted.
The government also refused Wednesday an electoral pact of "non-aggression" offered by the Brexit Party of the europhobe Nigel Farage.
MEPs have twice defeated the Conservative leader's proposal to call voters on October 15 to win a new majority.
- "Operation Yellowhammer" -
The Prime Minister hopes to have a free hand before negotiating with the European Union, with which he says he can conclude an agreement on Brexit.
"The atmosphere is changing, the ice blocks are cracking, there is movement under the hull of these discussions," he said, citing "great progress".
Its EU advisor, David Frost, was in Brussels on Wednesday for talks with European negotiator Michel Barnier's team.
As it was forced by a vote in Parliament, the government released a sensitive issue on Wednesday evening which, according to Downing Street, presents "the worst case scenario" in terms of the economic and social repercussions of a Brexit without agreement.
"Protests and counter-protests will take place across the UK and could absorb a significant number of police resources, there is also a risk of public unrest and community tension," says the document code-named Operation Yellowhammer.
In August, the Sunday Times obtained a copy of the government record, assuring that it mentioned the "most likely" repercussions of a "no deal" and not "the worst case scenario" as the government claims.
"Given the uncertainty and lack of clarity on timing and form" that Brexit will take, Ireland is preparing a 2020 budget based on the assumption of a UK exit from the EU without agreement, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Wednesday.
Brexit without an agreement, which would restore physical boundaries between Ireland, a member of the EU, and Northern Ireland, a province that is part of the United Kingdom, could deprive 55,000 Irish laborers and plunge the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country by 6%, according to government data.
© 2019 AFP