Boris Johnson’s prorogation declared ‘unlawful’ by Scotland’s highest court


Boris Johnson becomes PM

Several weeks ago, Boris Johnson asked the Queen to authorize the prorogation of the British Parliament. To “prorogue” is to suspend Parliament without dissolving it – basically putting everyone and everything on hold. It was all part of Boris Johnson’s scheme to ram through a no-deal Brexit before the deadline, and without any further debate or deal-making. There was some conversation about whether the Queen should have greenlighted BoJo’s scheme – many monarchists insist that the Queen is not a political animal, and she is merely there to rubber stamp whatever the prime minister wants. Some other legal/constitutional scholars felt differently, and suggested that Her Majesty did have other options but chose not to pursue them.

The result of BoJo and Her Maj’s prorogation has been harsh. BoJo has taken loss after loss in the past two weeks, and there’s a very real possibility that the Conservative government will have to beg for a vote of no confidence in itself. The Queen was seen as a useless, expensive and undemocratic tool, and #AbolishtheMonarchy trended on Twitter for a while too. Not only that, but the “case” of prorogation went to the highest court in Scotland, and the court just said that BoJo’s prorogation is unlawful.

Three judges at Scotland’s highest court of appeal say the UK government’s decision to shut down Parliament is unlawful, the UK’s PA news agency reported on Wednesday. It is unclear whether the ruling means that the suspension — also known as prorogation — of Parliament will be reversed.

Scottish National Party member of Parliament Joanna Cherry QC, who was among the cross-party group of politicians who brought the action, tweeted: “All 3 judges in Scotland’s Highest court of appeal rule Prorogation unlawful!”

Boris Johnson’s government said the court’s decision was disappointing. A spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by today’s decision, and will appeal to the UK Supreme Court. The UK Government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.”

[From CNN]

Dr. Catherine Haddon is a senior fellow for the Institute for Government and she’s been tweeting about the ruling, with regards to BoJo’s request that the Queen greenlight the prorogue.

My thought is… wow, it’s a bit convenient that Her Majesty looks like an innocent old lady who was lied to, or that Boris Johnson somehow misrepresented the legal nature of prorogation. Like, the outrage for BoJo’s scheme was there from the word GO. Everyone knew how controversial it was. Everyone knew that it was a giant scheme to push through the most devastating version of Brexit. The Queen’s advisors knew that. The Queen knew that. And she did it anyway. We can debate whether she really had a choice, but don’t argue that the Queen didn’t know exactly what she was doing or that BoJo misled her in some way.

Primeminister Boris Johnson G7 Summit Press conference

Boris Johnson becomes PM

Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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47 Responses to “Boris Johnson’s prorogation declared ‘unlawful’ by Scotland’s highest court”

  1. grabbyhands says:

    Part of me thinks it is funny, to see him shot down time after time, but then I remember how he said that he’d rather be dead than ask for a Brexit delay and what that tells me that he is willing to risk everyone’s well being and stability to get his own way – not for the greater good, not because he has sound ideas, but just to get what he wants. He doesn’t care what he has to do to achieve that. He’s been taking some good notes about what is currently going on here in the US.

    The best trick Boris Johnson ever played was making people buy into the whole goofy buffoon act he put on for so many years – it got him all the way to PM and he doesn’t seem to be planning on loosening his grip any time soon.

    • Mignionette says:

      There is a very good reason that Bozo needs to get us out of the EU and it’s called the ATAD. ATAD is essentially a new Tax directive by the EU to stop tax evasion.

      Aside the economic benefits for backers such as Banon, Banks and Farage to indulge their disaster capitalism by hedging (banking term for betting) against the pound, the super rich, despots, dictators and oligarchs who traditionally have hidden some of their assets in the UK are going to be caught with their pants down.

      Brexit effectively kills tow birds with one stone hence the heavy investment in companies like Cambridge Analytica to effectively buy and steal votes.

      On top of that add the election collusion with Putin by the figures above and all the interested parties have managed to align themselves for common interest.

      Finance margins have become increasingly fraught post Lehmans due to a raft of regulation. The only way to make money now is to create scenarios built on disaster. Many will suffer but the 1% get even richer.

      That is what Brexit has always been about. Idiots who think it will give them back their country and get rid of the foreigners are so horribly deluded. Cummings is laughing in his castle as we speak.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Wow, that makes so much sense. I couldn’t figure out why he seemed so hellbent on crashing out to the detriment of his country’s well being. But rich powerful men protecting their money and corruption is always motivating.

      • Kat says:

        Thanks for your take on this Brexit thing Mignionette. That finally helps me to get a grasp on the whole reason for this mess the UK finds itself in and it absolutely makes sense to me! No wonder Drump likes Bozo so much – 2 peas in a pod. I’m American and I still have a hard time believing what’s happening in our own country!! I fell really bad for you guys in the UK as well. People can’t seem to get the fact that WE ARE NOT going back to the “old days”.

      • Megan says:

        Rich people rallying racists to make themselves richer. Where have I heard this before?

      • Mignionette says:

        @Tiffany Boris and Farage are hellbent on Brexit by the year end because ATAD kicks into effect on the 1 Jan 2020 with some smaller parts of the directive kicking in at the end of this year.

        You can really see the desperation in Nigel’s face now. I cannot believe that we have been held hostage by this racist POS whom the media have given a platform to gas-light us.

    • FredsMother says:

      Journalists just published evidence of Johnson, ERG, etc using hedge funders to bet on no deal Brexit.

      We know that the EU will enact Offshore Tax Laws in January. All those owners of the Sun, Daily Mail, BREXIT propogandists Rees-Mogg etc. will be caught under those laws if they don’t exit the EU law framework hence the big Oct 31 push. One rarely scrutinised take on the US is that it is the biggest offshore jurisdiction (for non-Americans). It practically has no laws requiring reporting of foreign accounts to the EU or other countries–even the Swiss has to declare accounts to the EU. The EU offshore tax law may throw a wrench into the US/the other other offshore tax haven favoured Brits and Brit companies–just one extra reason for the tanks to back NODEALBREXIT.

      Johnson has wealthy backers and I want to see how wealthy. Do their influence extend to the highly regarded, and until now, unassailable Law Lords of England?

      • Mignionette says:

        There’s patriotism for you. Betting on your own contrary to fail, whilst directly having a hand in it’s failure under the guise of ‘the will of the people’.

        Its the biggest coup and financial fraud in history perpetuated at the state level. If it can happen here guys then be careful, because I am sure Trump is watching the UK as a blueprint.

        Any person with half a brain cell knows why Trump wants no deal. A weakened UK is easier to acquire at a preferential price. RIP NHS.

        As a side note I am so ticked off with the working class voters in the North of England because if the truth be told, their racism and blind bigotry got us here. Yes they were exploited by the likes of Farage and Johnson but ultimately the choice was theirs to make. Yellow Hammer is now predicting that they will be the worst affected by Brexit.

  2. Jumpingthesnark says:

    At the time, when he asked, she could have told him that she would think about it and get back to him, and consulted with her advisors. But she didn’t do that. Glad this bag of poop is blowing up in front of both of them.

    • TrixC says:

      I’m not sure it’s that simple though. I’m not an expert but I assume the Prime Minister is her most senior advisor on these types of issues. I don’t think any of the Palace staff would advise her to go against him.

  3. Sierra says:

    Can’t believe how horrible the Queen has behaved last few months.

    She has been making mistakes after mistakes regarding Meghan, Andrew & Boris.

    • Samantha says:

      I’m not sure the Queen really understands the world anymore. She seems as removed as ever from reality. Perhaps she’s finally gotten too old for the job if she can’t see through the scheming and lies of those you mentioned- Meghan, Andrew and Boris. They’ll leave a stink at the end of her reign.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      There was a lull with the Queen after Diana’s death that lasted quite a while….I MISS that lull…because to me, she’s ALWAYS been…pretty…icky….

    • RedRoyal says:

      Yeah, I think it’s time for the Queen to step down.

    • Megan says:

      The queen also approved the law preventing a no-deal Brexit.

  4. Claire says:

    “Hubris begets nemesis”

  5. ByTheSea says:

    “The UK Government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.” The irony that he thinks he needs to shut down the legislature in order to pass a legislative agenda.

  6. STRIPE says:

    Question for Brits : had the queen gone against the PM, would that have been an uproar as well? Since they’re are supposed to be just figureheads? No snark, honestly asking.

    • duchess of hazard says:

      @STRIPE – yeah, it would have been a shock re: the Queen going against the PM, because the PM is supposed to be her executive in Parliament, and she acts on his advice. The fact that Johnson lied to the queen though… I wonder how Brexiteers will explain that away.

      • STRIPE says:

        Thanks! This whole situation is so interesting to me because it so clearly illustrates (to me, anyway), the reasoning for ending the monarchy.

        If she is “unable” to go against the PM, if she truly is just a rubber stamp, why does she/the family exist as a level of government, period? And if there is no reason, why are Brits supporting them with tax dollars?

        Of course there are other reasons that they are beloved and supported that I can’t comment on as an American but it just seems clear to me from this side of the pond that they serve no purpose that is worthy of the support of tax payers.

        Want to love them and their family? Fine! Give them a reality show like the Kardashians and have them earn their keep that way ha! ;)

    • TrixC says:

      A massive uproar, yes. But only if the public found out. If the PM asked and was refused everyone involved would aim to keep it quiet.

  7. Jan says:

    I can’t believe Brits still support the monarchy.

    • Kitten says:

      I will never understand it..

    • Megan says:

      Its unfortunate that HM got caught up in political shenanigans, but Pedo Andy and the family’s protection of him really calls the legitimacy of the BRF into question.

    • Rachael Prest says:

      I don’t see much point in the monarchy, honestly, and I’m British. They all seem so out of touch with reality, with the exception of Harry and Meghan who just seem to want to get on with things without all the drama.

      • The Hench says:

        Yeah, a Brit here and I have definitely gone from ‘meh’ about the Royal Family to ‘bloody get rid of all of them’ over the last few years.

  8. Harper says:

    One of the long running ideas about the Queen is how well she knows the constitution, and how good her advice is to her PMs. Whenever a retired PM is interviewed about the queen, they all say that.

    To go from that to “Boris have her bad advice about what the law is”? Hasn’t she been an expert longer than he been alive? Hmm, not quite.

    • Mignionette says:

      It’s a little more complicated than that. Not that I wish to speak favorably of Lilibet given the way she has supported Paedo son, but essentially she had to give Royal Assent. She has ZERO executive function and is literally there as a final dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s.

      Even if she had suspected that Bozo was lying, it would NOT have been enough. She and the foreign office would have to had known CONCLUSIVELY i.e. smoking gun with a trail of evidence known.

      It was not until she gave assent that Tory MP’s started to let the cat out of the bag and we all soon got to learn what Bozo had done.

      So on this one she does get a pass. I suspect that the follow up and subsequent ruling in the Scottish courts is politicking for various factions of govt to absolve themselves and keep their hands clean.

      • Betsy says:

        I feel like a tool that I’m not getting this but what was Johnson’s lie to Elizabeth? I feel I should clarify that I’m not doing that thing where I’m siding with him, I’ve just lost the plot.

      • Slyer says:

        Not true. It was all over the media that Johnson was going to be asking the Queen to prorogue Parliament and all the comments on Twitter were about would she/wouldn’t she. She might not have had much time but if I knew what was happening then the Queen sure knew what was coming.

  9. Heidi says:

    The Queen had a simple choice: protect the crown or protect the country. She chose the former – her biggest mistake ever. What good is a sovereign when she does not even act when the country is staring down an abyss? She might as well stop “doing the boxes”.

  10. Rapunzel says:

    I personally wonder how TQ feels about Brexit. If she supports it, maybe she agrees with BoJo? People saying TQ should have gone against BoJo don’t seem to consider that maybe she just plain didn’t want to. Perhaps they share the same goals. I wouldn’t be surprised if TQ is getting benefits from this disaster capitalism that Brexit will cause. The more she supports Randy PedoAndy, the more I think she’s shady af.

  11. skeptical says:

    The Queen or the Office of the Lieutenant Governor in any Commonwealth Country is a ritual formality.

  12. TrixC says:

    A very similar case came to the English courts, and the judges came to the opposite conclusion and found for the Governmnet. Basically they said the Courts have no jurisdiction to intervene in a political matter, which seems interesting in itself given prorogation is not supposed to be done for political reasons (as far as I understand it). The issue will now go to the Supreme Court next week, don’t expect any action from the Government until that judgement is reached.

  13. Lari says:

    Dear Americans: the Queen basically does as PM says. Just cause Boris is a dumba** isn’t really the Queen’s fault – it is the fault of the party that for some reason chose him to head it. This all started with a stupid referendum that should never have been. If the Queen began acting on her own judgement then the entire Commonwealth and democratic-monarchy is in jeopardy. I don’t particularly blame her in this fiasco, I DO blame Boris!

    • Arpeggi says:

      This! As a citizen of a Commonwealth country, I find it fascinating that people have such a hard time accepting that the Queen, like her father and grandfather before her, has no executive power. PMs asking for her approval before doing something is just a tradition, but while she can privately advise the PM against a request, she has no real choice but to consent (unless it’s an absolutely crazy request like executing a MP or something).

      Monarchy is useless, but the current mess in Parliament is all BoJo (and Putin)’s doing. If you want to blame someone, blame the conservatives who voted for him.

    • 2cents says:

      So if Boris puts outrageous plans in the Queen’s speech, her government outlining its plans for the parliamentary year coming Oct 14th, for example introducing the death penalty in the UK, you mean the Queen will approve that without questioning? If so what use has a monarch as head of state? Someone on Twitter called the Queen an “expensive rubber stamp”. If so, I agree.

      • Flffgrrrrlr says:

        Any government could do just that – and that’s exactly what would happen. She’s not an elected head of State and so she doesn’t carry out a political role. It’s largely ceremonial. Then again, this issue hasn’t really ever been tested like this before – usually a government stands on a manifesto, they draw legitimacy from that, and it is implemented through legislation which is easily carried as the government has a majority.

      • Nic919 says:

        The Throne Speech Just lays out the plans for the government during that session and isn’t binding in any way. Often governments will change their plans depending on the situation. So if Boris did want to bring back the death penalty, he could announce it in the speech, but there would still need to be a law passed, and currently he doesn’t have a majority government.

  14. LuLuLu says:

    His teeth!

  15. Flffgrrrrlr says:

    I just feel I have to comment as a British person. It isn’t just monarchists that think this isn’t really to do with the queen – it’s everyone. This is just the British constitution and any people that say that the queen’s role is more significant in this are outliers. This isn’t what this is all about and focusing on the monarchy is a distraction. This is all about the powers of the executive versus the powers of parliament- and now the courts entering. It’s a huge constitutional issue, but so far as British people are concerned this has diddly squat to do with the queen. You might find this funny, probably you’ve heard it before, but on the other side of the pond you seem to be far more focused on our royals than we generally are. Check in with serious British news journalism and you’ll see that this constitutional issue genuinely only implicates the queen to the extent that the advice she got from the PM wasn’t correct. This is a much much bigger issue than that about how the country is governed.

    • Nic919 says:

      We had a similar situation in Canada where Harper avoided a no confidence vote for his budget but requesting the government be prorogued. GG Michaelle Jean had made it known that she was consulting with constitutional advisors prior to agreeing to it, and there were conditions placed on it. Maybe it’s because Jean formerly worked for the CBC, but she certainly gave off the impression that it was more than simply a rubber stamp and that there was some thought put into it. The Queen really didn’t give off that impression, but as we have seen she has never been great at managing the expectations of the public through the media.

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