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‘Unlawful’ ruling may not bring an end to prorogation

PARLIAMENT may remain suspended even if Boris Johnson loses a historic Supreme Court case about the five-week prorogation, information submitted by the government to the court yesterday suggested.

Documents given to the 11 justices hearing the case propose three possible scenarios in the event of a ruling that prorogation was unlawful.

Two scenarios countenance that prorogation could continue, either through a fresh, “lawful” decision, or pending a decision on when the next meeting of Parliament should occur.

The other scenario suggests that an unlawful suspension could mean that “Parliament was not prorogued and remains in session.”

But Mr Johnson’s lawyers urged the judges to consider the “very serious practical consequences” of bringing forward the opening of Parliament.

The document states: “A Queen’s Speech, and the State Opening of Parliament which accompanies it, is a significant political, constitutional and ceremonial occasion, which ordinarily involves the sovereign attending in person.

“Extensive arrangements would have to be made, including as to security, to enable this to occur.

“These considerations lead to the need for any order that the court makes, if necessary, to allow for these steps relating to the earlier meeting of Parliament to occur in an orderly fashion.”

The court is hearing appeals arising out of two separate challenges in England and Scotland — which produced different outcomes — over the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks until October 14.

At the High Court in London the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and two other judges had rejected businesswoman Gina Miller’s challenge, finding that the prorogation was “purely political” and not a matter for the courts.

But in Scotland a cross-party group of MPs and peers won a ruling from the Inner House of the Court of Session which stated that Mr Johnson’s prorogation decision was unlawful.


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