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Brexit Court Decision Calls for Annulment of Parliament’s Suspension

LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was called on Thursday to cancel his suspension of parliament after a Scottish court declared it illegal, while government documents warning him of a non-agreement on Brexit could lead to civil unrest and a shortage of food and medicine, AFP reported Thursday.
The documents of Operation Yellowhammer, which the government was forced to release on Wednesday, revealed that preparation for a Brexit without agreement remained “at a low level”, blockages in Channel ports threatening to have an impact on supplies.
They also warned against “an increase in public disturbances and community tensions” in such a scenario.
The government stressed that it “updated the assumptions” in the document and that it was “neither an impact analysis nor a prediction of what would be most likely to happen.
“It describes what could happen in the worst-case scenario,” said Minister Michael Gove.
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But this publication, after MPs voted last week to force the government to publish, fuelled lawmakers’ fears that a messy divorce would disrupt the UK tremendously.
In the meantime, the government has appealed the Scottish court’s decision. The case is expected to be heard in the Supreme Court next Tuesday and parliament will, for the moment, remain closed.
Johnson said suspending – or extending – Parliament until October 14 was a routine step to allow his government to launch a new legislative agenda.
Critics accuse him of wanting to silence the opposition to his plan to leave the European Union on October 31, even though he has not agreed to exit conditions with Brussels.
Johnson says that while he works to get an agreement, Britain must leave the bloc no matter, three years after the referendum vote on Brexit.
Before being suspended on Tuesday, the House of Commons rushed to pass a bill to force Johnson to delay Brexit if no summit is concluded at the EU summit on October 17th.
Wednesday’s court decision triggered calls for Parliament’s convocation, and a group of MPs demonstrated in front of the building.
“I urge the Prime Minister to immediately call back Parliament so that we can debate this judgment and decide what will happen next,” Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said.
However, a government source told AFP that “nothing changes” until the conclusion of the case.
Later, Johnson answered questions from the public during a live talk on Facebook, where he was asked if he was the “head of an authoritarian regime”.
“I must respectfully disagree with you,” he replied, adding, “What we are trying to do is apply the result of the 2016 referendum.”
The Scottish legal challenge was introduced by 78 British lawmakers, who said it was illegal for Johnson to advise Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue Parliament if the goal was to limit the treatment of Brexit.
A lower court said last week that it was a political judgment – but Inner House, Scotland’s Supreme Civil Court, rejected the decision.
In a summary judgment released Wednesday, the court added that Johnson’s counsel “was motivated by the improper purpose of blocking Parliament and that it was illegal, as well as what resulted from it.”
A spokesman for the Johnson government said he was “disappointed” by the decision and would appeal to the Supreme Court.
“The UK government needs to come up with a strong national legislative agenda, and the prorogation of Parliament is the legal and necessary way to implement that goal,” he said.
Johnson took office in July promising to finally make the referendum decision by leaving the EU on October 31, whatever happens.
But he does not have a majority in the House of Commons and MPs will not let him go without an agreement – or allow him to call early elections that could strengthen his position.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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