By Ben Kerrigan-
Legal representatives for the British government have today said that the courts cannot interfere in the decision to suspend parliament taken by the prime minister, Boris Johnson. The government has expressed its plans to suspend parliament no earlier than Monday 9 September and no later than Thursday 12 September, until Monday 14 October. Counsel for Downing Street are confident that the courts cannot stop Boris Johnson’s move to suspend parliament, especially after the Queen has given her stamp of approval. Johnson’s legal team say the courts do not have the power to overrule her Majesty’s government in this type of way. Legal representatives for the Mps disagree.
Roddy Dunlop QC, representing the UK government, struck an assertive tone when he said proroguing was an exercise which the Queen alone could enter into, not a matter for the courts. He said dissolution of parliament and proroguing was outside the remit of the courts, as he insisted that a decision of the Queen to suspend Parliament on the advice of her government was ”not justiciable. He said parliament had never interfered in prorogation, adding that it was “entirely normal” for prorogation to occur and the issue was not for the courts just because the period was longer than in previous years. In an attack on Parliamentarians seeking to block the proroguing of Parliament, he said the parliamentarians were asking the courts to “tread where they are ill-qualified to venture” due to the “intensely political” nature of the issue,
He added there was “no good reason” for the interim interdict, given the full hearing was due to take place next week and “nothing will happen” in relation to prorogation before then.
Meanwhile Aiden O’Neill arguing on behalf of the 75 Parliamentarians said there was an “obligation on the sovereign to recall an order of prorogation” if the court was satisfied there had been an “abuse of power”. O’Neil seemed to a bit on the loosing side when he failed to cite a more recent precedent than the Claim of Righty 1689 in reference to the Sovereignty of the Old Scottish Parliament. He accused the British government of acting in a manner that was unconstitutional and which denied accountability, indicating in his submission that the British government was acting as though this is a ”totalitarian state”.Mr O’Neill said there was an “obligation on the sovereign to recall an order of prorogation” if the court was satisfied there had been an “abuse of power”. He said shutting down Parliament would have irreversible, legal and constitutional consequences for the Uk.