, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Confirmed: Scotland’s highest civil court has ruled prorogation unlawful.
All eyes now turn to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Case of the century.
This is now a constitutional grenade in the works.

Prepare for some MPs (perhaps the Speaker) to demand access to the chamber.
The implications of the case are deeply serious. If upheld, it would imply the prime minister and the government advised the Queen to act unlawfully. Extraordinary.
Which is where the documents that parliament has compelled Johnson’s team to hand over come in. Presumably to try and show they he and they lied about the real motivations for the prorogation and hence misled and brought the Queen into a supposed act of illegal deception.
Damning from the court judgment:

“It was incumbent on the govt to show a valid reason for prorogation, having regard to the constitutional importance of parl scrutiny of executive action. The circs, particularly the length, showed that the purpose was to prevent such scrutiny.”
“The documents provided showed no other explanation for this. The only inference that could be drawn was that the govt and the PM wished to restrict Parliament.“
“The Court will make an order declaring that the PM’s advice to the Queen and prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and void and had no effect.”
Lord Carloway: "The true reason for the prorogation...[was] to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive, which was a central pillar of the good governance principle enshrined in the constitution; this followed from the principles of democracy and the rule of law."
Let’s make no bones about this, these are some of the highest and most distinguished judges in Britain essentially calling the PM, his team and cabinet ministers liars- and saying they lied to the Queen.
This is bad for the Palace. The Queen relies on the sound and honest counsel from her prime minister not to put her in a position where she is acting a) politically b) controversially c) unlawfully. PM had already failed on A and B. C is a real kicker. Imagine they’re furious.
If the SC upholds this there’s going to be an almighty battle. Conference season will have begun. Will PM advise Queen to recall MPs? He’ll probably say parl would have been in recess anyway. Will they just turn up? In any case, parl should be returning week earlier, 7th Oct.
Boris Johnson, in a short time in office, has had a more chequered relationship with the law and the judiciary than most. A PM who has openly suggested he might ignore the law, has now been effectively damned by senior members of the judiciary of being a liar. Remarkable.
Yet in the court of public opinion, this will change little. All of our institutions, including the courts, have become less trusted as a result of Brexit. The PM’s team will suggest this is all part of a remainer establishment seeking to thwart the ref. Many will believe them.
.@Keir_Starmer tells @joncraig that the court’s judgement is “very powerful” and that the PM should recall Parliament “this afternoon.”
All in all prorogation was one of the most politically inept decisions of recent history:

- extension law happened anyway
- prompted Tory MPs to rebel more quickly
- which provoked expulsions
- majority to fall to -44
- provoked huge legal clashes
- might be reversed

A triumph.
You know those George Osborne budgets which looked really clever on the day but by the end of the week had fallen apart?

Prorogation equals that but times a thousand.
I mean, the govt wasn’t being especially secretive about the whole thing...
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