UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — British lawmakers will return to parliament on Wednesday after a landmark Supreme Court ruling ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial move to suspend parliament was “illegal” as Brexit approaches.
The parliament, which has been suspended since September 10, was supposed to remain suspended until October 14, just two weeks before Brexit is due on May 31, and Queen Elizabeth II approved the move on the recommendation of Boris Johnson.
But the decision, made by the conservative prime minister, considered the country’s highest judicial authority “illegal.” The strike affected the prime minister’s power and calls for his resignation grew.
Another consequence of this surprise is the return of deputies to the House of Commons on Wednesday at 11:30 (10:30 GMT), followed by the Lords at 15:00.
Johnson, who visited Monday and Tuesday in New York for the UN General Assembly, will return to Britain on Wednesday morning.
House Speaker John Birko said Tuesday that unlike every Wednesday and because of a last-minute program change, there would be no session to ask the prime minister at noon.
But there may be ministerial statements, questions and urgent discussions, he said.
“The British people have the right to expect parliament to assume its core functions and to be able to oversee the executive branch, hold ministers accountable and legislate whatever it wants.”
– Parliament vs. the Government –
But what will the opposition’s strategy with Boris Johnson become weak?
Robert Craig, professor of constitutional law at the London School of Economics, argues that with the return of parliament, the prime minister is “under greater pressure”.
“There can be a no-confidence motion or laws adopted to force him to do specific things,” he told AFP.
“We are going back to work,” said Joanna Sherry, a member of the Scottish National Party, who has filed a lawsuit leading to Johnson’s defeat.
Johnson said Tuesday in New York that he respected the Supreme Court’s decision, even if “it was not approved.” Ignoring calls for his resignation, he plans to “go ahead” and get Britain out “at all costs” by October 31.
But lawmakers often oppose a disorderly exit from the EU, a scenario put forward by Johnson. They voted on a law to force Brussels to postpone Brexit for three months if it did not get an exit deal by October 19 after the EU summit. But Johnson flatly rejected a request for Brexit’s postponement.
For Johnson, who lacks a majority in parliament, “the only thing he has to do is organize elections.” He told reporters as he emerged from a meeting with businessmen in New York.
He hopes to get enough support to implement his plan for Brexit. According to opinion polls, the Conservatives will be at the forefront if early elections are held.
The leader of the main opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbin, called on the prime minister to resign. He favors holding early elections but excluding the risk of a “no deal”.
On the diplomatic front, Johnson said that there are high hopes for an agreement with Brussels, even if European leaders do not share his optimism, especially on the issue of the Irish border.
On Tuesday he met Irish Prime Minister Leo Faradkar in New York, calling the meeting “good.” “We have been able to dive into the details this time, but there is still a big gap between the EU and Britain in terms of what we have to accomplish,” Faradkar said.
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