Victory for Boris as Scottish Court rules he doesn’t have to ask for Brexit extension

Campaigners have had their legal bid to get a judge to force Boris Johnson to delay Brexit to avoid no-deal dismissed and they are not at all happy.

Businessman Vince Dale along with SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC and Jolyon Maugham QC – launched the legal action at the Outer House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

They wanted a judge to legally order that Mr Johnson had to send a letter to Brussels asking for the delay.

They also wanted to try and stop the prime minister finding a way around the law, including getting the judge to ban Mr Johnson from asking EU leaders to veto the request.

Their case was dismissed on Monday afternoon to much embarrassment for the campaigners who had hoped to win. This is seen as a massive victory for the PM and could lead to a No Deal Brexit on the 31st of October.

Boris Johnson had earlier said:

“We will study any judgements very closely as we always do. We will respect the law, and we will leave the EU on 31 October. Clearly that’s what the people of this country voted for.

“I think most people want just to get Brexit done. It’s been going on for a long time now.”

The judge ruled that the UK government’s public statements were an expression of its “political policy” and were “clearly not intended to be taken as conclusive statements of the government’s understanding of its legal obligations”.

And he said it would be “destructive of one of the core principles of constitutional propriety and of the mutual trust that is the bedrock of the relationship between the court and the Crown” if Mr Johnson reneged on his assurances to the court.

Lord Pentland said that as the prime minister and the government had given “unequivocal assurances” to comply with the 2019 Act, he was “not persuaded that it is necessary for the court to grant the orders sought or any variant of them”.

One of the petitioners, Jo Maugham QC, said the decision would be appealed.

Shortly after the ruling was publicly released, he tweeted: “There are now risks of an unlawful Brexit that would not, had the decision gone the other way, have existed.”

David Clews

PICTURE – Bojo test driving Mitsubishi a while back in pre-Prime Ministerial days!



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