The British Supreme Court declares the closure of Parliament “illegal”

The court proposes the immediate resumption of activities, to which the president of the House of Commons has already committed


The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has ruled that the parliamentary closure requested by the Boris Johnson Government is “illegal”, considering it harms legislative activity and “there is no justification” for a measure that could lead to “extreme” consequences for democracy .

The Supreme Court has determined in the first place that it has powers to rule on the issue, by understanding that analyzing the limits of this type of suspensions is also a “matter of the judges” and is not only part of the political debate.

The British Supreme Court declares the closure of Parliament “illegal”
The British Supreme Court declares the closure of Parliament “illegal”

The court, which has brought together eleven magistrates to analyze this case – as many as possible – has assumed that “it is not a normal suspension” for the time chosen by the Government, to the extent that the activity would not resume until October 14, 15 days from the date of Brexit.

The magistrates have determined that Johnson's measure, who is responsible for choosing the time and duration of the cessation of activities, “has had the effect of frustrating or preventing Parliament from developing its constitutional functions.”

In one of the harshest paragraphs of the sentence, the judges determine that it is “impossible” to find “no good reason, not even a single one”, for which it was necessary to ask Isabel II for a five-week paralysis to elaborate a new agenda Legislative for a new session.

“The suspension is null and void,” explained the rapporteur, Lady Hale, who thus confirmed that Parliament, in legal terms, is active and can bring her two chambers together “as soon as possible”. Now, it is up to the legislative bodies to decide when and how they resume the activity.


The House of Commons is already “considering the implications of the Supreme Court ruling,” according to its press office, although the president said body, John Bercow, has been among the first to publicly celebrate a ruling that, for the Government, It is the worst possible result of all those who had been shuffling in recent days.

Bercow has stressed that the court, by rejecting that a five-week suspension could be considered a “normal practice” within political activity, “has defended Parliament's right and duty to meet at this crucial time to control the Executive and make the ministers accountable. ”

The president of the House of Commons, who will resign from office on October 31, has advocated bringing the deputies together “without delay”, for which he has proposed to consult “urgently” the leaders of the various parties with representation.

The judicial opinion has coincided with Johnson's trip to the United States, where on Tuesday he plans to speak before the UN General Assembly in New York. The prime minister has always defended that he wants to remove the United Kingdom from the EU at any cost, regardless of whether or not there is agreement on October 31.

The sentence is especially harsh with the Government, which has opted for caution in the moments after its publication. Downing Street sources cited by the BBC have limited themselves to saying that the Administration is “processing” both the content and its potential implications, in the face of an opposition that has already begun to resign the prime minister's resignation.


The European Commission has avoided ruling. “We have all seen the news but we are not responsible for commenting on the constitutional internal affairs in the member states. This includes the United Kingdom,” the spokeswoman for the Community Executive, Natasha Bertaud, said when asked if Brussels would act against the United Kingdom for this violation of the rule of law as it has done in the case of Poland.

The Community Executive has also avoided discussing whether he considers the British 'premier', which requires the elimination of the safeguard for the Irish border as a condition for sealing a Brexit agreement, as a reliable negotiator. “Our interlocutor is the Government of the United Kingdom and is still the case,” he has said, refusing to enter into “other value judgments.”

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