A court in London has rejected an objection from businesswoman and philanthropist Gina Miller against the suspension of the lower house by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The court announced today that Miller can still take the case to the Supreme Court.
Johnson announced at the end of August that he would suspend the House of Commons from mid-September to mid-October. That is longer than usual. Critics of the prime minister said that this would give parliamentarians less time to debate the approaching brexit. For Miller, that was a reason to go to court in an attempt to stop the longer parliamentary suspension. She was supported in this by, among others, former Prime Minister John Major.
Miller reacted disappointed to the London court’s decision and added that she would not give up her legal battle. She said it is “essential” for parliament to have sufficient time to debate the Brexit. That is why she uses the possibility to challenge the suspension at the court. That will probably deal with the issue on 17 September.
Johnson previously denied that with the suspension he wants to put parliament offside in the Brexit, as critics claim. Johnson wants the parliament to vote on October 21 and 22 about his plans. The British Prime Minister wants to leave the EU on 31 October, even if that is without an agreement. The British Queen Elizabeth II previously approved the suspension.
Johnson’s strategy is clear. He presents himself as the man of the people (who voted tightly in favor of brexit in the 2016 referendum, but not for a no-deal brexit). He presents the aim of the lower house for a new postponement of the Brexit until January next year as the ultimate betrayal to the voter. At Labor they now have their own problems, because that party is also divided. A part of the party wants elections as quickly as possible, while another part wants Boris Johnson to dangle. This concerns elections in October, November or perhaps even later. According to Labor shadow minister John MacDonnell, the party is consulting with other opposition parties on the best date.
Johnson calls it “a cowardly insult to democracy” that opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn does not want to agree to hold general elections. A law aimed at preventing the country from leaving the European Union without a deal “would essentially nullify the largest democratic vote in our history – the 2016 referendum,” said Johnson spokesman. “It is clear that the only action is to go back to the people and give them the opportunity to decide what they want,” he said.
Boris Johnson threatens to become the third conservative leader who is ‘killed’ by Brexit. According to opinion polls, he is likely to win the next election, but it is by no means certain that he will get the desired large majority.