John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has confirmed that the house must reconvene following the decision in the Supreme Court that Boris Johnson’s advice to the Monarch was “unlawful”.
In a statement, Bercow said:
“I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgement that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful. The judges have rejected the Government’s claim that closing down Parliament for five weeks was merely standard practice to allow for a new Queen’s Speech. In reaching their conclusion, they have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account. As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency”.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, acted unlawfully in proroguing Parliament the Supreme Court has announced. The Prime Minister is now under intense pressure to resign, although he had earlier indicated that he didn’t currently intend to do so.
The court decided that Johnson acted illegally and has reversed the prorogation of Parliament, leaving the decision on what to do now to the Speaker of the House of Commons. The decision stated that Johnson’s advice to the Monarch was “unlawful, void and of no effect”.
The President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, said on Johnson’s unlawful advice:
“The effect on the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme.”
The Government has today lost a vote in the House of Commons which will make it more difficult to suspend Parliament in October. Boris Johnson, one of the two remaining candidates for the Conservative Party leadership had refused to rule out proroguing Parliament as the Commons may have prevented a no deal Brexit.
The amendment was won by 315 votes to 274 votes, which was a larger margin that had been expected. Margot James, the Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, resigned from her role today in order to vote for the amendment.
MPs in the House of Commons today have voted with a majority of just one in favour of an extension to Brexit. The bill, which is still subject to Lords approval, was put forwards by Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP for Normanton, although it will also require the support of the European Commission.
The decision of the Commons will now mean that if Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is unable to secure agreement in the House next week for her Brexit deal then Parliament will require her to seek a longer extension to Article 50.
MPs have rejected all the Brexit options during an indicative vote which took place in the House of Commons. The nearest option to securing support amongst MPs was the customs union plan put forwards by Ken Clarke, the Conservative MP for Rushcliffe.
The results were:
Confirmatory Referendum – For: 268 Against: 295
Customs Union – For: 264 Against: 272
Labour’s Brexit Plan – For: 237 Against: 307
Common Market Version 2.0 – For: 188 Against: 283
Revoking Article 50 to Avoid No Deal – For: 184 Against: 293
MPs are voting today in a series of votes on their preferred option for Brexit, although the Prime Minister has said that she may not honour the wishes of the House of Commons. A number of Conservative MPs, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, have also indicated that they have u-turned and will now support the Prime Minister’s preferred deal with the European Union.
The options MPs will vote on have yet to be confirmed by John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and it is unclear whether the Conservative and Labour leaders will whip their MPs on how they should vote. The voting will unusually be done by filling in paper votes rather than walking through the lobbies, with the results expected to be announced by late evening.
MPs have voted today in the House of Commons to delay Brexit which may potentially delay the planned leaving date of 29 March when the UK was to leave the EU. 413 MPs voted to delay Brexit against 202 who opposed the move, giving a majority of 211. Delaying the Brexit process could be seen as a major humiliation for Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and the Government confirmed that preparations were still being made for a no-deal Brexit.