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Joanna Cherry QC MP has welcomed the Court of Session’s decision to delay its ruling in the case raised by businessman Dale Vince OBE, Jolyon Maugham QC and herself against the Prime Minister.

A decision has been delayed against the Rt Hon Boris Johnson until 21st October – which Ms Cherry says allows the court to keep a watch on whether Mr Johnson calls for an extension from the EU on a date for the UK to leave.

Outside the Court of Session Edinburgh PHOTO ©2019 The Edinburgh Reporter

The SNP Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson said the decision was a “victory for the petitioners and everyone who wants the Tory government to obey the law”.

Ms Cherry said:”This decision is a victory for the petitioners and everyone who wants the Tory government to obey the law, and call for an extension, so we can avoid a devastating no-deal Brexit.

“As a result of this vital court action, the Tory government has been forced to concede the Prime Minister will comply with the law, and promise to send a letter requesting a Brexit extension. Crucially, he has also had to admit that he will not frustrate the purpose of the Benn Act.

“The Court’s decision is a clear signal it will keep a watch on Boris Johnson’s actions – and is holding a Sword of Damocles over him in case he breaks his promise. 

“The Tory Prime Minister must obey the law and call for an extension, or face the consequences – including the ability for Scotland’s Supreme Court to force a request for an extension.

“Tory plans for an extreme Brexit would be devastating for Scotland and the UK – threatening to cause a recession, destroy 100,000 Scottish jobs, and cause lasting harm to living standards, public services and the economy. That is a price that we must not pay.

“Once an extension is secure, the opposition parties must unite to bring this Tory government down and hold an election. The SNP will put Scotland’s opposition to Brexit and our right to choose our own future as an independent country at the heart of that election.” 

At the moment Parliament is prorogued or suspended. The State Opening of Parliament will take place on Monday 14 October 2019. The House will meet at 11.25am for the Queen’s Speech. Members may follow the Speaker and party leaders to hear the speech delivered in the Lords. Afterwards the House will suspend until 2.30pm.

Following the EU summit on 17 October the UK Parliament will sit on a Saturday for the first time in some years. This is regarded as the last chance for the EU and the UK to reach a deal ahead of the 31 October deadline. If a deal is then agreed the Prime Minister will as MPs to approve it.

The court will ensure that if it is necessary to extend the deadline then if the Prime Minister does not send the necessary letter, they may decide to do so on his behalf.


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