Boris Johnson flies to UK as parliament returns after court ruling – Politics live

The Guardian Politics 1 month ago

Martin Farrer has written this helpful guide to what happens next in parliament. The full guide is here, but here are the answers to a few key questions:

What’s happening with parliament on Wednesday?

The president of the UK’s highest court, Lady Hale, announced on Tuesday that “parliament has not been prorogued”. The unanimous judgment of all 11 justices was that it was for parliament - and particularly the speakers of both houses - to decide what to do next. Commons Speaker John Bercow has already said that parliament must be reconvened as a “matter of urgency”and that MPs will sit at 11.30am. The usual Wednesday session of prime minister’s questions would not take place, he said, although there would be opportunities for MPs to hold the Government to account.

What does it mean for Brexit?

Corbyn was meeting the leaders of the Scottish Nationalists, Lib Dems and other opposition parties last night to work out how to exert maximum pressure to achieve their number one goal: making sure Johnson cannot escape the legal obligation set out in the Benn-Burt bill to delay Brexit if he has not reached a deal of any description by 19 October. Johnson has always insisted he will not request an extension of article 50 and may be hoping that the EU summit on 17 October will provide a breakthrough.

Government ministers have repeatedly dodged questions about whether they think there are loopholes they could use to avoid complying with the Benn legislation. But it would risk another potentially humiliating legal battle with the courts if Johnson chose to go down that route. In a hint he could have another go at suspending parliament he said there was a “good case for getting on with a Queen’s speech”.

Does any of this make an election more likely?

Johnson would like to have an election as soon as possible, but he has failed to force the necessary legal instrument through parliament. As he put it, “we have a parliament that is unable to be prorogued” and “doesn’t want to have an election”. The opposition parties don’t want an election until Johnson has asked for the Brexit extension. Their calculation is that Johnson will be weakened by doing so because he has made delivering Brexit on 31 October “come what may” the totem of his prime ministership. They can therefore go to the country portraying him as someone who has failed to deliver his promises.

Good morning and welcome to the politics live blog.

Yesterday was a fairly extraordinary day on both sides of the Atlantic. Just hours after the supreme court handed down its ruling declaring Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament was “unlawful, void and of no effect”, Nancy Pelosi announced an official impeachment inquiry into US president Donald Trump. Quite the day for brash, blonde world leaders.

The Supreme Court verdict has meant that Johnson has had to cut short his visit to New York, where he was attending the United Nations general assembly. He is due to arrive in London around lunchtime on Wednesday after an overnight flight.

Parliament will resume at 11:30am, with MPs returning to the House of Commons two weeks after it was suspended in chaotic scenes. A government official in New York with the prime minister said it was impossible to say whether Johnson would appear before the Commons.

“I would anticipate there would be statements to the house, I’m just not in a position to say what they will be on,” the official said.

Downing Street suggested the prime minister would continue to push for a snap general election, while opposition parties attempted to inflict maximum embarrassment on Johnson.

“In the coming days parliament is likely to be put on the spot to see if it will have an election or whether it will continue to keep the country in zombie-parliament stasis. The only way out is an election and they will be given another opportunity to let the public decide if and when we leave the EU,” said a No 10 source.

I’ll be at the helm of this blog in the early hours, before I hand it over to my brilliant colleagues. As always, you can get in touch via Twitter or email (kate.lyons@theguardian.com).

We don’t know what the day will bring, but it’s a fairly sure bet that it will bring drama, so buckle up and thanks for reading along.


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