LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied lying to the Queen over the advice he gave her over the five-week suspension of Parliament.The prime minister was speaking after Scotland’s highest civil court ruled on Wednesday the shutdown was unlawful.
Asked whether he had lied to the monarch about his reasons for the suspension, he replied: “Absolutely not.” He added: “The High Court in England plainly agrees with us, but the Supreme Court will have to decide.”
The power to suspend – or prorogue – Parliament lies with the Queen, who conventionally acts on the advice of the prime minister, the BBC has reported.
Labour has said it is “more important than ever” that Parliament is recalled after the government published its no-deal Brexit assessment. The Yellowhammer document – published on Wednesday after MPs forced its release – warned of food and fuel shortages in a no-deal scenario.
But Mr Johnson insisted the UK “will be ready” to leave the EU by the current 31 October deadline without an agreement “if we have to. What you’re looking at here is just the sensible preparations – the worst-case scenario – that you’d expect any government to do,” he said.
The current five-week suspension of Parliament started in the early hours of Tuesday, and MPs are not scheduled to return until 14 October. In a unanimous ruling, the Court of Session said Mr Johnson’s decision to order the suspension was motivated by the “improper purpose of stymieing Parliament”.
Mr Johnson has suggested it was “nonsense” to suggest the move was an attempt to undermine democracy, insisting it is normal practice for a new PM.
Labour has said it is “more important than ever” that Parliament is recalled after the government published its no-deal Brexit assessment. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the Yellowhammer document confirms there are “severe risks” if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
MPs forced the government to release the file before Parliament was prorogued – or suspended – on Tuesday. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the government was mitigating the risks.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the planning document only showed what might happen “if the government didn’t do anything about it”.
But he added “lots of measures” were being taken to reduce risks, and the chancellor had “opened his chequebook” for greater no-deal spending. The planning file was a “living document” and an updated version would be published in due course, he said.