SIR John Major will tell the Supreme Court Boris Johnson acted like a dishonest estate agent with “ulterior motives” as the battle over the Parliament shutdown reaches its final day.
The former PM will deliver a scathing rebuke via his lawyer and claim that Johnson’s move to stop MPs from sitting for five weeks was “unlawful”.
Remainer MPs claim that Boris shutdown Parliament to avoid scrutiny over Brexit and push through a No Deal – but No10 said it was so they can deliver a new legislative agenda in a Queen’s Speech.
However, during his submission Sir John will state the government’s reason for proroguing “makes no sense and cannot be the true explanation”.
He will add that the court would be “artificially naive” to accept the PM’s reasons for the shutdown.
The case is hearing at the highest court in Britain, in front of 11justices, after judges in Scotland and England delivered contradictory decisions on the shutdown.
A cross party group of 70 MPs won an appeal at the Court of Session in Edinburgh – with judges decided the PM’s shutdown was “unlawful”.
But a High Court judge had dismissed a similar challenge by Remainer lawyer Gina Miller and Sir John – leading to the case being brought to the Supreme Court this week.
DISHONEST ESTATE AGENT
In his submission Sir John cites a legal case where an estate agent was in “breach of fiduciary duty” after wrongly claiming a buyer wanted to live in a home when they wanted to sell it on.
He said: “It could hardly be suggested that the duties of the prime minister to the monarch are less than those of an estate agent to a homeowner.
“Accordingly, if the court is satisfied that the prime minister’s decision was materially influenced by something other than the stated justification, that decision must be unlawful.”
During the battle between two Tory grandees – Sir John’s lawyer Lord Garnier QC will argue against the government’s claim that the shutdown was political and the courts have “no jurisdiction”.
The inference was inescapable that the prime minister’s decision was motivated, or in any event substantially motivated, by his political interest.
Sir John Major
Lord Garnier will tell the court: “Its effect is to deprive parliament of a voice throughout the period of the prorogation.
“The inference was inescapable that the prime minister’s decision was motivated, or in any event substantially motivated, by his political interest in ensuring that there was no activity in parliament during the period leading up to the EU Council summit on 17-18 October.”
‘FATHER OF LIES’
Yesterday a Remainer lawyer told the court Boris Johnson “shut the Mother of Parliaments with the father of lies”.
Aidan O’Neill alleged that No10’s documents on the shutdown should not be taken as the “complete truth”.
“What we have with this prorogation is the mother of parliaments closed down by the father of lies,” declared O’Neill, who already won his claim in the Scottish courts.
“Lies have consequences but the truth will set us free.
“Rather than allow lies to triumph, this court should listen to the angels of its better nature and rule that this prorogation is an unlawful abuse of the power of prorogation which has been entrusted to the government.”
Mr O’Neill, who represents the cross party group of 70 MPs and anti-Brexit activists, said the government had proven itself “unworthy of trust” and said “enough is enough”.
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But Sir James Eadie, for the government, insisted that case law showed it was clear that the suspension was the PM’s prerogative the business of politics and nothing to with the Supreme Court.
Sir James also said that opposition MPs had every opportunity to act on prorogation but chose not to use the “nuclear weapon” of a no confidence vote.
The case continues.
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