monday, 7 october of 2019


Scottish court rejects legal bid to force PM Johnson to seek Brexit delay

A Scottish court on Monday rejected a bid by campaigners seeking an order to force British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask for a Brexit delay if he has not struck a deal with the European Union in less than two weeks’ time.

Johnson has repeatedly vowed that Britain will leave the bloc on Oct. 31, the current deadline, and that he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than seek any further extension.

However, last month parliament passed a law, known as the "Benn Act", which requires him to ask for a delay if he has failed to agree a deal by Oct. 19, unless he has lawmakers’ approval to leave without any agreement.

Johnson has said he will abide by the law but has also stuck to his promise that Britain would be out of the bloc by Oct. 31 without explaining that apparent contradiction.

Anti-Brexit campaigners asked Scotland’s Outer House of the Court of Session to issue an order compelling him to comply with the Benn Act but judge Paul Cullen rejected their case on Monday.

He said assurances given to the court by the government’s top legal officer in Scotland meant it was unnecessary to do so.

"The government accepts that in executing its political policy it must comply with the 2019 Act,” the judge said in his ruling. “That being the government’s clearly stated position before the court, there is no need for coercive orders against it or against the Prime Minister to be pronounced."

Lawyer Jo Maugham, one of the campaigners who sought the order, said they would appeal to Scotland’s highest court on Tuesday.

(Published by Reuters, October 7, 2019)

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