Supreme Court Deals Johnson Crushing Blow on Brexit

In an unprecedented rebuke by the U.K. Supreme Court, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was ruled “unlawful, void and to no effect.” Lawmakers can be recalled immediately, and there are already opposition demands for Johnson to resign, Bloomberg writes.

Eight weeks into office, the prime minister has been stretching the limits of the U.K.’s unwritten constitution in his drive to deliver Brexit at all costs on October 31. He tried to force an election, and failed. He tried to tie the hands of members of Parliament, and that too has also now failed.

The question now is whether Johnson will quit, having given Queen Elizabeth II unlawful advice, or use the crisis to try again to persuade parliament, when it’s back, to trigger the election he wants.

Johnson has relished his role as a rule breaker, but by dragging the Queen into the whole Brexit mess, he may have over-reached. The unanimous ruling implicitly suggests that Johnson misled her by asking her to carry out the suspension. That, more than anything, may be the cudgel with which British media beat the prime minister.

Johnson is in New York, where he was planning to press his case for a fresh Brexit deal with European leaders. But he’s got precious little leverage. The man who said he’d rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay leaving the European Union, might just have to go back on his word, Bloomberg adds.

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