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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Didn’t lie to Queen on prorogation: UK PM Boris Johnson

The Court of Session ruled this week that the prorogation was motivated by the “improper purpose of stymying Parliament,” reflecting opposition criticism that Johnson wanted to avoid scrutiny of his approach to Brexit as the October 31 deadline approaches.

world Updated: Sep 12, 2019 20:14 IST
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied that he lied to Queen Elizabeth about the reasons for suspending parliament.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied that he lied to Queen Elizabeth about the reasons for suspending parliament.(Reuters Photo)
         

Facing flak after Scotland’s highest court ruled that parliament’s prorogation was based on unlawful advice given to Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted on Thursday he did not lie to her, as an official note forecast severe disruption in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

The Court of Session ruled this week that the prorogation was motivated by the “improper purpose of stymying Parliament,” reflecting opposition criticism that Johnson wanted to avoid scrutiny of his approach to Brexit as the October 31 deadline approaches.

The Scottish court ruled against the Johnson government but the high court in England and Northern Ireland (on Thursday) said it would not go into the merits of the prorogation since it is essentially a political decision. The Supreme Court is to deliver its judgement on Tuesday.

Also read: Key Brexit questions remain as ugly scenes mark House suspension

Johnson insisted he did not lie to the sovereign while seeking the prorogation order: “Absolutely not. The high court in England plainly agrees with us but the Supreme Court will have to decide”.

Reiterating that efforts are on to seek an agreement – despite remarks to the contrary from EU functionaries in Brussels – he added: “We’re trying to get a deal. And I’m very hopeful we will get a deal…if we have to come out on October 31 with no deal, we will be ready”.

The official assessment of the impact of leaving the EU without an agreement published on Wednesday night sees price rise for food and fuel, protests and counter-protests and disruption in medicine supplies, but Johnson said it is a ‘worst-case scenario’ and the government is ready to deal with it.

The document called Operation Yellowhammer, categorised as ‘sensitive’, was published after the Johnson government was forced to disclose it when an opposition-sponsored motion to this effect was passed in the House of Commons this week.

A no-deal Brexit will lead to EU-wide rules, regulations and laws applicable in the UK over decades of its membership will not be in force anymore, disrupting seamless movement of goods, industry supplies, trade as well as travel, among other implications for areas such as security.

The Johnson government acknowledges the adverse impact of a no-deal Brexit, but has insisted on keeping the option on the table to honour the verdict of the 2016 referendum to leave the EU.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 20:14 IST