Scottish court reserves right to ask EU for Brexit delay

A Scottish Saltire flag (R) flies alongside a European Union flag | Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images

Scottish court reserves right to ask EU for Brexit delay

Judges defer ruling on whether they can request Article 50 extension in Boris Johnson’s stead.


10/9/19, 12:49 PM CET

Updated 10/9/19, 2:40 PM CET

LONDON — The Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court, will wait until October 21 before ruling whether it can request an extension to Article 50 if the Prime Minister Boris Johnson refuses to do it himself.

The case had been brought by campaigners who are trying to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31. They are trying to prevent Johnson from getting around the Benn Act, which compels him to request a Brexit extension if no deal is agreed with the EU by October 19.

Scottish National Party MP Joanna Cherry, anti-Brexit lawyer Jolyon Maugham and businessman Dale Vince had asked the court to rule whether it could use its “nobile officium” tool to sign a Brexit extension letter on behalf of the government.

In their ruling, the panel of three senior judges said they must wait until the government has infringed the law before granting the order sought by the petitioners, adding that at this stage, there is no basis yet for doing so.

“Before coercive measures are granted, the court must be satisfied that they are necessary … In this case, whether the Prime Minister will ever require to send a letter containing an extension request is uncertain … Until the time for sending the letter has arrived,

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