What court rulings on parliament suspension mean for Brexit

Two of the U.K.’s highest courts issued contradictory rulings Wednesday on Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament.

Campaigners — including dozens of MPs and former Prime Minister John Major — who brought the cases are hoping to force the PM to reopen the doors of the Palace of Westminster. They want parliamentarians to be able to scrutinize the government in the run-up to Brexit, including its strategy for negotiating a deal and its efforts to prepare for a no-deal scenario.

With appeals against both judgments now launched, the U.K.’s Supreme Court will have to adjudicate on whether MPs must be recalled or not. Here’s POLITICO’s guide to what the judgments mean and what happens next:

What did the Scottish court say?

Scotland’s Court of Session, the nation’s highest civil court, ruled that Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament between September 9 and October 14 “was motivated by the improper purpose of stymying Parliament and that it, and what has followed from it, is unlawful.”

The judgment asserts, in effect, that the prime minister misled the queen when advising her to prorogue the legislature. “The Court will accordingly make an Order declaring that the Prime Minister’s advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect,” the judgment reads.

Business owner and anti-Brexit activist Gina Miller (center) speaks outside the High Court, London on September 6, 2019 | Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

Anti-Brexit politicians and campaigners have hailed the ruling as “historic” and are demanding that parliament reconvene within the next 24 hours.

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