-More trouble ahead for Johnson
Britain’s top court of appeal ruled last Tuesday that the prorogation of parliament by Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “unlawful.” In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court said the decision to suspend parliament was “null and void.”
In his only comment so far in response to the stinging verdict, Johnson told the BBC that the government would respect the court’s decision, but nonetheless, he did express his opinion that the court was wrong.
Last week saw the start of a riotous mood in the House of Commons when it convened for its first sitting on Wednesday - a day after the Supreme Court annulled the five-week-long prorogation by the government.
The court decision is seen as another huge blow in a series of defeats for Johnson. There were many calls for Johnson’s resignation after the court decision, which was then followed by angry opposition to his combative language that he used in parliament where he was accused of dismissing abuse fears of female MPs as 'humbug.'
With the opening of the parliament on Wednesday, Johnson challenged opposition parties to initiate a “no-confidence motion” against him. He insisted the public do not want a second referendum but want to honor the first one.
Referring to the last two votes for a snap election, which the government brought to the House, Johnson said opposition parties could have voted for an election.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the judgment showed that “Prime Minister Johnson has acted wrongly in shutting down the parliament.”
He added during his speech at a Labour Party conference in Brighton that “It demonstrates a contempt for democracy and abuse of power by him.”
He called for him to consider his position and “become the shortest-serving prime minister there’s ever been.”
On Monday, Corbyn is expected to bring opposition leaders together to discuss their next steps to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
Scottish National Party (SNP) spokesperson Joanna Cherry also called for his resignation.
“Boris Johnson's position is untenable and he should have the guts to resign,' she said in immediate reaction to the ruling.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also called for the prime minister's resignation.
He called the idea of a second referendum 'fantasy”, and said he wanted to show the public there is “life after Brexit”.
“The public don’t want another referendum -- what they want and what they demand is that we honor the promise we made to the voters to respect the first referendum,” he said.
The opposition is reluctant to call a no-confidence vote. The Labour Party’s mistrust of Johnson leaves them concluding he will be free to dissolve parliament for an election, which could be set for a date beyond Oct. 31, thus facilitating a no-deal Brexit that they have tried so hard to avoid.
Amid all this political chaos, by law Johnson is now obliged to ask for an extension from Brussels, a task he is reluctant to complete. If he fails to do so, it is likely that there will be unavoidable legal consequences.
Monday also saw further revelations of Johnson’s misbehavior with a claim that he grabbed the former editor of weekly political magazine, the Spectator, inappropriately in 1999. The claims have sparked much condemnation but also support for Johnson from his party members.
Johnson has pledged an exit from the EU, even if it means leaving with a no-deal scenario on Oct. 31. Time is ticking, while businesses are concerned, and yet there is no sign of a deal in the pipeline.