News | Published October 21 2019

Court of Session to determine whether Johnson acted illegally

The Court of Session will consider whether Boris Johnson’s decision to send an unsigned letter to Brussels to request an extension complies with the law which requires him to ask for a delay to Brexit.

The case comes after Johnson submitted three letters to Brussels. 

The first, copied directly from the wording of the Benn Act, asks for an extension and is unsigned with the second, written by Sir Tim Barrow, explaining the circumstances that led to the sending of the first. 

The third letter comes as an attempt from Johnson to distance himself from the proceedings and was signed by him.

Scotland’s highest court has been asked to determine whether or not the prime minister has broken his promise to act in line with the Benn Act.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry is one of the campaigners who has brought the action forward and has said "After all his huffing and puffing, the prime minister has had to climb down and seek an extension.

"And I think he was trying to spin that by not signing the letter and issuing another letter.

"The good news is that the EU have ignored that nonsense and are taking the request seriously.”

She continued "It will be for the court to decide whether or not the prime minister has broken his promise to the court. His promise wasn't to me or any of the other petitioners - it was to the court."

The Court of Session was asked to consider the situation earlier this month, however, ruling was delayed until the political situation became clearer.

John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, announced he was willing to sign a letter asking the EU to delay proceedings however, he did not anticipate this would be necessary.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
October 21 2019

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