The British Supreme Court said Monday it will rule whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted legally when he advised Queen Elizabeth II on the suspension of Parliament before the nation leaves the European Union in a little over a month.
The high court has to determine two issues — whether it has the authority to rule in the case, and whether Johnson acted legally in advising the queen to suspend Parliament for several weeks.
The prime minister sought and received last month the queen’s approval for the move, which Johnson said was necessary to facilitate his domestic agenda. Critics argued the suspension was a pre-emptive move to block legislation that might prohibit Britain from leaving the EU at the end of October.
The decisions in British lower courts were split. Rulings in Britain and Wales sided with the prime minister. Judges in Scotland, though, declared the suspension illegal.
“The appellant issued proceedings for judicial review on the grounds that the prime minister’s decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was an abuse of power and beyond the proper constitutional limits of the common law prerogative of prorogation,” the Supreme Court said in a statement Monday.
Lawmakers ultimately passed a measure requiring Johnson to ask for a three-month extension for the deadline if no deal is reached.
Johnson has said repeatedly he will complete the Brexit process by the deadline, with or without an EU-approved deal.