The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to shut down parliament in the run-up to Brexit was unlawful, a humiliating rebuke that thrusts Britain’s exit from the European Union deeper into turmoil.
The unanimous decision by the court’s 11 judges undermines Johnson and gives legislators more scope to oppose his promise to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31. Opposition leaders demanded that he should resign immediately.
“The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification,” Supreme Court President Brenda Hale said, reading out the historic decision.
“Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous judgment of all 11 justices,” she added. “It is for parliament, and in particular the speaker and the (House of) Lords speaker, to decide what to do next.”
The speaker of parliament’s House of Commons, where Johnson has lost his majority and most lawmakers oppose his plan for an Oct. 31 Brexit with or without a deal, said the chamber must convene without delay.
“As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay,” speaker John Bercow said. “To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency.”
Sterling initially hit a day’s high of $1.2479 after the ruling before falling back to stand at $1.2454 at 1045 GMT, up 0.2% on the day and only slightly stronger than before the court decision.
There was no word from Johnson, who was in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly. He is due to meet business leaders this morning. The government declined immediate comment.