Everyone will recall by now that the decision taken by the Supreme Court ruling the prorogation of Parliament by the Prime Minister was, in fact, unlawful. Boris Johnson’s response simply that he had done no different to his predecessors was hardly surprising, however it doesn’t justify his actions. All this proves is that there was no reason to challenge his predecessors.
There have been calls from some that this is anti-democratic and a destruction of the very democracy Parliament represents, or that this is a kind of constitutional coup. This could not be further from the truth. Parliament, made up of elected MPs in the House of Commons and the appointed Peers within the House of Lords, debate, consider and make the laws before submitting them to the Queen for Royal Assent. This remains the democratic process within the UK.
The Supreme Court’s role in this process is simply to uphold the laws as laid down by parliament and ensure they are both interpreted and utilised correctly. In this case, the Supreme Court avoided questioning the motives of Mr Johnson directly and simply looked at the prorogation in isolation and determined that this was null and void, thus upholding the constitutional laws as parroted by Parliament.
Now the question of whether or not Mr Johnson should step down as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling is an interesting one. I think, for the most part, Conservatives have demonstrated of late that they care little for what people think. Theresa May didn’t resign after suffering the largest Commons defeat recorded for some time so I see little reason why Johnson would either.
It’s clear that this is, at the very least, humiliating for the Prime Minister, Mr Johnson’s thinly-veiled threats towards the Justices appear to be just that. Mr Johnson’s latest rhetoric regarding Jo Cox however was nothing short of terrible and was frankly unacceptable for any politician to make, especially within an office such as that of the Prime Minister.