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Joanna Cherry Judicial Review Appeal

At an initial hearing in the Scottish Court of Session held on 3 Sep 2019, a petition for Judicial Review was dismissed by Lord Doherty finding that the PM’s advice on prorogation was, as a matter of high policy and political judgement, non-justiciable. There were no legal standards by which the courts could assess the decision. Even if this was wrong, Lord Doherty added, he was not persuaded, on what he had seen, that the reasons for the advice were unlawful.

The appeal to this decision was heard on 5-6 September and a summary of the appeal was released on 11 September.

The Inner House of the Court of Session has ruled that the Prime Minister’s advice to HM the Queen that the United Kingdom Parliament should be prorogued from a day between 9 and 12 September until 14 October was unlawful because it had the purpose of stymying Parliament.

This is a summary of the opinions of the court, which have been issued in draft form to the parties in light of the urgency of the case. This summary is provided to assist in understanding the court’s judgment. It does not form part of the reasons for the decision. The full opinion of the court is the only authoritative document.

The full opinions will be available on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website at 12 noon on Friday 13 September 2019.

http://www.scotland-judiciary.org.uk/9/2261/Joanna-Cherry-QC-MP-and-others-for-Judicial-Review

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, decided that although advice to HM the Queen on the exercise of the royal prerogative of prorogating Parliament was not reviewable on the normal grounds of judicial review, it would nevertheless be unlawful if its purpose was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive, which was a central pillar of the good governance principle enshrined in the constitution; this followed from the principles of democracy and the rule of law. The circumstances in which the advice was proffered and the content of the documents produced by the respondent demonstrated that this was the true reason for the prorogation.

Lord Brodie considered that whereas when the petition was raised the question was unlikely to have been justiciable, the particular prorogation that had occurred, as a tactic to frustrate Parliament, could legitimately be established as unlawful. This was an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities. It was to be inferred that the principal reasons for the prorogation were to prevent or impede Parliament holding the executive to account and legislating with regard to Brexit, and to allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference.

Lord Drummond Young determined that the courts have jurisdiction to decide whether any power, under the prerogative or otherwise, has been legally exercised. It was incumbent on the UK Government to show a valid reason for the prorogation, having regard to the fundamental constitutional importance of parliamentary scrutiny of executive action. The circumstances, particularly the length of the prorogation, showed that the purpose was to prevent such scrutiny. The documents provided showed no other explanation for this. The only inference that could be drawn was that the UK Government and the Prime Minister wished to restrict Parliament.

The decision has been appealed by the Government to the Supreme Court which is due to be heard on 17 September 2019, together with an appeal by Miller et al on the decision in the case of Miller v The Prime Minister held on 5 September.

Associated articles

https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2019/09/11/a-tale-of-two-judgments-scottish-court-of-session-rules-prorogation-of-parliament-unlawful-but-high-court-of-england-and-wales-begs-to-differ/

https://theweeflea.com/2019/09/12/heroes-of-the-people-the-politicisation-of-the-judiciary/

PM’s speech on new Brexit deal: 21 May 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a speech about the new Brexit deal on 21 May 2019.

Transcript:

I became Prime Minister almost three years ago – immediately after the British people voted to leave the European Union. My aim was – and is – to deliver Brexit and help our country move beyond the division of the referendum and into a better future. A country that works for everyone. Where everyone has the chance to get on in life and to go as far as their own talent and hard work can take them. That is a goal that I believe can still unite our country.

I knew that delivering Brexit was not going to be simple or straightforward. The result in 2016 was decisive, but it was close. The challenge of taking Brexit from the simplicity of the choice on the ballot paper to the complexity of resetting the country’s relationship with 27 of its nearest neighbours was always going to be huge.

While it has proved even harder than I anticipated, I continue to believe that the best way to make a success of Brexit is to negotiate a good exit deal with the EU as the basis of a new deep and special partnership for the future. That was my pitch to be leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. That is what I set out in my Lancaster House speech and that was what my Party’s election manifesto said in 2017. That is in essence what the Labour Party’s election manifesto stated too. And over 80% of the electorate backed parties which stood to deliver Brexit by leaving with a deal.

Theresa remains as PM

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Theresa May wins the vote of “No Confidence” by 200 votes to 117 and remains as Prime Minister (at least for the time being). According to Conservative Party rules she can not be challenged again for 12 months.

Before the vote, she addressed the 1922 Committee and promised that she would not be leading the Conservative Party into the next election, due in 2022.

The vote was held between 18:00 and 20:00 with the results announced at 21:00 by Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee.

The result of the ballot held this evening is that the Parliamentary Party does have confidence in Theresa May
as leader of the Conservative Party. The number of votes cast in favour of having confidence in Theresa May was
200 and against was 117. Under the rules set out in the constitution of the Conservative Party, no further confidence vote can take place for at least 12 months

Following the result, Theresa May made a statement outside Number 10

This has been a long and challenging day, but at the end of it I’m pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight’s ballot. Whilst I am grateful for that support, a significant number of colleagues did cast a vote against me, and I have listened to what they said.

Following this ballot we now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country.

A Brexit that delivers on the votes that people gave, that brings back control of our money, our borders and our laws. That protects jobs, security and the union, that brings the country back together rather than entrenching division. That must start here in Westminster with politicians on all sides coming together and acting in the national interest.

For my part I have heard what the House of Commons said about the Northern Ireland backstop and when I go to the European Council tomorrow I will be seeking legal and political assurances that will assuage the concerns that members of Parliament have on that issue.

But while delivering Brexit is important we also need to focus on the other issues that people feel are vital to them that matter to them day to day. The issues that we came into politics to deal with, building a stronger economy, delivering first-class public services, building the homes that families need.

We owe it to the people who put us here to put their priorities first. So here is our renewed mission: delivering the Brexit that people voted for, bringing the country back together, and building a country that truly works for everyone.

Theresa May Press conference with Donald Trump

Prime Minister Theresa May held a press conference with US President Donald Trump on 13 July 2018, during his official visit to the UK.

I am pleased to welcome the President of the United States to Chequers today on his first official visit to the United Kingdom. No two countries do more together than ours to keep their peoples safe and prosperous. And we want to deepen that co-operation even further to meet the shared challenges we face, now and in the years ahead.

This morning President Trump and I visited Sandhurst, where we saw a demonstration of joint-working between British and American Special Forces – just one example of what is today the broadest, deepest and most advanced security co-operation of any two countries in the world. Whether it is our pilots deterring the use of chemical weapons in Syria or defeating Daesh, our soldiers at the forefront of NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe, our navies in the Pacific enforcing sanctions on North Korea, or our unparalleled intelligence-sharing partnership thwarting attacks – our security co-operation is saving lives here in Britain, in America and right across the world.

That partnership is set to grow, with our armies integrating to a level unmatched anywhere, and the UK set to spend £24 billion on US equipment and support over the next decade.

Today we have also discussed how we can deepen our work together to respond to malign state activity, terrorism and serious crime. In particular, on Russia, I thanked President Trump for his support in responding to the appalling use of a nerve agent in Salisbury, after which he expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers. And I welcomed his meeting with President Putin in Helsinki on Monday. We agreed that it is important to engage Russia from a position of strength and unity – and that we should continue to deter and counter all efforts to undermine our democracies.

Turning to our economic co-operation, with mutual investment between us already over $1 trillion, we want to go further. We agreed today, that as the UK leaves the European Union, we will pursue an ambitious US-UK Free Trade Agreement.

The Chequers agreement reached last week provides the platform for Donald and me to agree an ambitious deal that works for both countries right across our economies. A deal that builds on the UK’s independent trade policy; reducing tariffs, delivering a gold-standard in financial services co-operation, and – as two of the world’s most advanced economies – seizing the opportunity of new technology. All of this will further enhance our economic co-operation, creating new jobs and prosperity for our peoples for generations to come.

The UK-US relationship is also defined by the role we play on the world stage. Doing this means making tough calls and sometimes being prepared to say things that others might rather not hear. From the outset President Trump has been clear about how he sees the challenges we face. And on many, we agree.

For example, the need to deal with the long-standing nuclear threat of DPRK, where the agreement in Singapore has set in train the prospect of denuclearisation, to which the UK is proud to be contributing expertise. Or the need to address the destabilising influence of Iran in the Middle East, where today we have discussed what more we can do to push back on Iran in Yemen and reduce humanitarian suffering. Or the need for NATO allies to increase their defence spending and capability, on which we saw significant increases at yesterday’s summit. This includes Afghanistan, where this week I announced a further uplift of 440 UK troops – an ongoing commitment to a mission that began as NATO’s only use of Article 5, acting in support of the US.

Finally, let me say this about the wider transatlantic relationship.

It is all of our responsibility to ensure that transatlantic unity endures. For it has been fundamental to the protection and projection of our interests and values for generations. With US leadership at its foundation, its beating heart remains our democratic values and our commitment to justice. Those values are something that we in the UK will always cherish – as I know the US will too. It is the strength of these values, and the common interests they create, that we see across the breadth of our societies in North America and Europe. And that is why I am confident that this transatlantic alliance will continue to be the bedrock of our shared security and prosperity for years to come.

Prime Minister – Statement to Parliament 09 July 2018

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Theresa May – Statement to the House of Commons on 09 July 2018

http://bit.ly/2NC41IV

The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May)

I am sure the House will join me in sending our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dawn Sturgess, who passed away last night. The police and security services are working urgently to establish the full facts, in what is now a murder investigation. I want to pay tribute to the dedication of staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their tireless work in responding to this appalling crime. Our thoughts are also with the people of Salisbury and Amesbury. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will make a statement shortly, including on the support we will continue to provide to the local community throughout this difficult time.

Turning to Brexit, I want to pay tribute to my right hon. Friends the Members for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis) and for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson) for their work over the last two years. We do not agree about the best way of delivering our shared commitment to honour the result of the referendum, but I want to recognise the former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union for the work he did to establish a new Department and steer through Parliament some of the most important legislation for generations, and similarly to recognise the passion that the former Foreign Secretary demonstrated in promoting a global Britain to the world as we leave the European Union. I am also pleased to welcome my hon. Friend the Member for Esher and Walton (Dominic Raab) as the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

On Friday at Chequers, the Cabinet agreed a comprehensive and ambitious proposal that provides a responsible and credible basis for progressing negotiations with the EU towards a new relationship after we leave on 29 March next year. It is a proposal that will take back control of our borders, our money and our laws, but do so in a way that protects jobs, allows us to strike new trade deals through an independent trade policy and keeps our people safe and our Union together.

Before I set out the details of this proposal, I want to start by explaining why we are putting it forward. The negotiations so far have settled virtually all of the withdrawal agreement, and we have agreed an implementation period that will provide businesses and Governments with the time to prepare for our future relationship with the EU. But on the nature of that future relationship, the two models that are on offer from the EU are simply not acceptable.

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