Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Boris Bad Enough Versus Scotland

I'm going to say that the government of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is rapidly approaching the "no longer a going concern" stage of the game.

A panel of three Scottish judges ruled Wednesday morning that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was illegal, escalating an already passionate debate over whether the British prime minister respects the rule of law and throwing into even greater doubt his plans for Brexit.

The ruling does not mean Parliament will immediately come back into session. But it does give the prime minister’s opponents hope ahead of an expected Supreme Court hearing next week. Some even raised the prospect that Johnson will have to resign if he loses that case.

The Scottish judges ruled that the government had been misleading — including, perhaps, to the queen — about its real reasons for the five-week suspension and that the move was “unlawful because it had the purpose of stymying Parliament.”

The Supreme Court case will be heard on Tuesday after the prime minister’s office said it would appeal the Scottish ruling. “We are disappointed by today’s decision,” Downing Street said. A government spokesperson later ruled out recalling Parliament at least until the Supreme Court has a chance to weigh in.

Wednesday’s ruling contradicts two other judgments. Courts in England and Wales had ruled that Johnson’s move was legal. Another Scottish judge, meanwhile, had decided the courts did not have the authority to interfere in the suspension.

Scotland has a separate legal system from England and Wales; the Supreme Court, which is based in London, rules on matters relating to both jurisdictions.

Johnson critics celebrated Wednesday’s decision saying they had been “vindicated.”

“You cannot break the law with impunity, Boris Johnson,” Joanna Cherry, one of more than 70 lawmakers who brought the case in Scotland, told reporters outside the court in Edinburgh. “The rule of law will be upheld by Scotland’s courts, and I hope also the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.”

Next week's court ruling I should imagine will be rather important.  Meanwhile, the "no-deal Brexit" that Johnson insists he will follow through with will be, by his government's own estimations, an absolute disaster of biblical proportions, as the government has now released the text of Operation Yellowhammer, the contingency plans for the end of next month if there's no Brexit deal.

The plans confirm the leaks about Yellowhammer from a few weeks ago.

A government document from Aug. 1 leaked to the Sunday Times laid out projections of how the U.K. would fare if it exits the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31. The forecasts, compiled by the Cabinet Office under the ominous, James Bond–esque title “Operation Yellowhammer,” include shortages of fresh foods, medicines, and months of delays at British ports lasting up to six months. It also predicted the establishment of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic—a key sticking point in the negotiations—and widespread protests. A government source told the Times, “These are likely, basic, reasonable scenarios — not the worst case.”

It's not the worst case.

The worst case scenario, you know, the one with martial law and anarchy, is supposedly covered underneath "Operation Black Swan".

As bad as things are here stateside, the UK is in mortal peril.

And Boris Bad Enough is in charge.

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