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Court rules Johnson's suspension of parliament unlawful


SCOTLAND'S highest court of appeal ruled on Wednesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament was unlawful, deepening the uncertainty over Britain's departure from the European Union.

Johnson's government said it would appeal the court ruling on the suspension, which has been criticised by opposition lawmakers as undemocratic, suggesting the prime minister would stick to his Brexit plan and keep parliament shut.

With only seven weeks until Britain is due to quit the EU, the future of Brexit is as unclear as ever, with the possible outcomes ranging from the world's fifth largest economy leaving without a deal to the 2016 referendum being overturned.

"We are calling for parliament to be recalled immediately," Scottish National Party lawmaker Joanna Cherry told Sky News after the verdict by Scotland's Inner Court of Session.

A government spokesman expressed disappointment at the decision. "(We) will appeal to the UK Supreme Court. The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this."

Mr Johnson, who was a figurehead for the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum when 52 per cent of voters backed Brexit, has said he needs to suspend, or prorogue, parliament to kick off his Conservative agenda. He rejects opposition complaints that he is denying parliament the right to debate Brexit. But his hardline strategy for Britain to quit the bloc "do or die" on Oct 31 has hit the buffers.

Mr Johnson has ruled out asking the EU for an extension.

The 2016 Brexit referendum showed a United Kingdom divided about much more than the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday a divorce agreement could still be reached although Berlin was prepared for a disruptive no-deal Brexit in case that did not happen. REUTERS