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Legal Advice: Prorogation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:37 am on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Geoffrey Cox Geoffrey Cox The Attorney-General 11:37 am, 25th September 2019

I think I understood my right hon. Friend’s question correctly. The Court in this case was giving its judgment on a particular issue—whether or not Prorogation of this length could be the subject of judicial control and, if so, what was the correct test to apply to that judicial control. It chose to delineate a test that suggests that from now on, a Prorogation of any length must be reasonably justified. The Court included in its analysis the fact that there was before the House, and before the country now, a particularly acute constitutional controversy, which made it even more important that the House should sit. I have to say, and I think there is nothing wrong in venturing to express respectful disagreement, that what that will mean in future is that the Court will be obliged to assess whether or not a particular political controversy is sufficiently serious, excites sufficiently heated controversy, as to warrant the House sitting for any particular length of time; but be that as it may, that is the test that the Court has set, and that is the test that now must be applied.