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Prime Minister's Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:44 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 6:44 pm, 25th September 2019

I thank the Prime Minister for an advance copy of his statement. When I read the first paragraph, it talked about the Supreme Court verdict. It was not the Supreme Court verdict; it was the judgment of the Supreme Court. Perhaps the Prime Minister might start to show some respect for the judiciary. We are here today because the Prime Minister was utterly humiliated by the Supreme Court, by a count of 11 to zero. Members might have thought, in that diatribe that we had, that we would have some humility and that we might have been able to acknowledge that what we have had is the unlawful shutting-down of Parliament. Mr Speaker, sorry is indeed the hardest word for the Prime Minister.

It was said by a former Prime Minister that where law ends, tyranny begins. It pains me to say it, but the fact that the Prime Minister is still standing here today shows that he does in fact believe he is above the law. Well, he is not. Thank heavens for the action that was brought in the courts in Scotland and England, and I pay tribute to my hon. and learned Friend Joanna Cherry. Thank goodness the courts have done their job and made sure that parliamentarians are back where they should be, in this House, holding the Government to account.

The ruling of the Supreme Court has made it absolutely crystal clear: the actions of this Government and this Prime Minister led to the unlawful prorogation of Parliament. Delivering the verdict, Lady Hale stated that prorogation was null and void. Have you no shame, Prime Minister? The Court concluded that the decision was unlawful because it had

“the effect of frustrating or preventing, without reasonable justification, the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions”.

The Prime Minister talks about us running off to the courts. Well, we got the courts to do what he failed to do, which was to respect parliamentary sovereignty. The Court talked of

“frustrating or preventing, without reasonable justification, the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions”

How devastating for a Prime Minister to have such a judgment. Where law ends, tyranny begins. Yet, the Prime Minister said he did not agree with the courts. He only agrees with his cronies in No. 10—his Brexit-obsessed fan club. He cannot pick and choose when it comes to the law; he must obey the law. That is not leadership; he quite simply is not fit for office.

I hear the Prime Minister talking about a surrender Act. How despicable that, when he refers to Members of this House who are doing their duty to protect our constituents, he uses language such as “surrender”. That language is not suitable for the Prime Minister of any country.

The Prime Minister’s position is no longer tenable. His failure to resign is an embarrassment. People have had enough of this shambles. We have reached a difficult and dangerous point—[Interruption.]