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Supreme Court Judgment (Response)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th September 2019.

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The First Minister:

I hope that all members of this Parliament would agree with that. I know that it is the stuff of politics that resignations are called for regularly and for political reasons—that is part and parcel of the political process. However, this issue today goes beyond that. This is not just about politics; it is about respect for the rules of democracy and for the rule of law. Bruce Crawford is right that, if the current Prime Minister had any honour and dignity, he would have tendered his resignation already today.

However, instead of doing that, we have heard clear evidence from him that—even now—he has not begun to learn the lessons. His Government argued before the Supreme Court that the prorogation of Parliament had nothing to do with Brexit and was all to do with preparing for a Queen’s speech, yet, in his first comment after the ruling, he accused those who brought the cases of trying to frustrate Brexit. It can be one thing or the other, but it cannot be both. In today’s statement, Boris Johnson compounds the arrogance that he showed in giving unlawful advice to the Queen on prorogation.

I believe that it is time to get the UK Government out of office. That will mean the Opposition coming together behind a vote of confidence. It is important that we continue to take all necessary action to ensure that an election cannot be used to push us off the no-deal cliff edge at the end of October. However, as soon as that is done, it is time to have an election and get the Government out.