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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Ok new thread to keep things clean. Lord Pannick is explaining that Gina Miller's legal challenge is focused in on why the PM needs to close Parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queen's Speech - longest for 40 years - just as the Brexit clock ticktocks towards midnight.
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
He asks: Is the five-week closure reasonable to meet the objective - which is to close a Parliamentary session ahead of a Queen's Speech. "It is not manifestly necessary to have a five-week prorogation," he says.
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
"It is not merely that it is a prorogation of an exceptional length at a critical time & that the PM can provide no reasonable basis for needing it. This case involves a decision by the PM that is *fatally infected* by the PM's failure to understand that Parliament is sovereign."
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
"This PM does not understand that it is the role of Parliament to discuss, debate and enact such legislation as it sees fit" - and it's not the role of the executive to prevent it performing its functions because the PM takes a derogatory view [of what it is doing]
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
"He sees Parliament as a potential threat" to his Brexit policy. Lord Pannick says it's not for the courts to evaluate the PM's Brexit strategy - but it is the business of the court to consider whether the PM is trying to close Parliament because he regards it is "a nuisance".
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
You can pay a fortune to see some mediocre West End drama with sub-standard warm wine from the bar. Or you come to the High Court for FREE to witness what might be a piece of constitutional history. This is cracking drama.
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
Lord Pannick carefully argues that he is not trying to prevent a PM from ever closing a Parliament for a long period. "I am not suggesting there are no circumstances when there would be a justification."
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Dominic Casciani
First intervention from a judge, Sir Terence Etherton asks if Lord Pannick's argument, in essence, is that the PM must give a "sound reason" for such a long closure of Parliament that interferes with its sovereignty. Lord Pannick, in short, says it is.
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
Lord Pannick says that the Prime Minister has provided no evidence to show that a five-week prorogation was purely for preparation ahead of a new Parliamentary session & Queen's Speech.
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
That argument is backed to the hilt by former PM Sir John Major. The headline from his submission to the court is that Boris Johnson is closing Parliament for a narrow political purpose as a no-deal Brexit looms. See below.
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Dominic Casciani Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC
Sir John's submission says: “In the circumstances the inference is inescapable that the otherwise unexplained length of the prorogation, and the very obvious political interest the PM has in there being no activity in Parliament during that time, are linked.”
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meldrew21 Sep 5
Replying to @BBCDomC @A50Challenge
I would have liked to have seen some time allotted somewhere on Tuesday for tory MPs to discuss deferring conference, to give some sense to the actual length of the prorogation and to put some pressure on the govt to further justify it.
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