18:00 GMT15 August 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL
    0 40

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Memos from a confidential internal communication from Downing Street reveal that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had decided to prorogue the parliament immediately prior to when the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union almost two weeks before asking the Queen about it, The Guardian reported.

    According to memos read out to the court in Edinburgh, Johnson's senior legal adviser Nikki da Costa circulated the first memo about the plan to suspend parliament among a small circle of individuals in Downing Street 12 days before the prime minister lodged his request to the Queen. During all that time, the opposition lawyer Aidan O’Neill claimed, Johnson himself and his government falsely testified that the prorogation of parliament is nothing but a "hypothetical and academic" possibility.

    "Whole September session [at Westminster] is a rigmarole introduced to show the public that MPs are earning their crust. I don’t see anything especially shocking about this prorogation", Johnson replied to da Costa the next day in a handwritten note, as quoted by The Guardian.

    According to the report, he explained this opinion by the fact that the September session was too short anyway - the Commons usually return from the long summer recess in early September and adjourn for another recess again from mid-September to early October.

    The compromising papers were apparently only delivered to the court the night before the hearing in violation of the deadline - for which the government lawyer David Johnston apologised, the newspaper added.

    The UK Prime Minister has yet to comment on the leaked memos.

    Johnson has been clear about his determination to deliver Brexit by the 31 October deadline, with or without a deal, despite there being a strong opposition to the no-deal scenario in the Commons. Last Wednesday, he asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend parliament until 14 October, to which she consented. The effect of this will likely be that those lawmakers who seek to stop a no-deal Brexit will not have enough time to do so. A group of 75 opposition members of parliament eventually decided to challenge the prorogation in court.

    In 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The withdrawal was postponed several times because the UK parliament refused to accept any of the proposed plans on EU-UK divorce terms. Brussels has given London several deadline extensions to come up with a consolidated plan, with the latest one set for 31 October.

    Parliament, memo, Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion