Government cannot be trusted to follow anti no-deal Brexit law, warns top lawyer

The Government cannot be trusted to follow a law aimed at avoiding a no-deal Brexit, a leading lawyer has said.

Speaking to the BBC, Jolyon Maugham QC said that he doubted that the government would follow the Benn Act, which was passed to avoid a no-deal Brexit last month.


He said:

“There is very real doubt, in my mind, that the government will act in accordance with the law.”

It comes after a Scottish court ruled that it would not issue an order forcing Boris Johnson to abide by the act, which says that the government must either reach a deal, gain Parliament’s approval for a no-deal Brexit or write to the EU to request another extension by 19 October.

The courts said that the Prime Minister had agreed to abide by the law and so there was no need to issue the order.

However, critics of Boris Johnson have not expressed as much faith in the Prime Minister, given his attempt to unlawfully prorogue Parliament and repeated rhetoric about leaving the EU “do or die”. 

Indeed, before the court ruling was announced, Johnson restated his claim that Britain will leave the EU on 31 October, leading to fresh doubts about his commitment to the act.

Maugham, one of the lawyers who brought the case to court said that the ruling gave Boris Johnson “wiggle room”.

Tomorrow, he and other petitioners will pursue an appeal against the decision in Scotland’s highest court.

And with the Supreme Court previously ruling that proroguing Parliament was unlawful last month saying that there was “strong evidence” that Boris Johnson was trying to “silence Parliament”, it seems that Johnson should not rest on his laurels as there is still time for his authoritarian tendencies to be stopped.

One response to “Government cannot be trusted to follow anti no-deal Brexit law, warns top lawyer

  1. If Dominic Cummings has anything to do with it the Government will try the Privy Council route to bypass The Queen and Parliament. This would be in extreme ‘bad faith’ but Johnson would have no qualms about doing it!

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