Belfast Telegraph

Supreme Court was 'wrong' says Boris Johnson as he dares MPs to trigger vote of no confidence to call election

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he believes the Supreme Court was "wrong" to quash his prorogation of Parliament.

Mr Johnson made the comments as he returned to the House of Commons on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled the prorogation was "unlawful" on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister said that the European Union are "discussing opening the (Brexit) withdrawal agreement" despite claims that it could not be done.

Mr Johnson dared opposition parties to "finally face the day of reckoning with the voters" by tabling a vote of no confidence to force an election.

Downing Street said that if the opposition parties did not take up the Prime Minister's offer to table a no-confidence motion, the Government would take it as a mandate to press on with Brexit.

"They have an opportunity tomorrow, should they take it, to have a confidence vote," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

"If not then it will be taken as confidence in the Government and the Government will hopefully be allowed to get on with implementing its strategy and delivering Brexit on October 31."

A No 10 source added: "I would suggest the public has seen enough of Parliament delaying and dithering and preventing things happening. It is put up or shut up time."

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said the "fundamentals" of Brexit remain unchanged, and that the Government needs to deliver on the 2016 referendum, but should do so "ideally" with a deal.

He said "shenanigans" in the Commons is "undermining" the Prime Minister, making no-deal more likely.

Mr Johnson told MPs that he believed the Supreme Court had made the wrong decision by passing judgement on a political issue.

"It is absolutely no disrespect to the judiciary to say I thought the court was wrong" to pronounce on a "political question at a time of great national controversy," he said.

He claimed the "paralysed" Parliament will keep "sabotaging" Brexit negotiations as he addressed the Commons.

"The people at home know that this Parliament will keep delaying, it will keep sabotaging the negotiations because they don't want a deal," the PM said.

"The truth is that members opposite are living in a fantasy world.

"That somehow they are going to cancel the first referendum and they are going to legislate for a second referendum and Parliament will promise that this time it really, really will respect that vote."

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks in the House of Commons. Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks in the House of Commons. Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

He questioned whether Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wanted to be prime minister.

"Is he going to dodge a vote of no confidence in me as Prime Minister in order to escape the verdict of the voters?

"I wonder does he in his heart even want to be prime minister any more?"

Concluding his statement the Prime Minister said "it's time for this Parliament, finally, to take responsibility for its decisions".

"We decided to call that referendum, we promised time and again to respect it. I think the people of this country have had enough of it," Mr Johnson said.

"This Parliament must either stand aside and let this Government get Brexit done or bring a vote of confidence and finally face the day of reckoning with the voters."

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

In response to Mr Johnson, Mr Corbyn called on him to quit.

"After yesterday's ruling the Prime Minister should have done the honourable thing and resigned," he said.

The Labour leader said the statement was "10 minutes of bluster from a dangerous Prime Minister who thinks he is above the law".

"In truth, he is not fit for the office that he holds," he said.

Mr Corbyn said the Government was "failing the people of Britain and the people of Britain know it".

"Yesterday's Supreme Court verdict represents an extraordinary and I believe precarious moment in this country's history," he said.

"The highest court in this land has found the Prime Minister broke the law when he tried to shut down our democratic accountability at a crucial moment in our public life."

In an interview with ITV, Mr Johnson said he would "respect the law" and leave the EU on October 31 - but refused to say how.

"Obviously we've got some tough negotiations ahead and if you'll forgive me, I don't want to tip the hand of the UK Government more than Parliament has already required us to do so," the PM said when pressed.

Mr Johnson ruled out resigning.

"We've got to get on and deliver Brexit on October 31st, that's the biggest function of this Government and clearly it's frustrating that in the cause of trying to get a deal on Brexit we're being undermined, I'm afraid, by people in Parliament who, let's be blunt, don't want Brexit to happen," he said.

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