Supreme Court rules that suspension of UK Parliament was unlawful

The U.K.’s highest court has ruled that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks was “unlawful.”

The court’s most senior judge and de facto chairwoman, Lady Brenda Hale, said the court was bound to conclude the prime minister’s advice to Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue parliament was unlawful.

In a polite but firm ruling, Hale said Johnson misled the Queen because the prorogation of parliament had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Downing Street to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.

The ruling means parliamentarians will have more opportunity to scrutinize ministers over the government’s Brexit plans in the run-up to the U.K.’s current leave date of October 31 but does not in itself change the current timeline.