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A legal bid to force Boris Johnson to delay Brexit has failed

Adam Payne , Business Insider US
 Oct 07, 2019, 04:13 PM
  • Scottish judges dismiss a legal bid to force Boris Johnson to delay Brexit.
  • Campaigners wanted the Court of Session to make the prime minister ask the EU for a fresh Article 50 extenstion.
  • This is because Johnson continues to insist that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 despite a law recently passed by MPs compelling him to ask for a new delay.
  • However, judges on Monday said it would be "neither necessary nor appropriate" to intervene, as Johnson "now accepts that he must comply with the requirements" of the law.
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LONDON - A Scottish court has rejected a legal bid to force Boris Johnson to delay Brexit.

The Court of Session in Edinbrugh on Monday said that it was "neither necessary nor appropriate" to force the prime minister to seek from the European Union an extenstion to the Article 50 process.

A group of campaigners including Scottish National Party member of Parliament Joanna Cherry had asked the court to force Johnson to seek a Brexit delay in accordance with the Benn act recently passed by MPs.

The Benn act states that Johnson must ask the EU for another Brexit delay at the upcoming European Council summit should he fail to reach a new deal with Brussels and get it ratified in the House of Commons.

Despite this, Johnson has insisted that the United Kingdom will leave the EU on October 31.

His spokesperson reiterated this plegde on Monday morning.

However, the court in Scotland said "there can be no doubt that [prime minister] now accepts that he must comply with the requirements of the 2019 Act and has affirmed that he intends to do so."

The legal bid also ask the judges to stop Johnson using ways of getting around the Benn act, like submitting an official extension request and then asking European leaders to turn it down.

The Scottish court warned Johnson that failing to comply with the Benn act would damage "mutual trust" between politicians and judges.

Last week it emerged that Johnson's government said it would comply with the Benn act in papers submitted to the court. The prime minister had previously said that he would rather "be dead in a ditch" then delay Brexit.

Johnson avoided another defeat in the courts after the UK's Supreme Court last month ruled that the prime minister had acted illegally when he suspended Parliament for five weeks in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline.

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