• front page about @benstokes38. All at 10.45 on ITV or here live on Twitter via @itvpeston at 8.30ish. Please join us
    Robert Peston Wed 18 Sep 2019 18:36
  • on how to beat the trolls, Labour's @GloriaDePiero on why she is quitting parliament and @SamGyimah on why he went so fast from being a Tory leadership candidate to joining the LibDems. We'll be talking about that Supreme Court case, that Brexit deal, and that Sun...
    Robert Peston Wed 18 Sep 2019 18:36
  • On #peston tonight, I'll be speaking with the last avowed Remainer in the Cabinet, @NickyMorgan01, the arch Brexiter too Brexity even for @BorisJohnson, Mark Francois, the SNP's @joannaccherry - who won a case in Scotland that ruled Johnson lied to the Queen, @RachelRileyRR...
    Robert Peston Wed 18 Sep 2019 18:36
  • RT @SpecCoffeeHouse: The shape of the Brexit fix that Boris Johnson wants from the EU is now clear. Robert Peston has the details: https://…
    Robert Peston Wed 18 Sep 2019 06:50
  • Revealed: The Brexit deal Johnson wants - and why it all hinges on Dublin Link
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 16:34

    The shape of the Brexit fix that Boris Johnson wants from the EU’s 27 leaders is now clear.

    Here it is:

    In place of the dreaded backstop - that insurance policy for keeping open the border on the island of Ireland hated by most Tory Brexiters and Northern Ireland’s DUP - Johnson is suggesting:

    a) A unified single market for agriculture between Northern Ireland and the Republic (a single set of what are known are sanitary and phytosanitary rules), so that cross border flows of livestock and food is not hindered;

    b) Customs and limited unintrusive goods standards checks on the island but away from the border itself;

    c) No customs union with the EU for either the whole UK or NI alone;

    d) Where rules for agriculture or even for other limited markets are set for the whole island by Brussels, the principle of a “Stormont lock” - or, in the words of a source, that “the people of Northern Ireland must be able to withdraw consent, with...

  • Lord Keen for the PM says that if Supreme Court finds PM’s advice to queen to prorogue Parliament was unlawful, he will abide by the judgement. But he does not guarantee Johnson would ask the Queen to summon MPs and Lords back. All a bit tense
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 13:34
  • The Supreme Court will decide whether a future PM could be an elected dictator Link
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 13:19

    The opening session of the epic Supreme Court hearing into whether Boris Johnson misled the queen and broke the law when proroguing parliament did not disappoint.

    Because Lord Pannick, for one of the plaintiffs Gina Miller, captured with the clinical precision of a brain surgeon quite what is at stake.

    Summing up, he asked the law ladies and lords to consider that if they were to conclude there is no case for the PM to answer, a future PM might well feel licensed to suspend parliament for six months or a year, as and when MPs become bothersome, rather than “just” the five weeks Johnson has chosen to shut down parliament?

    What is at stake, Pannick implied, is the role and power of the courts to prevent a PM choosing to become an elected dictator.

  • the law can prevent a PM becoming an elected dictator. Pannick closes. Time for lunch
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 12:09
  • If this is not a justiciable issue or a case for them, Pannick warns the judges, they must then bear in mind that another PM might feel justified in suspending parliament for six months or a year. In other words he is saying that what is at stake in this case is whether...
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 12:09
  • the issue is not justiciable. He is trying to put fire in the bellies of the judges, steel in their backbones.
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:54
  • We now come to the Kwasi Kwarteng issue, as it were - which is that many people see judges as improperly wading into politics. Pannick says that just because the suspension of parliament has inflamed political passions does not mean there is no proper case to be heard, that...
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:54
  • undermine Parliament’s ability to scrutinise the executive at a historically important time.
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:44
  • We’ve got to the heart of the matter. The judges will have to decide whether the five-week prorogation was disproportionately long to pave the way for a Queen’s Speech and new legislative programme, whether the more important and noxious effect of sending MPs home is to...
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:44
  • “Is it an invalid use of [prerogative] power for the pm to exercise it to avoid parliamentary scrutiny?” The deceptively simple question that the Supreme Court must settle, says Pannick
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:29
  • Pannick’s response is that his argument is a pure matter of law, that the PM advised the Queen illegally. And that therefore the failure of MPs to throw out Johnson is neither here nor there.
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:19
  • One Supreme Court judge asks the reasonable question why this is a matter for the court, when MPs failed to exercise their right to throw out the PM through vote of no confidence to ward off the prorogation. I think this will turn out to be important
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:19
  • Pannick: “The basic principle is that parliament is supreme. The executive is answerable to parliament...This is a unique case. It has never before occurred”. His nutshell: the inferior body, the executive, cannot prevent the superior body, parliament, from exercising its powers
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:14
  • the senior partner. There is an implication that Boris Johnson’s populist argument that he is obliged to extract the UK do or die from the EU on 31 October, citing a mandate from the 2016 referendum, is completely alien to and at odds with the British constitution
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:04
  • There is a further very heavy implication of Pannick’s argument, that the UK is fundamentally a representative democracy and sovereignty is with MPs, not what the PM borrows from the monarch - and that ministers are the “constitutionally junior partner, with MPs...
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 11:04
  • To state the obvious, this is all about where politics ends and the law begins. And under our unwritten constitution, there is a very heavy responsibility on the judges to get this right
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 10:59
  • that limit. This is to confirm quite how important this case is. It is all about establishing the balance of power between MPs and the PM.
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 10:54
  • One Supreme Court judge has just hit nail on head when saying it would be “comforting to have some authority” [or precedent] for determining the limit of executive power in this case. In other words, the Supreme Court is doing something quite fundamental, which is to determine...
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 10:54
  • The counter-argument of course would be that @BorisJohnson has created a precedent which the Supreme Court may regard as heinous and that it should rule as illegal to rein in the potential for the executive to become over-mighty
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 10:49
  • Core of Pannick’s argument is effect of 5-week prorogation is to prevent parliament from legislating on or scrutinising Brexit (or anything else) at a time when it “self evidently” would wish to do so. It is this effect rather than @BorisJohnson’s motives which he says matters
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 10:39
  • Lord Pannick invites court to rule @BorisJohnson improperly used royal prerogative to suspend parliament on basis of principle rather than precedent. Which - and I may be wrong - feels like slightly shaky ground.
    Robert Peston Tue 17 Sep 2019 10:34
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