Boris Johnson news - live: PM ‘could refuse to recall parliament’ even if Supreme Court rules it unlawful, as government admits it cannot meet Brexit ultimatum

Adam Forrest, Ashley Cowburn, Benjamin Kentish, Lizzy Buchan, Chiara Giordano
AFP

Boris Johnson could refuse to recall parliament even if the Supreme Court rules that his decision to suspend it was unlawful, the government has said.

Speaking shortly before the 11 judges hearing the case retired to consider their verdict on Thursday, government lawyers told the court that a ruling against the prime minister did not necessarily mean parliament would be allowed to resume sitting.

And even if the entire prorogation is declared void, Mr Johnson would be entitled to simply ask the Queen to suspend parliament again, they said.

Meanwhile, Sir John Major compared Boris Johnson to a dishonest estate agent in his written submission to the Supreme Court, claiming Mr Johnson’s stated reason for suspending parliament “can’t be true”.

It comes as Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay said the UK “cannot meet” EU demands for a backstop replacement. Mr Barclay suggested the UK should be given another year to find a new policy for the Irish border.

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