Boris Johnson ‘abused his power’ and broke the law by proroguing Parliament in a case so compelling it could be the sequel to hit movie Braveheart, the Scottish lawyer representing the SNP told the Supreme Court today.
Aidan O’Neill QC raised eyebrows as he also cited Kipling, Shakespeare and the Scots’ defeat of their English foes at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 as he urged judges not to side with the Government in the crunch Brexit case.
He told the 11 Supreme Court judges: ‘The mother of all parliaments has been shut down by the father of lies. Listen to your better nature and rule this prorogation is unlawful, an abuse of power. Lies have consequences – but the truth will set us free’.
Mr O’Neill represents a group of around 75 MPs and peers led by SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC in the crunch battle over whether the PM lied to the Queen and illegally prorogued Parliament for five weeks.
They won the case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week where three judges said the decision was unlawful – and are now fighting an appeal launched by the Government.
It is one of two historic appeals being heard at the UK’s highest court over the next three days where the UK’s top 11 judges will have the final say with their judgment expected next week.
Mr O’Neill joked his case against Mr Johnson was so long it ‘has been optioned as a screenplay leave application for fever in school Braveheart 2′ – a follow up to Mel Gibson’s 1995 epic where he played William Wallace, the Scottish hero who inspired an uprising against the English who later had him hanged, drawn and quartered in 1305.
Earlier today Boris Johnson’s QC Sir James Eadie said the decision to prorogue Parliament is ‘fundamentally political’, was legal and ‘is not territory a court can enter’ as he argued against the case brought by arch-Remainer Gina Miller.
Boris Johnson’s QC Sir James Eadie (left) raises his eyebrows during the Supreme Court evidence given by Scottish lawyer Aidan O’Neill who joked his case against the PM was so long it could be a follow-up to epic Braveheart