Court ruling was a damning indictment of a PM who is ripping up the rule book

Boris Johnson’s undemocratic move to shut down Parliament in order to force through an extreme Brexit has been ruled to be unlawful and unconstitutional by Scotland’s highest court.

The ruling is a damning indictment of an unelected Tory leader who is ripping up the rule book to get his way – against the will of parliament and the people.

The court’s judgment is a very significant victory, and as the SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford has demanded, Parliament should now be recalled immediately so MPs are able to get on with their job of holding the executive to account.

The three Scottish judges were unanimous in finding that it was unlawful to suspend Parliament for the specific purpose of preventing Parliamentarians from scrutinising the Brexit process. The court has ruled that the prorogation is null and void, and so there is nothing in law to prevent it from sitting and continuing its work.

Throughout this legal process we have uncovered more and more evidence that this move was a plot by Boris Johnson and his Tory Brexiteers to prevent MPs from stopping them taking Scotland and the UK off a Brexit cliff-edge by forcing through a damaging no-deal.

Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to break the law with impunity and I am proud that the Scottish courts have led the charge in reminding him that he is not above the law.

While the UK government has indicated they will appeal the ruling to the UK Supreme Court, they did not seek a suspension of the Scottish court’s decision and so there is nothing to stop Parliament resuming.

It is shameful that rather than respect the decision of the Scottish courts – Boris Johnson’s administration has sought to malign Scotland’s judiciary by questioning the integrity and independence of our Scottish judges because he didn’t like the way they ruled.

The Tory government must apologise for these slurs. This is the sort of behaviour you might expect from a dictator – and it shows the complete lack of respect the Tories have for Scotland. It’s almost as if they are going out of their way to make the case for independence.

The publication of the Yellowhammer documents last night only serves to underline the threat Scotland faces.

The UK government’s own analysis shows in black and white that Boris Johnson’s reckless plans for an extreme Brexit could see huge disruption to food and medicine supplies, prices soaring at the supermarkets and the petrol pump, and the whole country left poorer and worse off.

All the evidence shows Scotland would be plunged into a deep recession – with 100,000 Scottish jobs under threat, and lasting harm to living standards, public services and the economy.

Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process and we should not have to pay such a high price for something we didn’t vote for and do not want.

The SNP has led cross-party efforts to prevent an extreme Tory Brexit – working successfully to build a majority and pass legislation to block a no-deal scenario.

Once we are confident that that threat is taken off the table, we will seek to force an early general election so the people of Scotland can have their say.

When that election comes, it will be one of the most important in Scotland’s history. The SNP will be putting Scotland’s opposition to Brexit and our right to choose our own future as an independent country at the heart of that contest.

After a decade of Tory austerity cuts, Brexit crisis, and Westminster chaos – who could deny that the people of Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the one being imposed upon us. That choice must be ours to make.

This article originally appeared in The Herald.