Stop me if any of this sounds familiar: The U.K. parliament has issued an order that the government of Boris Johnson release the documents concerning its plan for a no-deal Brexit. As BBC News reports, Johnson has produced some rather brief and sketchy documents with whole sections that have been redacted. And when it comes to requests for information on how the government made those plans, or how Johnson decided to suspend Parliament, the government has refused to provide more. Instead, it’s claimed that providing information on how the government planned to prorogue Parliament and crash out of the E.U. would violate the rights of those at 10 Downing Street, including Johnson’s top aide.
At the same time that Parliament and the public are trying to extract the information already developed by the government on what it would really mean to face a no-deal Brexit, there’s another battle going on in the courts. The Scottish Court of Sessions (and no, I still don’t know how that ranks as compared to the U.S. court structure) ruled unanimously on Wednesday morning that Johnson had lied to the queen when providing her with the reasons that he wanted to prorogue Parliament. In response, MPs from opposition parties immediately called for the now-suspended Parliament to be reconvened. Johnson—who has started his career as prime minster by losing six straight votes—refused.
Which, again, brings everyone back to charges of authoritarianism and a lack of democracy. Johnson addressed some of those charges overnight when he did the equivalent of an “Ask me anything” on Facebook that was half Trump rally, half campaign commercial, and 200% ugly.
The results of the Scottish case will head to the U.K. Supreme Court next week, which could determine if Parliament comes back early. But there’s more at stake than just the date on which debate starts again. The Scottish court found that Johnson’s actions didn’t just break the rules of parliament, but were actually unlawful. Should the high court agree, it’s altogether likely that Johnson could be forced to resign.
Then the Conservatives might get the election they’ve been screaming for … but without Johnson to hold the Brexit constituency together. Also, as The Guardian reports, there’s a good chance that H.M. Queen Elizabeth is royally pissed.