London — British lawmakers are returning to the House of Commons on Wednesday following the bombshell Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had acted illegally by suspending Parliament — in effect stymieing their efforts to consider laws surrounding Brexit.
The historic move backed Parliament's sovereignty and slapped down what justices viewed as an effort by Johnson that essentially squelched debate. The prime minister hurried back to London after cutting short a trip to the UN General Assembly amid demands for his resignation from furious opposition parties.
In New York, Johnson brushed aside questions about whether he would resign, said he "strongly" disagreed with the court decision and suggested he might try to suspend Parliament for a second time. Cabinet minister Michael Gove says the government "respected" the court decision but refused to apologize for breaking the law.
"I think it's important to stress that while the Supreme Court was clear, there is a respectable legal opinion that disagrees with that view," Gove told the BBC. "It's perfectly possible in a democracy to say you respect a judgement and will comply with the judgement, but you also note that there are a range of views about the appropriateness of a particular course of action."
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn countered that Johnson should say he was sorry to the public and to Queen Elizabeth II for telling her that Parliament should be suspended. The suspension would have limited debate before Britain's scheduled October 31 departure from the European Union.