Boris Johnson has refused say if he will resign if he loses the Supreme Court case that decides whether or not his decision to prorogue parliament was lawful.
The prime minister is awaiting the ruling from the UK’s highest court on his decision to send MPs away from parliament until October 14 as the Brexit deadline beckons.
“I will wait and see what the justices decide, the Supreme Court decides, because as I’ve said before I believe that the reasons for … wanting a Queen’s speech were very good indeed,” he told reporters aboard the RAF Voyager, on his way to a UN general assembly in the USA.
He did not however commit his reasons to a sworn statement to be used in court during the hearing.
If he loses the case, parliament may have to reconvene, depending on the details of the judges’ conclusions.
But he also would not rule out a second prorogation before the current October 31 deadline, saying parliament will have “bags of time” to scrutinise any deal he can secure.
“I’m saying that parliament will have bags of time to scrutinise the deal that I hope we will be able to do,” he told reporters.
A panel of 11 justices has heard appeals over three days arising out of separate legal challenges in England and Scotland.
An unnamed Number 10 source earlier was reported in the Times with the warning: “Hopefully judges will reflect deeply on the profound consequences for the judiciary if they are seen by the public to side with those trying to cancel the biggest democratic vote in our history.”
The Supreme Court judges have now to decide which of the two legal challenges, which gave opposing views on the lawfulness of the prorogation, is to stand.
An announcement of the court’s finding will be made at 10.30 on Tuesday, while Johnson is still away.
While awaiting the Supreme Court judgment, Johnson will hold Brexit talks with French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The UK’s departure will also be a topic of conversation with European Council president Donald Tusk and the PM’s Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar.