A legal bid arguing Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was unlawful has been rejected by a judge sitting at the Court of Session.
The legal challenge argued the proposed deal negotiated with the EU breached UK law by leaving Northern Ireland in a separate customs arrangement to the rest of the country.
Government lawyers defended the deal and claimed the legal action was a “direct and manifest interference with Parliament”.
The petition was heard in the Court of Session in Edinburgh – Scotland’s highest civil court – which previously ruled Mr Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.
Lord Pentland rejected the bid to challenge the legality of the deal as “at best a weak one”.
In his judgement, he said: “It is a cardinal principle of constitutional law that the courts should not intrude on the legitimate affairs and processes of Parliament.
“I consider that it should be left to Parliament to proceed in relation to the draft withdrawal agreement in the manner and according to the procedures that Parliament considers most appropriate in the circumstances.”
Anti-Brexit legal campaigner Jo Maugham QC released a statement following the decision, saying: “As I said yesterday morning, we had to make a decision to issue proceedings for interim remedies quickly or not at all; once the Withdrawal Agreement reaches Parliament it becomes impossible to challenge.
“That was a difficult decision to make. It is difficult to move quickly and accurately and, the Court has found, I got that decision wrong.
“We will review the decision carefully but my instinct is that we are unlikely to proceed to a full hearing for reasons indicated above.
“As soon as I am in a position to, a process that will take some time, I will release a full account of our spending. As usual, not one penny of those monies goes to me personally. I am grateful to my excellent legal team.”