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EU Says No-Deal Risk ‘Palpable’ as Court Resumes: Brexit Update.

Boris Johnson’s lawyer promised the Supreme Court the government will file a statement overnight on what it will do if it loses the landmark case over its suspension of Parliament. A ruling against the government has the potential to derail Johnson’s Brexit strategy and even curtail his premiership.

Key Developments:

  • Day 2 of court hearings has begun; Click here for live stream
  • Government lawyer James Eadie promises written statement on Johnson’s plans if he loses, after the court warned it would be “entirely inconvenient” if it wasn’t provided before the hearings end
  • The third and final day of hearings is Thursday, but the Supreme Court hasn’t given a date for a ruling
  • Meet the panel: The Prorogue Gallery of Brexit Judges
  • Pound drops as much as 0.5% after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the risk of a no-deal Brexit is “palpable”

Testimony Veers to Shakespeare, Scottish Battles (3:20 p.m.)

Aiden O’Neill, representing almost 80 Scottish lawmakers who won the caseagainst the government in Edinburgh, opened with a rhetorical flourish, invoking “Macbeth” and taking the judges through ancient Scottish battles and fictional ones before laying out the importance of the symbolism of the union of the U.K. in the case.
When he finally got to the crux of his argument, he said there is clear case law showing the top court can rule in this suit, and that the decision to suspend Parliament fundamentally changed the balance of the constitution because it allows Prime Minister Boris Johnson to alter the U.K.’s relationship with Europe without parliamentary scrutiny.
“That cannot be at this time, in this manner, a lawful use of the power,” he said.
The approach was unusual, and there was a sense he was talking to an audience beyond the court. But as lawyer and legal blogger Adam Wagner pointed out, the fact that the arguments had been made by Gina Miller’s lawyers on Tuesday meant O’Neill had some freedom to go “a bit off grid.”

Merkel Still Holding Out for a Deal (2:45 p.m.)

Asked about the fallout from Boris Johnson’s visit to Luxembourg on Monday, when he skipped a planned press conference and the European Union complained about the lack of U.K. proposals in the prime minister’s talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s still holding out for a negotiated Brexit.
“I’ll say again now just as I said during Boris Johnson’s visit, that I continue to see the possibility of an orderly exit,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin. “This was also the goal of the meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker. I didn’t expect that the visit in Luxemburg would offer a solution.”
Merkel, who spoke with Johnson by phone Tuesday and plans to continue the conversation next week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, said she’ll otherwise “wait to see how things develop.”
“We are prepared for a disorderly exit, but I prefer an orderly exit with an agreement,” Merkel said.

Coveney Warns Against Criticizing Johnson (2 p.m.)

Criticizing Boris Johnson in public will not help to get a Brexit deal, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney warned, days after Luxembourg leader Xavier Bettel did just that.
Ireland and the EU are “in the business of trying to understand what are the limits of what Boris Johnson can offer” and whether the terms are “good enough to allow us to strike a deal,” Coveney said during a visit to Carlow, south east Ireland.
Separately, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told lawmakers in Dublin he may meet Johnson when they are both in New York for the United Nations General Assembly next week. He said he’s also arranging to meet Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, “very soon.”

Court Demands Johnson’s Plan If Defeated (1:30 p.m.)

Just before finishing, Eadie turned to the question of what the court could order and how the government might respond if the ruling goes against it. It was an issue that concerned the judges on the first day of the hearing, with one asking if Boris Johnson might prorogue Parliament for a second time.
The government must provide the court with its plan in the event of defeat and "it will be entirely inappropriate if you don’t do it by the end of tomorrow," Judge Brenda Hale, the president of the court, said.
Eadie responded that the government will work on its reply overnight as Judge Robert Reed spoke up to note that the issue could be a "very difficult question" for the judges