SCOTLAND’S highest court has refused to put a temporary freeze on Boris Johnson’s plan to shut down parliament for five weeks.

Three judges at the Inner House of the Court of Session declined an application for interim interdict pending a full judgment next Wednesday.

It means parliament will now almost certainly be shut down on Monday.

The Lord President Lord Carloway, Lord Brodie and Lord Drummond-Young are considering whether the Prime Minister exceeded his powers in asking the Queen for the prorogation.

It came shortly after the High Court in London also refused to halt prorogation at the request of activist Gina Miller.

Both the Scottish and English cases are expected to end up at the UK Supreme Court on September 17, a few days before Mr Johnson faces his first party conference as Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson secured the prorogation on August 28 and it is due to take effect from Monday and last until October 14, halting all parliamentary business.

A group of 75 MPs and peers led by SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC is seeking a judicial review of the PM’s advice to the monarch in order to undo the proroguing of parliament.

Ms Cherry said: “I think we’ve had a very good and fair hearing. Clearly everyone would have liked a decision sooner, but it’s uncharted territory and it’s very complex and I completely understand why they’re taking several days to think about their decision.

“The practical implications of this seem to be that parliament probably will be prorogued on Monday night.

“But the good news, from the point of view of those of use who want to make sure things are done properly, is that all the opposition parties are united that they’re not going to give Mr Johnson a general election at the time of his choosing. 

“So therefore parliament will be prorogued on Monday night, but if this court that the prorogation was unlawful then that could be suspended and parliament could have to come back. So job done in a sense, because the opposition have decided not to give Mr Johnson his election on a plate.

“I was shocked to hear this morning that Mr Johnson said in Aberdeen, in terms, that he wasn't going to obey the law [and ask the EU for a Brexit extension]. Well that’s a whole new legal ball game, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

The Prime Minister claims the prorogation is a standard reset of the parliamentary calendar ahead of his government setting out a fresh legislative programme.

The Tories also argue prorogation will only a handful of days to the usual conference recess.

However parliament ticks over in recess, but is shut down completely by prorogation.

Mr Johnson’s opponents say he is guilty of a “constitutional outrage” designed to limit MPs' time to debate Brexit and to stop a no-deal exit from the EU on October 31.

On Wednesday at the Court of Session, Lord Doherty ruled the prorogation was lawful, agreeing with the UK Government’s lawyers that it was a matter of politics, not law.

However Ms Cherry secured an immediate appeal to the court’s Inner House, and on Thursday obtained the release of Downing Street memos about the prorogation process.

They showed Mr Johnson approved suspending parliament 12 days before it was made public, despite UK Government lawyers insisting the matter remained “academic”.

On Friday, David Johnston QC for the UK Government and Aidan O’Neill QC for the campaigners finished their arguments before the three appeal judges.

Mr Johnston said that although some prerogative powers exercised by the PM were open to the court to review, it depended very much on the specific subject matter.

He said the prorogation was a political matter and therefore outwith the ambit of the court.

He also said that parliament could pass a law to stop the prorogation if it chose.

Mr O’Neill said the government's powers were not unconstrained - otherwise there might be nothing to stop a prorogation lasting years.

He said: “Prorogation is stopping the parliament sitting even against its will. That is why is it is an extraordinary power, because it goes to the heart of a representative democracy.

“It’s a power that can only be exercised with extreme caution for very good and true reasons, not whatever is thought to be politically advantageous.”

He said it was nonsensical to argue parliament could stop prorogation itself given it was due to start on Monday and it would take four days to pass an emergency law.

After a brief discussion with his fellow judges, Lord Carloway said there were “extremely difficult issues” involved and it would “take some time to consider them”.

He said: “The court will therefore make avizandum [take time to consider] and will not make any interim orders pending its decision on Wednesday.”