British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied lying to Queen Elizabeth over the reasons for suspending parliament for five weeks after a court ruled his decision to do so was unlawful.
Parliament was prorogued - suspended - on Monday until October 14, a move opposition lawmakers argued was designed to thwart their attempts to scrutinise his plans for leaving the European Union and to allow him to push through a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
Scotland's highest court of appeal ruled on Wednesday that the suspension was not lawful and was intended to stymie lawmakers, prompting Johnson's opponents to accuse him of lying to the Queen as to the reasons for the suspension.
Johnson said on Thursday those claims were "absolutely not" true.
With seven weeks to go, the government and parliament are locked in conflict over the future of Brexit, with possible outcomes ranging from leaving without a deal to another referendum.
Johnson said the government is waiting to hear an appeal next week against the Scottish court ruling by the Supreme Court, the United Kingdom's highest judicial body, and he respected the independence of the judges.
"I'm not going to quarrel or criticise the judges," he told reporters. "It's very important that we respect the independence of the judiciary. They are learned people."
He said he was hopeful the government would reach a divorce deal with the EU next month.
"I've been around the European capitals talking to our friends - I think we can see the rough area of a landing space, of how you could do it," he said. "It will be hard, but I think we can get there," Johnson said.
"But if we have to come out on October 31st with no-deal we will be ready and the ports will be ready and the farming communities will be ready, and all the industries that matter will be ready for a no-deal Brexit.
"In reality we will certainly be ready for a no-deal Brexit if we have to do it and I stress again that's not where we intend to end up."
Australian Associated Press