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Brexit or no Brexit: Boris Johnson asks the Queen to suspend Parliament

Wednesday, August 28th 2019 - 10:51 UTC
Full article 14 comments
Boris Johnson said a Queen's Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his “very exciting agenda” Boris Johnson said a Queen's Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his “very exciting agenda”
MPs are unlikely to have time to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. Tory backbencher Dominic Grieve called the move “an outrageous act”. MPs are unlikely to have time to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. Tory backbencher Dominic Grieve called the move “an outrageous act”.
Johnson said it was “completely untrue” to suggest the suspension was motivated by a desire to force through no deal. Johnson said it was “completely untrue” to suggest the suspension was motivated by a desire to force through no deal.
A number of high profile figures, including former Prime Minister John Major, have threatened to go to the courts to stop it A number of high profile figures, including former Prime Minister John Major, have threatened to go to the courts to stop it

The United Kingdom government has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.

Boris Johnson said a Queen's Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his “very exciting agenda”. But it means MPs are unlikely to have time to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

Tory backbencher Dominic Grieve called the move “an outrageous act”.

He warned it could lead to a vote of no confidence in Mr. Johnson, adding: “This government will come down.”

But the prime minister said it was “completely untrue” to suggest the suspension was motivated by a desire to force through no deal.

He said he did not want to wait until after Brexit “before getting on with our plans to take this country forward”, and insisted there would still be “ample time” for MPs to debate the UK's departure.

“We need new legislation. We've got to be bringing forward new and important bills and that's why we are going to have a Queen's Speech,” he added.

The idea of shutting down Parliament - known as prorogation - has caused controversy, with critics saying it would stop MPs being able to play their democratic part in the Brexit process.

A number of high profile figures, including former Prime Minister John Major, have threatened to go to the courts to stop it, and a legal challenge led by the SNP's justice spokeswoman, Joanna Cherry, is already working its way through the Scottish courts.

BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said the precedent was for Parliament to be suspended before a Queen's Speech, and it would be “impossible” for the Queen to reject the government's request to do so now.

He said that convention lifted the pressure off the Queen and to some degree, in some people's eyes, depoliticizes it.

“The fundamental is the Queen acts on the advice of her ministers - in particular, on the advice of her prime minister,” he added.

Laura Kuenssberg said only a small number of government ministers knew about the plan in advance, but the government would argue it was “a bog standard Queen's Speech process”, despite all of the surrounding noise.

The PM says he wants to leave the EU on 31 October with a deal, but it is “do or die” and he is willing to leave without one rather than miss the deadline.

That position has prompted a number of opposition MPs to come together to try to block a possible no deal, and on Tuesday they announced that they intended to use parliamentary process to do so.

Although they remained tight lipped about the exact plan, it was thought Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would call for an emergency debate in the Commons next week, giving MPs a chance to lay down legislation designed to ultimately stop a no-deal exit.

But if Parliament is suspended on 10 September, as is suggested, it will only give opponents a few days next week to push for their changes.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said MPs must come together to stop the plan next week, or “today will go down in history as a dark one indeed for UK democracy”.

Mr. Johnson has written to MPs to outline his plan, adding: “There will be a significant Brexit legislative program to get through but that should be no excuse for a lack of ambition!”

He also called on Parliament to show “unity and resolve” in the run up to the 31 October so the government “stands a chance of securing a new deal” with the EU.

“In the meantime, the government will take the responsible approach of continuing its preparations for leaving the EU, with or without a deal.”

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Marcella

    Will the British rise up and overthrow their monarchy and create a democratic republic?

    Aug 28th, 2019 - 11:34 am 0
  • Think

    ***“Boris Johnson asks the Queen to suspend Parliament”***

    Chuckle..., chuckle...

    Aug 28th, 2019 - 04:30 pm 0
  • Islander1

    Actually Think -I am in UK at the moment for a few weeks- I think he is right- certainly majority opinion here is folks are 100% fed up with Brexit and the EU and just want it all over asap - yes preferably with a deal but closing in on 50% not fussed either way- just fed up with the nasty pettiness on Brussels the last 2 years and want OUT.
    MPs had a golden opportunity to approve a dal a few months ago that was probably not totally out of line with the average 52% who voted out in 2016 - but they just fought among themselves all the time and have lost the respect of the electorate.
    If MPs force a No Deal Law- the Brussels will simply refuse any changes( and they have said to Boris- up to him to offer them now as they know he is serious) and the whole farce will drag on and on to benefit of nobody but the rest of the world as UK looks more and more stupid and 3rd Worldish! Ok accept that would perhaps suit you!
    Yes a No deal would be bad news for the islands as well - how bad for how long is a guess,
    maybe just a few months - maybe longer.

    Aug 28th, 2019 - 08:55 pm 0
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