British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament

This will end well

boris johnson

UK PM Boris Johnson will attempt to close Parliament in order to push through a no-deal Brexit without interference from pesky voters' representatives in the form of MPs.

The dickish controversial move will likely be hard fought by backbench Members of Parliament next week.

The idea is that when MPs return from holiday on Tuesday, 3 September, they will sit for a week.

Parliament will then be suspended or prorogued from 10 September until the Queen's Speech on 14 October. That would leave just 12 days for debate before the default Brexit date of 31 October.

The bizarre move has seen Jacob Rees-Mogg, also Lord President of the Privy Council, sent to Balmoral to interrupt the Queen's Scottish holiday to request the prorogation of Parliament. The power to prorogue is held by the Queen and exercised on the advice of the Privy Council.

Parliamentarians could choose to bring a vote of no confidence next week or attempt to bring legislation to keep the government district of Westminster operating in the run up the Brexit deadline.

The attempted coup will also likely face multiple legal challenges – previous UK prime minister John Major has already threatened such a move should Parliament be bypassed from discussions.

Speaker of the House John Bercow, forgetting his nominal neutral role, was quoted by Beeb political editor Laura Kuenssberg on Twitters, as stating: "It is blindingly obvious that the purpose of the prorogation now would be to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty.”

Ex-chancellor Phillip Hammond said the move was a constitutional outrage and profoundly undemocratic.

Dominic Grieve, former UK attorney general, said the decision was outrageous and was a deliberate attempt to stop Parliament sitting for five weeks. Usually the house is closed for four or five days. Grieve told the BBC: "If the prime minister persists with this and doesn't back off, then I think the chances are that his administration will collapse.

"There is plenty of time to do that if necessary [and] I will certainly vote to bring down a Conservative government that persists in a course of action which is so unconstitutional."

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Simon Clarke, meanwhile, opined: "In 400 years we haven't had a session of Parliament that's lasted as long as this. We need a Queen's Speech to set out a bold agenda for after we leave the EU - on policing, infrastructure and the NHS. And there will still be time for a Withdrawal Agreement if terms are agreed."

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn snapped: "I am appalled at the recklessness of Johnson's government, which talks about sovereignty and yet is seeking to suspend parliament to avoid scrutiny of its plans for a reckless No Deal Brexit. This is an outrage and a threat to our democracy.

"That is why Labour has been working across Parliament to hold this reckless government to account, and prevent a disastrous No Deal which parliament has already ruled out."

The Labour leader said if Johnson was so confident of the popularity of a no deal, he should call a General Election.

But the Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 MPs prop up the current government, said it would back the move.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, tweeted: "Taking back control" has never looked so sinister. As a fellow parliamentarian, my solidarity with those fighting for their voices to be heard.

"Suppressing debate on profound choices is unlikely to help deliver a stable future EU - UK relationship."

The Reg has written 720 articles concerning or mentioning Brexit, available here. ®

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