Suspension of British parliament approved by Queen ahead of Brexit deadline
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has approved the suspension of the British parliament today (Wednesday) following a request by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The move has drawn wide criticism from opposition parties for limiting the time available to pass new laws that could prevent a no deal Brexit ahead of the October 31st deadline.
A statement released by No.10 Downing Street, this morning, cited the length of the current 340-day session as the reason for the request.
The statement said, The Prime Minister has spoken to Her Majesty The Queen to request an end to the current parliamentary session in the second sitting week in September. Following the conclusion of the traditional party conference season, the second session of this Parliament will commence with a Queen’s Speech on Monday 14 October.
According to the statement, votes on the Queen’s Speech are likely to take place on Monday October 21st and Tuesday October 22nd – just 10 days away from the Brexit deadline.
In a letter to MPs this morning, referring to the request, Johnson stated, ‘I therefore intend to bring forward a new bold and ambitious legislative agenda for the renewal of our country after Brexit. There will be a significant Brexit legislative programme to get through but that should be no excuse for a lack of ambition.’
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn echoed the words of Speaker of the House, John Bercow, calling the move by Johnson, ‘a constitutional outrage.’
Corbyn referred to it as, ‘an attempt by the Prime Minister to ride roughshod over parliament and to prevent any legislation or debate that would stop this country leaving the EU without a deal.’
He said he has written to the Queen expressing his concern about the move.
Meanwhile, a group of pro-remain Scottish MPs have asked Scotland’s top civil court to block the move to suspend parliament.
There has been public outcry on social media. A ‘Do not Prorogue Parliament’ petition, set up on Twitter this afternoon is growing by the thousand every minute and stood at over 800,000 signatures as this article was published.
In Ireland, speaking in an interview with the national broadcaster, RTE, Finance Minister Pascal Donohoe said serious consideration is being given to reconvening the Irish parliament ahead of the end of its summer recess due to the speed with which the Brexit situation is developing.
(Image by The Naked Ape via Creative Commons)