Queen approves suspension of Parliament setting Boris Johnson on collision course over no-deal Brexit
The Queen has approved Boris Johnson's plan to suspend Parliament when MPs return to work in September until October.
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The Queen approved the order on Wednesday afternoon to prorogue Parliament no earlier than September 9 and no later than September 12, until October 14.
Mr Johnson spoke to the Queen on Wednesday morning to request an end to the current parliamentary session – a process known as prorogation.
The Prime Minister has claimed that the suspension and subsequent Queen's Speech will allow him to outline his Government's "very exciting agenda" for the future of the UK.
Opposition politicians have claimed that the move is an attempt by the PM to stop Parliament passing legislation prohibiting a no-deal Brexit.
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However, Mr Johnson has said that the claims are "completely untrue" and that there would be "ample time" for MPs to discuss Brexit after the Queen's Speech has taken place.
"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," the PM said.
The Commons was expected to sit in the first two weeks of September and then break for the conference recess – although MPs had been planning to vote against leaving Westminster for the autumn party gatherings in late September and early October to allow more time to consider Brexit.
Mr Johnson’s move will now ensure that the Commons is not sitting during the period and MPs will return on the day of the Queen’s Speech.
In a message to MPs, the Prime Minister said EU leaders were watching their actions and “it is only by showing unity and resolve that we stand a chance of securing a new deal that can be passed by Parliament”.
As it stands the UK is set to leave the EU without a Brexit deal on October 31, with the PM saying the controversial Irish border backstop will have to go if any agreement is to be reached.
Opposition leaders have written to the monarch in protest and Commons Speaker John Bercow said the move was a “constitutional outrage” designed to stop Parliament debating Brexit.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he “protested in the strongest possible terms on behalf of my party” in a letter to the Queen and called for a meeting alongside other opposition members of the Privy Council.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also wrote to the monarch “to express my concern at Boris Johnson’s anti-democratic plan to shut down Parliament”.
Mr Bercow – who has repeatedly angered Tory MPs over his approach to Brexit matters in the Commons – interrupted his holiday to launch a tirade against the Prime Minister.
“However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of prorogation now would be to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country,” Mr Bercow said.
Opposition leaders led by Mr Corbyn agreed at a meeting on Tuesday to use the moment when Parliament returns from its summer break on September 3 to work together on a new law to prevent a no-deal Brexit in response to the Prime Minister’s promise to take the UK out of the European Union on October 31, with or without an agreement.
Mr Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of a “smash-and-grab on our democracy in order to force through a no-deal exit from the European Union”.
Belfast Telegraph Digital