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Hague: This Parliament is the most seriously defunct of modern times

Former Tory leader William Hague says the Brexit crisis can only be solved by electing a new parliament.

William Hague says the best way to fix Parliament now is to dissolve it (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)
William Hague says the best way to fix Parliament now is to dissolve it (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

By PA Reporter

Former Conservative Party leader William Hague has called for Britain to go to the polls, saying the only way to solve the ongoing Brexit crisis is by electing a new Parliament.

Mr Hague also says that now Prime Minister Boris Johnson has played a strategic card by announcing the suspension of Parliament, he expects the next left-wing government to do the same once it has a piece of legislation it finds hard to pass.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hague said the current Parliament had shown itself to be unworkable, regardless of any strategies employed by Mr Johnson.

“We have a Parliament that cannot go backwards, forwards, or agree to sit still,” Mr Hague wrote.

“It is unable to agree on the best or prepare for the worst. While we should not blame all the individuals in it, many of whom have striven to avoid this paralysis, the collective effect of this Rubik’s Cube of a House of Commons is that it cannot properly serve the country in any scenario that we can now construct.

“It is the most seriously defunct Parliament of modern times.

“There is only one solution to that. It is the one adopted in each of our serious constitutional crises of recent centuries.

The right course for Boris Johnson is not to prorogue Parliament but to seek to dissolve it William Hague

“In 1910, when the Lords refused to bow to the elected government; in 1831, as the arguments raged over the Great Reform Bill; in 1784, as the Commons rebelled against the King’s choice of ministers, the argument was settled by the electorate being asked to choose a new Parliament.

“The right course for Boris Johnson is not to prorogue Parliament but to seek to dissolve it.”

Mr Hague said each of Britain’s major crises of the past were resolved because voters elected MPs who reflected their views, and “in the end no one could argue with that”.

Instead, he said, Downing Street had now perilously embarked on an alternative approach of using ever more extreme weapons “in a fight to the death among the current MPs”.

“It is easy to see why, faced with this Parliament, ministers decided to prorogue it,” Mr Hague wrote.

“But I will wager that within a decade, a Left-wing administration will use the same technique to ram through measures that Tories bitterly oppose.

“In politics, you can deploy a secret weapon. But once you have done so, you have handed its design to your enemies and given them permission to use it.”

Mr Hague said he liked many things about the Johnson administration but “a long suspension of Parliament as a political tactic is not … something that I can defend”.

“If it is so divided and incapable, and so irreconcilable with the Government – all of which it is – this Parliament needs to be replaced with a new one,” he said.

PA

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