British PM Boris Johnson clears hurdle to 'no-deal' Brexit as Queen suspends parliament

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 28 August 2019, 08:39 PM
Boris Johnson with the Queen (Image: PTI File)
Boris Johnson with the Queen (Image: PTI File)

Queen Elizabeth II has suspended the Parliament till 14 October as requested by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The move is likely to allow Johnson to bypass lawmakers and push through a no-deal Brexit. It is widely seen as an attempt to block MPs from tabling and debating any other major legislation, including an attempt by the Opposition to prevent a no-deal Brexit by the October 31 deadline.

Johnson had asked the queen to suspend Parliament during the second week of September, soon after lawmakers return from their summer recess. Parliament would not meet again until October 14 — just two weeks before the deadline for Britain's planned departure from the European Union.

Parliament had been scheduled to meet during the first two weeks of September and reconvene on October 9. Johnson insisted that he wanted to suspend the parliament so he can develop an agenda for his new government. 

Speaker calls it 'constitutional outrage'

Reacting to the Prime Minister's move to suspend Parliament, UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said it "represents a constitutional outrage."

Bercow said he was not told in advance of Prime Minister Johnson's decision. He said "it is blindingly obvious" that the purpose of the suspension "would be to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country."

Bercow said that Johnson should be seeking to establish his democratic credentials, rather than undermine them. He adds that "shutting down Parliament would be an offense against the democratic process and the rights of Parliamentarians as the people's elected representatives."

Move to ensure 'no-deal' Brexit?

The move to shut down Parliament, known as prorogation, has caused controversy, with critics saying it would stop MPs being able to use legislative measures to prevent a damaging British exit from the European Union (EU) as part of Johnson's 'do or die' Brexit pledge.

The UK government move comes a day after the Opposition parties had been able to agree on a strategy of using legislative means to work together to prevent Johnson leaving the EU without any agreement in place by the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Johnson has set out that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31, whatever the circumstances.

First Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 08:39 PM

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