The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to paralyze the parliament after summer break before the 31st of October planned EU exit of the country. He would ask the queen to interrupt the lower house sessions a few days after the return of Parliament from the summer break next Tuesday, the government confirmed on Wednesday. Appropriate Speculation had already appeared in the past few days.
With such a step, Johnson would preempt plans of the opposition parties. They had announced a bill to prevent a Brexit without a withdrawal agreement. They also hoped for support from such members of the conservative party, which are also against an EU exit of the country without a deal. However, there would not have been enough time for such a law in the event of a parliamentary break before 31 October. Therefore, the project meets with bitter resistance.
Johnson insists on sticking to the scheduled withholding date – with or without agreement. At the same time he rejected on Wednesday the interpretation that he wanted to pass the parliament in the dispute over the Brexit. This is absolutely not the truth, explained the Prime Minister. MPs would still have “plenty of time” to deal with the matter before the EU summit on 17 October. One government official emphasized that the extended parliamentary recess meant that only four days of sitting were lost.
Nevertheless, many Members reacted indignantly. Parliament President John Bercow called the move on Wednesday a “sacrilegious constitution”. It was “perfectly obvious” that the intention behind the parliamentary resolution was to prevent MPs from debating their duty in Brexit.
Vice-Chairman of the opposition Labor Party, Tom Watson, spoke of an “absolutely scandalous attack on our democracy.” Conservative MP Dominic Grieve, vehemently opposed to leaving the EU without an agreement, called Johnson’s actions “rather scandalous”. This makes a successful vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister more likely, said Grieve the BBC. It would be harder for him to trust the government if it paralyze the Parliament. Labor MP Yvette Cooper wrote: “Boris Johnson is trying to take advantage of the Queen to concentrate power in his own hands”.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “MPs should unite to stop Johnson next week, that day will go down in the history of British democracy as a darker one.”
The Queen has to agree to the prorogation. But that is considered a formality. Elizabeth II is currently at Balmoral Castle, and the Privy Council is advising her. MPs usually do not meet for approximately three weeks between the end of September and the beginning of October. During this time, the parties usually hold their annual conferences.
Johnson’s camp has only a gossip of one vote in the lower house. Against possible plans for a forced longer summer break of the parliament had already formed resistance on Tuesday. Some 160 MPs signed a statement cautioning Johnson. Such a move would trigger a “historic constitutional crisis,” they warned. A lawsuit is already underway in Scotland to prevent parliamentary closure. The price of the British pound slipped after initial reports about the speculation on Johnson’s possible attempt to paralyze the Parliament.