Johnson asks Queen to suspend parliament ahead of Brexit deadline, faces criticism
August 28th, 2019 at 7:24 pm
Johnson asks Queen to suspend parliament ahead of Brexit deadline, faces criticism

International desk- Little more than a month after he sworn-in as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson has come across harsh criticism as his government asked the Queen to suspend parliament a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Prime Minister was running away from parliament.

“Our prime minister needs to be held to account by Parliament. What he is doing is running away from Parliament. We will do absolutely everything we can to stop him,” Corbyn was quoted by BBC as saying.

The government of Johnson, who assumed office on July 25 with firm determination to implement Brexit by October 31, on Wednesday the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September – and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.

Johnson said a Queen’s Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his “very exciting agenda”.

But it means the time MPs have to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October would be cut.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow termed it was a “constitutional outrage”.

According to BBC the speaker, who does not traditionally comment on political announcements, continued: “However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of [suspending Parliament] now would be to stop [MPs] debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.”

It would be “an offence against the democratic process and the rights of Parliamentarians as the people’s elected representatives”, he added.

Corbyn, the Labour leader, said he had written to the Queen to request a meeting “as a matter of urgency and before any final decision is taken”.

“Suspending Parliament is not acceptable, not on. What the prime minister is doing is a smash and grab on our democracy to force through a no deal,” he said.

The PM, though, said suggestions the suspension was motivated by a desire to force through a no deal were “completely untrue”.

He said he did not want to wait until after Brexit “before getting on with our plans to take this country forward”, and insisted there would still be “ample time” for MPs to debate the UK’s departure.

“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,” he added.

The PM says he wants to leave the EU on 31 October with a deal, but it is “do or die” and he is willing to leave without one rather than miss the deadline.

That position has prompted a number of opposition MPs to come together to try to block a possible no deal, and on Tuesday they announced that they intended to use parliamentary process to do so.

Although they remained tight lipped about the exact plan, it was thought Corbyn would call for an emergency debate in the Commons next week, giving MPs a chance to lay down legislation designed to ultimately stop a no-deal exit.

But if Parliament is suspended on 10 September, as is suggested, it will only give opponents a few days next week to push for their changes.

Senior Tory backbencher Dominic Grieve said the move by Johnson could lead to a vote of no confidence – something opposition parties have left on the table as another option to stop no deal – adding: “This government will come down.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said MPs must come together to stop the plan next week, or “today will go down in history as a dark one indeed for UK democracy”

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