Prime Minister Boris Johnson's request to temporarily suspend Parliament ahead of a crucial Brexit deadline, was approved by the queen on Wednesday, as opposition leaders decried the move and said it threatened to unleash a constitutional crisis.
The request, known as 'Proroguing Parliament' means that any motions or questions that have been put forward by lawmakers will lapse until Parliament reopens - which is now scheduled for Oct. 14. The U.K. is due to leave the European Union on Oct. 31. The move means opposition leaders will not have as much time to block a 'no-deal' Brexit before the deadline.
Queen Elizabeth approved the prime minister's request during a meeting Wednesday morning at the royal family's residence in Scotland, Balmoral Castle. Parliament will be suspended no earlier than Monday, September 9, and no later than Thursday September 12 and will remain in recess until October. 14.
"The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end,” Downing Street said in a statement prior to the announcement of the Queen's response. "The Prime Minister has spoken to Her Majesty The Queen to request an end to the current parliamentary session in the second sitting week in September. Following the conclusion of the traditional party conference season, the second session of this Parliament will commence with a Queen’s Speech on Monday 14 October."
Opponents decried the move with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn saying: "Suspending Parliament is not acceptable, it is not on. What the prime minister is doing is a smash and grab on our democracy to force through a no deal."
Corbyn said when MPs return to the House of Commons on Tuesday, the first item on the agenda would be pass legislation to prevent what Johnson was doing, followed by a vote of 'no confidence' "at some point."
“To deliver on the public’s priorities we require a new session and a Queen’s Speech," Johnson said. “Parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill required for ratification ahead of 31 October.”
The last time Parliament was suspended by the country's monarch was in 1948.
President Donald Trump threw his support behind Johnson, saying it would be "very hard" for Corbyn to achieve a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister.
"Would be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, to seek a no-confidence vote against New Prime Minister Boris Johnson," the President wrote on Twitter in support of Johnson. "Especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the U.K. has been looking for, & will prove to be “a great one!” Love U.K."
Voters in the United Kingdom voted in 2016 to exit the European Union, an economic and political union of 28 European countries that allows free trade and free movement of people to live and work in whichever country they choose. Brexit was originally scheduled to occur on March 29, 2019, two years after Article 50 was triggered by then Prime Minister Theresa May. However, the date has been twice delayed as negotiations in the 'divorce' continued.
Johnson says the U.K. will leave the E.U. on Oct. 31, even without a deal.
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