UK Government expected to ask Queen for suspension of Parliament

Helena Grech - 28th August 2019 

Boris Johnson would be able to stop MPs from passing laws preventing a no-deal Brexit.

Several UK media such as BBC and The Guardian have reported that Boris Johnson’s government will be asking the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work.

Sources have suggested that the suspension would be for five weeks, with MPs returning on 14th October, just two weeks before the Brexit deadline. This would give MPs enough time to vote on a possible new or amended deal agreed by the EU Council on 17th/18th October, however it would leave virtually no time for MPs to pass laws stopping a no-deal Brexit. 

The UK was given a dramatic extension for a Brexit date after the former UK PM, Theresa May, thrice failed to get a withdrawal agreement passed through the Commons. This resulted in the EU and the UK to agree on a new deadline for Britain to leave the EU, set on 31st October 2019.

PM Boris Johnson, voted into office by Conservative party members earlier this summer, would be able to lay out a speech for his government’s future plans on 14th October.

Critics of the move say Mr Johnson is steamrolling over the democratic process, while a Downing Street source told the BBC “it’s time a new government and new PM set out a plan for the country after we leave the EU”.

Mr Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron and outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel have recently held meetings on the prospects of leaving with a deal.

Mr Johnson contends there can be no withdrawal agreement without the removal of the Irish backstop, a legal mechanism binding the UK to the EU customs union should arrangements fail to come to pass on how to keep the Republic of Ireland part of the single EU market, while also preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, guaranteeing its people’s frictionless movement.

The UK PM said this legal mechanism is undemocratic as it locks the UK into the EU customs union without having a seat on the table, while the EU says they cannot and will not abandon the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly said that the UK will leave the EU on 31st October with out without a deal, prompting anti-Brexit MPs and more moderate Brexiteers to discuss ways to prevent a no-deal scenario.

Among the biggest fears of a no-deal Brexit are expected delays and queues spanning days at Britain’s ports, resulting in food and/or medicine shortages and causing stress to local British businesses.

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UK Government expected to ask Queen for suspension of Parliament