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    Brexit Shock: Boris Johnson Moves to Suspend Parliament

    Brexit Shock: Boris Johnson Moves to Suspend Parliament

    Decision aimed at preventing pro-EU lawmakers from blocking no-deal Brexit.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved to suspend the British parliament for at least a month. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has approved this request, allowing for a suspension until October 14.

    The decision comes as pro-EU Members of Parliament (MPs) are lobbying to prevent a possible no-deal Brexit.

    The lawmakers opposed to Brexit have been rallying support to pass a bill forcing the government to seek an extension to the October 31 deadline, and call for a second referendum. On Tuesday, some 160 lawmakers from various parties signed the so-called ‘Church House deceleration’ vowing to “do whatever necessary” to stop no-deal Brexit.

    Prime Minister Johnson denied that he was shutting down the parliament to prevent a debate.

    “There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17 Summit in Parliament for MPs to debate the EU, Brexit and all the other issues,” he said.

    A group of 70 lawmakers has filed a court petition challenging the government’s decision.

    The EU criticized the development, with EU parliament’s representative on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, calling it a “sinister” move. “EU officials said it heightened the chances of a no-deal outcome,” the leftist British newspaper The Guardian reported.

    British newspaper The Independent explained how the suspension might sideline pro-EU lawmakers from blocking no-deal Brexit:

    If any MPs doubted Boris Johnson’s determination to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October, they will not do so now. The prime minister has dramatically announced he will stage a Queen’s speech on 14 October. It is an attempt to deprive MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit of the oxygen they need to pass a law forcing Johnson to seek an extension of the UK’s EU membership.

    The number of Commons sitting days for that process is suddenly reduced. After a short sitting of about a week from next Tuesday, 3 September, MPs were due to return on 7 October after a three-week break for the annual party conferences. Instead, Boris will suspend parliament around 10-12 September. It will not resume until the Queen’s Speech, which will be followed by several days of debate on the measures included in it lasting until October 21-22.

    That will leave a tiny window of opportunity for the Commons and Lords to pass a law to prevent no deal by 31 October. Probably an impossibly small one.

    Recently, Johnson accused pro-EU lawmakers of ‘collaborating’ with Brussels to prevent Brexit. “There’s a terrible collaboration, as it were, going on between people who think they can block Brexit in parliament and our European friends,” he said on August 14.

    The news comes as a big blow to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party. He has been trying to win over pro-EU Conservative MPs to oust Johnson’s government and install himself as the leader of a caretaker government. “I am appalled at the recklessness of Johnson’s government, which talks about sovereignty and yet is seeking to suspend parliament to avoid scrutiny of its plans for a reckless no-deal Brexit,” Corbyn said.

    The decision shocked the media commentators as well. “Opponents of a no-deal Brexit just got royally outflanked,” CNN admitted. “With Brexit Gambit, Boris Johnson Reveals a Ruthless Side,” the headline in the New York Times said. UK newspaper Daily Telegraph was more sober in its analysis, reminding that: “Johnson [was] giving Remainers a taste of their own medicine.”

    President Donald Trump praised the move on Twitter, describing PM Johnson as “exactly” the kind of leader “the U.K. has been looking.”

    Johnson’s bold decision shows his determination to deliver Brexit. He is using constitutional means at his disposal to fulfill the wishes of the people expressed in the June 2016 referendum.

    The prime minister faces a few tough weeks ahead. The hostile EU has stalled every effort to deliver a clean Brexit. The establishment politicians in the UK continue to do Brussels’s bidding. The next sixty days will decide if the UK will regain its lost sovereignty or accept its status as the 28th state of the European Union.

    [Cover image via YouTube]


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    Sally MJ | August 29, 2019 at 12:24 am

    In case anybody wonders about the difference between a prime Minister and a President.

      Milhouse in reply to Sally MJ. | August 30, 2019 at 12:39 am

      Not that much. The queen is not really a factor in government, because she must act on her government’s advice. This prorogation wasn’t the Queen’s idea, it was Johnson’s. He advised her to do it, and she had to comply. We have no way of knowing what she thinks about it; she certainly has an opinion, and will have told it to Johnson, but to nobody else.

      The big difference is that a prime minister is not the government. He is merely the leader, the first among equals, but every member of the government has an equal vote, and he can be outvoted, in which case he has to publicly support the collective decision or resign, just like any other minister.

        PoliticsAddict in reply to Milhouse. | August 30, 2019 at 4:17 am

        Except that all ministers/members of the government serve at the pleasure of the Prime Minister. So he can simply sack any who disagree and appoint new ministers. There are no approval hearings as in the US. This regularly happens. I cannot ever recall a Prime Minister being outvoted in cabinet, they wouldn’t bring a formal vote without knowing. The opposite happens quite often, where ministers can’t agree with the PM’s policy and collective responsibility – just as when Boris resigned from Theresa May’s cabinet. Sometimes on principle, sometimes tactical for their own ambition.

        Of course he then creates enemies on the backbenches and some people are seen to be too powerful to sack and potentially lead a revolt/leadership challenge (we had an endless debate about whether Tony Blair could/would ever be able to sack Gordon Brown if it came to it), but the powers of patronage of a Prime Minister are huge. He also recommends honours for those who aspire to being Lord XXX in the future (How does “Lord Farage of Don’t-Split-The-Leave-Vote” sound after the next election?). For ministers, it is quite brutal if they are sacked – one day they have a huge office, police escort and cars, much higher salary, profile, press office, special advisors etc. and if sacked, the next day they basically lose all of it. Makes them think twice before rebelling.

        As the leader of the governing party and with a far more limited role for the House of Lords if the government is implementing a manifesto, he is almost the equivalent of the President (minus the ceremonial part which the Queen does)+Speaker of both US houses in terms of power. But, as we saw with Theresa May, the check on his power is that he could be removed by his own MP’s at any time and the government can be brought down at any time (Fixed Term Parliament Act nuances aside)

        A Prime Minister with a decent majority and a large number of people on the government payroll is more or less a temporary elected dictator (I overstate, but not much). The first-past-the-post system helps create such majorities – if the numbers fall nicely for him, Boris could have a 100+ majority (bulletproof) on <40% of the vote.

    If the establishment Brexit opponents collude to bring Corbyn in, they will have opened the door to the end of Britain. What Hitleer failed to do, Corbyn will do.

      CommoChief in reply to JAB. | August 29, 2019 at 6:29 pm


      The EU at the most simplistic level is the voluntarily creation of what Napoleon Bonaparte imposed by conquest; the continental system.

      PoliticsAddict in reply to JAB. | August 30, 2019 at 4:34 am


      If you support Brexit/Boris, I would not be too pessimistic about that scenario. It will not be the end of Britain. He would not actually have a majority to govern.

      IF, and it is a huge if, they actually have the numbers to do this, here is what will happen in my opinion:

      – Significant numbers of Tory remainers will have participated and they will be immediately deselected and replaced in the imminent subsequent election by leavers, so even on the same numbers the “real” majority increases
      – The only remit Corbyn would have (which is why he may not agree) is to seek a 3-6m extension and then call an election
      – In those circumstances, Boris will have to reach an arrangement with the Brexit Party. This is where remainers need to be careful what they wish for, as this might entail a commitment to no deal, even though Boris would likely far prefer a deal/softer exit.
      – There is a chance that the “stop the betrayal election” would give him a big majority with the remain vote split

      The LibDems and SNP are doing well in the polls and would like an election. The Conservative non-majority is so small it could make sense for Boris to gamble, though it is a gamble. The Brexit Party will have lots of leverage in such a situation.

      The big loser I think is Corbyn, who for all his talk I think would be horribly hurt by an election now. Maybe remainers coalesce and he does well. But the Conservatives probably have a floor at 30% (roughly where they are now) and a ceiling of 40% (if they reclaim all of the Tory leavers but not the labour ones). Labour, if it does badly, could really end up at 20% and potentially behind the LibDems and that could be an existential threat to their party, not just him.

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