London, Aug 28 (IANS) The UK government has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament in second week of September, just days after MPs return to work after the summer recess.
Members of Parliament are due to return on September 3, and the government’s move means they will only have around a week to pass any legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit before the suspension.
A source from Downing Street told the press that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party government asked the Queen to prorogue Parliament on September 10 in order to hold a Queen’s Speech on October 14.
The announcement that the UK Parliament will be suspended has a major implication for Brexit because it will give lawmakers less time to try to block a possible no-deal Brexit.
The surprise move sparked huge outrage among lawmakers who oppose a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson, however, rejected the idea he asked the Queen to suspend the Parliament in order to give lawmakers less time to stop a no-deal Brexit. He said that suggestion was “completely untrue”, the BBC reported.
“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.
“There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17 summit in Parliament for MPs to debate the EU, debate Brexit and all the other issues,” he said.
Johnson said the move would ensure his government can start working on its priorities. He had earlier declared that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31, with or without a deal.
Philip Hammond, a senior member of the Conservative Party, said preventing the Parliament from “holding the government to account at a time of national crisis” would cause a constitutional crisis.
Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the opposition Labour Party and shadow Culture Secretary, said the move was “an utterly scandalous affront to our democracy”.
Anna Soubry, who left the Conservative Party to join a breakaway cross-party bloc known as the Independent Group for Change, said Britain’s “democracy is under threat”.
With just 64 days until Brexit, talks between the UK and the EU’s negotiating teams have stalled.
Johnson, who campaigned for Leave in the run-up to the 2016 referendum, is opposed to the current withdrawal deal, which was drawn up by his predecessor Theresa May and was rejected three times by the House of Commons.
The new Tory leader, who took over from May on July 24, has threatened to withhold the UK’s divorce bill, which is around 32 billion pounds.