Johnson Plans To Restrict Parliament Time before Brexit
By Staff, Agencies
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will limit parliament’s opportunity to derail his Brexit plans by announcing his new legislative agenda on October 14 - his boldest move yet in the push to take the country out of the European Union on October 31.
A government source said Johnson, who has vowed to take Britain out of the EU without a divorce deal if necessary, plans to set an October 14 date for the Queen’s Speech - the formal state opening of a new session of parliament.
That would effectively shut parliament from mid-September for around a month and reduces the parliamentary time in which lawmakers could try to block a no-deal Brexit.
While suspending parliament ahead of a Queen’s Speech is the historical norm in Britain, the decision to limit parliamentary scrutiny weeks before the country’s most contentious policy decision in decades prompted an immediate outcry.
Sterling fell sharply, losing around a cent against the U.S. dollar and the euro, as investors took the news as a sign that a no-deal Brexit, and the prospect of a hit to Britain’s economy, was more likely.
“This action is an utterly scandalous affront to our democracy,” Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labor Party, said on Twitter. “We cannot let this happen.”
On Tuesday, lawmakers opposed to a no-deal Brexit met to discuss ways they could use parliamentary procedure to force Johnson to seek a delay to Brexit.
According to the BBC, a meeting about the government’s move to limit parliamentary time was due to take place at Queen Elizabeth’s Scottish summer residence in Balmoral on Wednesday.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.