Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed he plans to prorogue Parliament within days of it returning from its summer recess.
Senior privy counsellors will meet with the Queen in Balmoral today to approve the prorogation. Prorogation effectively shuts down Parliament between sessions. The current session has been running since 2017, making it the longest session since the English civil war.
The prime minister wrote to Tory MPs confirming plans for prorogation today:
MPs opposed to shutting down Parliament amid the Brexit crisis met yesterday at Church House in Westminster. Almost 200 MPs have now signed a declaration against the move.
Parliament will return from its summer recess on Tuesday 3rd September.
Yesterday, the Chancellor brought forward a one-year spending review to Wednesday 4th September.
If approved today, Parliament will then be prorogued on Monday 9th September until the next State Opening with a new Queen’s Speech on Monday 14th October.
MPs opposed to leaving the EU with no deal on 31st October held a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn yesterday to agree tactics to prevent it.
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The anti-no deal MPs agreed to focus on passing legislation forcing the Prime Minister to ask for an extension of the Article 50 period, to delay Brexit and prevent no deal.
However, today’s announcement that Parliament could be prorogued in a matter of days of returning would mean opportunities to pass a new law will be severely restricted.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has responded to the plan, saying:
“This move represents a constitutional outrage. However it is dressed up it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of prorogation now would be to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty.”
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who successfully passed a bill in April to force the Prime Minister to request an Article 50 extension to avoid no deal, said:
Former Chancellor Philip Hammond, who is also against a no deal Brexit, has also responded to the prorogation announcement:
It would be a constitutional outrage if Parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis. Profoundly undemocratic.— Philip Hammond (@PhilipHammondUK) August 28, 2019