The government has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament in an effort to avoid scrutiny for his Brexit plans and to prevent MPs from blocking the UK crashing out the European Union without a deal.
Boris Johnson said the Queen’s Speech would take place after the suspension on 14 October, a little over two weeks before he has said the UK will leave the EU “do or die”.
If the Queen accepts Johnson’s request, she will become the first monarch to prorogue parliament since Charlies I.
Commons Speaker John Bercow called Johnson’s move a “constitutional outrage”, explaining: “However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of [suspending Parliament]now would be to stop [MPs] debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.”
It would be “an offence against the democratic process and the rights of Parliamentarians as the people’s elected representatives”, he added.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded by saying: “Boris Johnson’s attempt to suspend parliament to avoid scrutiny of his plans for a reckless No Deal Brexit is an outrage and a threat to our democracy.
“Labour will work across Parliament to hold the government to account and prevent a disastrous No Deal.”
Labour Shadow Chancellor called Johnson’s tactics “a very British coup”.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson added: “By suspending Parliament to force through a No Deal, Boris Johnson and the Government would remove the voice of the people. It is a dangerous and unacceptable course of action which the Lib Dems will strongly oppose.”
An official petition calling on parliament to stop prorogation until the Brexit deadline can be extended or Article 50 revoked was signed by over a quarter of a million people within hours of Johnson announcing his desire to suspend democracy.
When Johnson became Prime Minister, he said the chance of leaving the UK were ‘a million to one’, but after a few weeks of his premiership it is now “touch and go” whether a deal can be found to prevent no-deal. A no-deal Brexit is predicted to cause chaos at the UK’s borders, create a food and medicine shortage, and result in hundreds or thousands of businesses going into bankruptcy due to immediate imposition of tariffs and red tape for companies that export goods or services anywhere in the world.