THE SPEAKER of the House of Commons has said that he will not allow it to be closed down so that the UK can leave the EU on October 31, without any blocking attempt by ‘Remain’ saboteurs.
Speaker Bercow says ending the current session of Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit is ‘simply not going to happen’.
He was responding to Tory leadership candidate Dominic Raab who has suggested he would be prepared to shut down Parliament to ensure the UK leaves the EU on 31 October.
The suggestion of using the process – known as prorogation – has led to angry outbursts from many MPs.
The SNP’s Pete Wishart called the proposal a ‘subversion of democracy’.
Leader of the House Mel Stride also said a new prime minister would ‘not necessarily’ be in place before MPs take their summer recess.
The current session has been going for almost two years – since the 2017 election – as it was extended to tackle the legislation for Brexit.
Shadow leader of the House, Valerie Vaz, told the House of Commons it was the longest session in Parliament since the 1800 Acts of Union.
Every parliamentary session – which usually lasts around a year, starting with the State Opening of Parliament and a Queen’s Speech – is ended when it is ‘prorogued’ by the Queen.
The process essentially closes Parliament and ends the progress of current legislation until a new session begins.
Although it is technically at the Queen’s ‘command’, in practice it is the government’s decision of when it happens.
Such a request to the monarch would be an unprecedented move in modern times.
After Raab made his comments to a leadership hustings on Wednesday, his fellow contender, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, called the suggestion ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘undemocratic’ adding: ‘It wouldn’t work.’
Former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom told Sky News that such a plan ‘would not be something workable’.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd – who is not running – also condemned the proposal, saying: ‘I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament. We are not Stuart kings.’
Labour’s Chris Bryant said it would be on ‘a Venezuelan scale of outrage’ to carry it out ‘simply to force through a no-deal Brexit against the will of Parliament’.