UK Boris Johnson will on Wednesday ask the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after it returns from summer recess next week, until mid-October, in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.
The BBC reported that the prime minister will ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament on September 9, just days after MPs return from their summer break, until October 14, according to multiple reports on Wednesday morning.
This means MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit and are plotting to stop it will have just days to find a way of doing so, either side of these dates. The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on October 31.
A group of privy councillors, led by House of Commons Speaker and staunch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, are set to visit the Queen today and ask her to suspend Parliament on the dates set out by Johnson.
A source in Downing Street told the BBC: “It’s time a new government and new PM set out a plan for the country after we leave the EU.”
Under this timetable, Johnson’s government would deliver the Queen’s Speech — it’policy agenda for that session of Parliament — on Monday, October 14. A Queen’s Speech usually comes with five days of parliamentary debate.
Anti-Brexit campaigners condemned the move.
“It would make no sense for the Queen to back this deeply undemocratic, unconstitutional and fundamentally political manoeuvre from the government,” Naomi Smith, CEO of pro-EU group Best For Britain, said.
“If the Queen is asked to help, she would do well to remember history doesn’t look too kindly on royals who aid and abet the suspension of democracy.”
During the Conservative leadership contest, Johnson played down the prospect of him suspending Parliament as prime minister, saying it was a course of action that he was “not attracted to.”
His decision to do so sets up what will almost certainly be a frantic few days in the House of Commons, where MPs on all sides will work furiously to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal on October 31.
This will most likely come in the form of legislation, with the Financial Times reporting that MPs plan to take control of the House of Commons order paper and legislate for a further extension to the Article 50 process.
However, MPs opposed to no deal are ready to bring Johnson down in a no confidence vote if necessary.
Around 160 MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit gathered in Church House, near the Houses of Parliament, on Tuesday, and signed a pledge to prevent a no-deal exit “using whatever mechanism possible.”