Brexit: Why Boris Johnson Just Asked the Queen to Suspend Parliament
The United Kingdom is 64 days from crashing out of the European Union without a divorce agreement, a scenario likely to bring food and drug shortages to the British isles, legal chaos to the Irish border, and turbulence to the global economy. To avoid this fate, the British government will need to develop a Brexit agreement that a majority in parliament can rally behind — something that it has tried and failed to do for years now — by October 31.
But Boris Johnson has a plan for making the best possible use of his government’s limited time: Give parliament an unrequested, five-week vacation starting the second week of September.
The new, Conservative prime minister announced Wednesday that he had asked the Queen to keep parliament suspended between September 12 and October 14. When parliament reconvenes, its first sessions back will be largely consumed by the ceremony of the “Queen’s speech,” an event at which the queen will relay the Conservative government’s legislative agenda with all due pomp and circumstance. This will leave lawmakers with scarcely any time to tackle the Brexit issue before Johnson leaves to present his final offer to European officials at the E.U. Council on October 17.
This has not gone over well with said lawmakers. Although Johnson does have his loyalists in the Conservative camp, a contingent of Boris-skeptical Tories joined with every opposition party in decrying the prime minister’s “constitutionally wrong and frankly outrageous” manuever, as Conservative MP Dominic Grieve described it. Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has requested a meeting with the Queen, in hopes of dissuading her from approving the prime minister’s request. In normal circumstances, such approval would be a mere formality. Other lawmakers have asked a Scottish court to block Johnson’s proposed suspension.
— New York Magazine