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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

Brexit: Why Boris Johnson Just Asked the Queen to Suspend Parliament. New York Magazine.

Protest against the closure of Parliament in Oxford, UK. Photograph by James Claffey.

Image source

Protest against the closure of Parliament in Oxford, UK. Photograph by James Claffey.

Image source

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Published in 29/01/2020

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Brexit:

24/06/2016 • 08:30:00Prime-minister David Cameron resigns
06/07/2018UK white paper on Brexit
29/03/20191st Brexit deadline1st Brexit deadline
23/05/201926/05/2019European parliament elections
24/05/2019Theresa May resigns
28/08/2019Parliament suspendedParliament suspended
31/10/20192nd Brexit deadline2nd Brexit deadline
06/11/2019 • 00:01:00Parliament is dissolved
31/01/2020Current Brexit deadlineCurrent Brexit deadline
31/12/2020End of transition periodEnd of transition period
09/06/19831983 election1983 election
01/01/2015 (Aprox)European Union Referendum Act 2015European Union Referendum Act 2015