Johnson sends Parliament on leave – and Queen agrees
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With a controversial maneuver, the Prime Minister wants to shorten the time allotted to debates on Brexit. The indignation is great. Parliament Speaker speaks of "crime against the Constitution"
MIn deciding to impose a mandatory break on his own parliament, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offended the lower house and senior political representatives.
"Any crime against the Constitution Anyway, it is clear that the purpose of a break from the session at this stage would be to preserve Parliament from the Brexit debate," said Parliament Speaker John Bercow.
Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that parliamentary mechanisms would be used on the first day of the session to block the adjournment of Parliament. In addition, the Socialist announced in the near future a motion of censure towards the government. Even Johnson's predecessor and his party colleague, John Major, said he was considering bringing a lawsuit against the forced break.
Members of the British House of Commons return on September 3, after the summer break – and should immediately go to four scheduled meeting days immediately, with a forced break until October 14. Queen Elizabeth II accepted Johnson's request Wednesday at his Balmoral summer headquarters. According to a recent YouGov poll, 47% of Britons reject Johnson's shares.
All the more so as Johnson's opponents in the House of Commons have virtually no way to prevent a disorderly exit from the EU. Due to the beginning of the session, the lower house would only have four days to end a "no deal".
Johnson rejected the accusation of wanting to eliminate the parliament in the conflict over the exit of the EU. "We need to move forward with our national program.We need legislation for this," said Johnson. He referred to his previously announced plans regarding health, crime and education. The House of Commons remains "after October 14, enough time to debate Brexit".
On Tuesday, opposition leaders officially came together for the first time after the summer break to coordinate their action against an unregulated Brexit. The first announcements were announced in the form of parliamentary petitions asking the government to ask the EU to extend the Brexit deadline beyond 31 October.
British policy was in effect on Wednesday morning. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote on Twitter: "Today will remain in history as a dark day for British democracy". Labor MP Hilary Benn, Chair of the Brexit Committee in the House of Commons, wrote on Twitter: "It is absolutely unacceptable that, at this crucial time, Parliament be prevented from holding the government to account."
The European Commission has reacted cautiously to Johnson's move. "The UK is scheduled to start on October 31. An agreement is our favorite scenario."
A suspension of the lower chamber existed several times before. For example, the English kings knocked out Parliament this way when they wanted to thwart tax increase plans. Since the twentieth century, however, political power has clearly shifted from the head of state to the executive.
Nevertheless, for more than 70 years, this is the first time a government has used this radical measure against its own parliament. In 1948, then-Prime Minister Clement Attlee suspended three sessions of parliament to eliminate the House of Lords' resistance to its revolutionary welfare projects.