Source: The Hindu
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to “prorogue” or suspend Parliament for over five weeks beginning September second week has triggered furious responses from opposition leaders, who call the decision a threat to democracy. The decision comes at a time when Britain is inching closer towards the October 31 deadline for Brexit. By suspending Parliament for over a month, Mr. Johnson has effectively narrowed the lawmakers’ opportunities to reject his Brexit plans.
What is prorogation?
Typically, prorogation is to bring a parliamentary session to end by the monarch on the advice of the government. In this case, Queen Elizabeth II approved the Johnson government’s request to suspend Parliament. It is said that the length of session has been deliberately curtailed.
What does it mean for Brexit?
By suspending Parliament for over a month, Mr. Johnson has effectively narrowed the lawmakers’ opportunities to reject his Brexit plans. This would have been crucial time for rebel MPs to come up with legislation against a no-deal Brexit.
What is next?
Mr. Johnson’s plan is clearly to cut short the time available for MPs. With a reduced timeframe, he will try to force his Brexit legislation through Parliament. Once Parliament reconvenes, Mr. Johnson would ask the lawmakers either to support his plan or get ready for a no-deal exit. When Theresa May was the Prime Minister, MPs rejected her Brexit deal thrice. They failed to come up with an alternative plan either. The only thing they agreed regarding Brexit was to oppose a no-deal Brexit. It is not sure whether Prime Minister Johnson will even have a Brexit deal that’s different from Ms. May’s deal. The EU has rejected any new deal. Even if Mr. Johnson repackages Ms. May’s deal and presents before Parliament, MPs won’t have many options this time. The threat of no-deal will be hanging over them with the clock ticking fast.