Boris Johnson says Parliament shutdown will make a 'huge difference' in Brexit talks with EU
BORIS Johnson's radical plan to shut down Parliament will make a "huge difference" in Brexit talks, the PM has insisted.
His bold plan sparked Remainer fury last night as MPs vowed to stop him from sending them home for five weeks from mid-September.
But Boris told other members of his top team that the EU was far more likely to offer Britain a deal if it thought that Parliament could no longer "frustrate" Brexit, The Times revealed today.
Explaining his shock move to ministers on a conference call, Mr Johnson said he wanted to go on the “front foot” as the rebels were likely to launch an imminent challenge.
And he insisted that the fact Britain was showing it would leave without a deal was making them think "these guys really are serious".
He said there was a "good chance" that Britain would leave with a deal, and a "good chance" it would leave without one.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said there was nothing illegal or unconstitutional about the decision to shut down Parliament.
As MPs geared up for a huge Brexit battle next week:
- Labour confirmed plans to seize control of Parliament with an emergency debate next week – to try and force Boris to seek another Brexit extension
- Campaigners and MPs sought to try and block the move to shut down Parliament in the courts
- A million Brits signed a petition opposing Boris' plan and thousands protested outside Parliament last night
Yesterday Boris asked the Queen for her approval to suspend proceedings for nearly five weeks from as early as September 9 – and she accepted.
Under the extraordinary move, the PM will be able to suspend Parliament no earlier than Monday, September 9 and no later than Thursday, September 12.
MPs would not return to Westminster until Monday, October 14 for a new Queen’s Speech.
Remain MPs, dubbed the “Rabble Alliance”, are now left with just four days next week to try to derail Brexit and pass a law to stop a No Deal on October 31.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg this morning dubbed the outrage as "phoney" and insisted it was "created by people who don't want us to leave the EU, and are trying very hard to overturn the result."
He added that "Mr Corbyn doesn't have any mates and therefore is not going to risk a vote of no confidence – because nobody wants him to be PM.
"That's a problem for him, rather than a problem for me."
Labour's Barry Gardiner confirmed to Sky News this morning that Labour would apply for an emergency debate next week, and would seek to force Boris to get another Brexit extension.
Similar attempts to force Theresa May to do the same worked back in March – but only passed by one vote.
Last night Philip Hammond said MPs had to act quickly if they were to have a chance of success.
And fellow Remainer rebel Sir Oliver Letwin said: "This is not a proper way to proceed. I expect that Parliament will respond in the only way it can: by legislating next week, before it is prorogued, to prevent a disorderly, undemocratic no deal exit on 31 October. I shall certainly be supporting that effort."
How will Boris shut down Parliament, and what does it mean?
BORIS Johnson has announced he will prorogue – or suspend – Parliament from the middle of September until just a few weeks before the Brexit deadline of October 31.
Remainers are furious at the PM’s move because it means they have a very short amount of time to mount a credible legal challenge against No Deal.
Proroguing sees the end of a parliamentary session – no matter what is being debated.
If the Commons is dissolved any bill that is currently being discussed or has not been properly answered will not progress.
MPs are currently in recess – meaning Parliament isn't sitting – which makes it harder for Remainers to push through anti-Brexit legislation or use obscure Parliamentary tricks to block our divorce from Brussels.
This means Boris could send MPs away and stop them holding up Brexit.
The PM has also announced that a Queen’s Speech – which marks the opening of a session of Parliament – will be held on October 14.
The speech is a list of laws the government plans to get approved over the year – for Boris this could include a number of policy changes he hopes will win him voters in the case of an election.
Senior sources told The Sun that No10’s extraordinary move to shut down Parliament was designed to prove to Brussels that MPs will not be able to stop Britain from leaving in October.
They wanted to “flush out” any opposition now in the hope of forcing EU leaders into concessions on the Irish backstop.
One insider said: “The EU will never negotiate with us and consider changes to the backstop if they believe Parliament can block a No Deal.
“As well as having the advantage of sending Remainers into meltdown and putting them on the back foot, this is about showing the EU that they have to come to the table.”
They said: “It will expose Remain MPs’ real agenda and stop them mucking around in the run-up to the EU Council in October.”
Jubilant Tory Eurosceptics lauded the PM’s move – saying it struck a marked contrast with Mrs May’s “surrender” to Remainers when she extended the original March 29 Brexit deadline earlier this year.
Mr Corbyn, opposition leaders and Tory rebels including ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond launched into frenzied talks yesterday to work out a way of reversing prorogation and stopping a No Deal next week.
The cross-party rebels are expected to launch their move on Tuesday by attempting to take over Commons business – with the support of Speaker John Bercow.
A “backbench” bill would then go to a vote – most likely compelling Mr Johnson to seek a deadline extension unless an EU deal has been approved by Parliament.
But Downing Street sources insisted the rebels would run out of time.
One said Mr Johnson would not be duty-bound to extend the deadline – forcing MPs to instead risk a No Confidence vote and a General Election, which would take place after the UK leaves the EU.
The Sun Says
WE’VE seen infantile antics from Remainer MPs and pundits before, but nothing to match yesterday’s deranged mass tantrum.
Boris Johnson is entirely within his rights to suspend Parliament, effectively for four sitting days after conference season, to put forward a new programme for post-Brexit government.
It doesn’t make him a “dictator”.
It doesn’t deprive Remainers of yet another chance to stop Brexit or vote him out . . . more’s the pity. It does make it a bit harder. But so what?
They are, after all, trying to block a decision most voters backed and which THEY put into law. They even made No Deal all but inevitable too, by defeating the only deal on the table. How clever this smug bunch thought they were then.
Up against Theresa May’s supine Government these saboteurs and their biased Speaker Bercow gleefully used every ruse to negate 17.4million Leave votes.
Now, confronted by a new, driven No10 fighting fire with fire, they clutch their pearls and demand the Queen intervenes.
One Labour moron threatens the monarchy. Another virtually incites a riot.
But their professed concern for our democracy is utterly false. These same MPs have plotted a coup in which Boris is replaced by a stooge PM and a Remainer Government literally no one voted for, to stop the biggest ballot box mandate in our history being enacted.
These charlatans will lie, cheat and scream blue murder to reverse Brexit.
Boris is not “running scared of our democracy”. Nor is he harming it.
He is defending it from Remoaners.
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