The British parliament will be suspended just days after MPs return to work in September — and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.
Three Conservative members of the Queen’s Privy Council took the request to suspend Parliament to the monarch’s Scottish residence in Balmoral on Wednesday morning on behalf of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It has now been approved, allowing the government to suspend Parliament no earlier than Monday 9, September and no later than Thursday 12, September, until Monday 14 October.
Boris Johnson said a Queen’s Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his “very exciting agenda”.
But it means the time MPs have to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October would be cut.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said it was a “constitutional outrage”.
The Speaker, who does not traditionally comment on political announcements, continued: “However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of [suspending Parliament] now would be to stop [MPs] debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Suspending Parliament is not acceptable, it is not on. What the prime minister is doing is a smash and grab on our democracy to force through a no deal,” he said.
He said when MPs return to the Commons next Tuesday, “the first thing we’ll do is attempt legislation to prevent what [the PM] is doing”, followed by a vote of no confidence “at some point”.
But US President Donald Trump tweeted his support for Mr Johnson, saying it “would be very hard” for Mr Corbyn to seek a no-confidence vote against the PM, “especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the UK has been looking for”.