British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sparked fury among pro-Europeans and MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit by successfully seeking the suspension of parliament weeks before Britain’s EU departure date.
The pound slid on the surprise news, which opponents branded a “coup” and a “declaration of war”, but Johnson claimed was necessary to allow him to pursue a “bold and ambitious” new domestic legislative agenda.
It came a day after six opposition parties vowed to seek legislative changes to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Queen Elizabeth II approved the request to end what has been the longest session of parliament in nearly 400 years, in the second week of September, and reopen it on October 14 — just over two weeks before Brexit.
More than 600,000 people also signed an online petition decrying parliament’s suspension. “Parliament will have the opportunity to debate the government’s overall programme, and approach to Brexit,” Johnson, who leads the Conservative party, vowed in a letter to MPs. However, his decision incensed lawmakers vehemently against a no-deal Brexit on October 31 as they will now have less time than expected to try to thwart such a scenario.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, denounced the move as “a smash-and-grab against democracy” and reiterated he would call a no-confidence vote in Johnson’s government, which commands a majority of just one seat.
Former chancellor Philip Hammond also pledged to keep fighting against no deal. “It would be a constitutional outrage if parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis,” he said. -‘Blind Brexit’ – US President Donald Trump weighed into the row by praising Johnson as “great” and claiming it would be “very hard” for Corbyn to try to topple him in a no-confidence vote.
The Labour leader shot back at Trump on Twitter, saying Johnson was “a compliant Prime Minister who will hand Britain’s public services and protections over to US corporations in a free trade deal”. In the seismic 2016 referendum on Britain’s EU membership, 52 per cent voted in favour of leaving the bloc, a result that has left parliament and the country bitterly divided. Johnson insists Britain must leave on the October 31 deadline — already twice-delayed — with or without a divorce deal from Brussels. Parliament has rejected three times the withdrawal agreement struck between Brussels and the government of Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May
says Turkey to press ahead with gas search off Cyprus Opposition lawmakers called it a “blind Brexit” while eurosceptics objected to a so-called “backstop” provision to keep the Irish border under in all circumstances which would have kept Britain closely aligned with the EU