Sir, – Boris Johnson’s constitutionally outrageous move to suspend the British parliament for five weeks up to mid-October lays down the gauntlet to those MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit to get their act together and bring down his government in early September.
Pat Leahy is spot on, tweeting: “I think Boris is trying to provoke a parliamentary rebellion which he will lose on these grounds. Then have an election. Then return with a majority. Then do a deal or a no-deal – with a majority he can survive either”. Alternatively, if a no-confidence vote fails and there is no general election, but parliament is suspended for five weeks, it puts the EU in a very tight spot. Either Brussels then gives Mr Johnson sufficient concessions to allow him to get a new withdrawal Bill through the House of Commons, or the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal. – Yours, etc,
A chara, – Boris Johnson has chosen to prorogue parliament for an unprecedented period from September 10th to October 14th, meaning there will in all probability be insufficient time to bring forward the legislative changes the opposition had been planning to prevent a no-deal Brexit before the prorogation, and no time to vote no confidence in the government afterwards, because of the 14-day period Mr Johnson can hang on prime minister before being forced to call an election.
It is not even clear what happens if the House of Commons does vote no confidence in the government. Does that end the prorogation process? How can the 14-day period provided under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 to find an alternative prime minister operate if the House of Commons isn’t even sitting to vote confidence in an alternative candidate?
The descent of the UK into an autocracy is proceeding apace.
It looks increasingly likely that the EU will be well rid of the UK, no deal or otherwise. After all, membership of the EU is only supposed to be open to democracies. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – If the Liberal Democrats and Labour were – in the national interest – to move their party conferences to after October 31st, would a five-week prorogation of the British parliament be necessary? – Yours, etc,
RORY J WHELAN,
Sir, – Things are bad when it’s the people in power who are planning a coup. – Yours, etc,