Why is parliament suspended, how long is the suspension and what do MPs do during this time?

Why is parliament suspended, how long is the suspension and what do MPs do during this time?

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PARLIAMENT has been suspended until October 14 as Brexit negotiations are ongoing before next month’s promised deadline.

But what exactly does proroguing Parliament mean? Here’s what we know.

PA:Press Association

What does proroguing Parliament mean?

Parliament is suspended for times throughout the year anyway – like the summer holidays right now.

But to prorogue Parliament means to completely shut one Parliamentary session and start a new one.

MPs won’t come to the Commons for a period of time before having a new Queen’s Speech, and the start of the next session.

Until then, MPs are on a so-called break.

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.

When Parliament doesn’t sit – either because it’s suspended or prorogued – it’s harder for Remainers to push through anti-Brexit legislation or use obscure parliamentary tricks to block our divorce from Brussels.

Speaker John Bercow has announced he is stepping down on October 31
HOC/JESSICA TAYLOR

What happens when Parliament is prorogued?

The Prorogation of Parliament is the formal name given to the period between the end of a session parliament and the “State Opening” of Parliament that begins the next session.

Prorogation brings to an end nearly all parliamentary business, but public bills may be carried over from one session to the next.

It means all MPs will have a short break before being allowed to come back and debate new laws.

Responding to the Speaker John Bercow‘s previous announcement that another vote on Brexit cannot be brought forward, some MPs suggested proroguing Parliament for a short period of time.

The Queen formally prorogues Parliament, on the advice of the Privy Council, before an announcement is read in the House of Lords on her behalf.

Alamy Live News

The Conservative Party insist the move is standard procedure[/caption]

Why is Boris Johnson using it?

Boris Johnson is to shut down Parliament tonight after the second crunch vote on whether to have a general election.

A spokesman for Number 10 confirmed the Commons will be prorogued until October 14 after the close of business this evening.

It comes after the Prime Minister today said No Deal would be a “failure of statecraft” after the Irish PM told him a Brexit deal IS possible.

He was given a boost as the two leaders held their first face-to-face meeting since he moved into Downing Street in July.

Boris said No Deal would be a “failure of statecraft” for both sides and told the Irish PM: “I have one message that I want to land with you today Leo and that is that I want to find a deal.

“I want to get a deal, like you I’ve looked carefully at No Deal and assessed its consequences for our country and yours.

“Yes we could do it [get through No Deal], we could get through it, but that outcome would be a failure of statecraft of which we would all be responsible.”

The Queen has granted the PM's request as monarchs have to stay independent of politics
The Queen has granted the PM’s request as monarchs have to stay independent of politics
PA:Press Association


Has it been done before?

Centuries ago, prorogation was used on a whim by the sovereign to suit their own interests.

For instance, summoning Parliament so it could authorise taxes, and proroguing it to limit its activities and power.

In the nineteenth century, prorogation was a big deal – monarchs would arrive in great processions and give the prorogation in person.

However, this tradition ended in 1854 when Queen Victoria decided she would no longer attend in person as she disliked the ceremony.

From 1855, a prorogation speech, prepared by the Government, was read by the Lord Chancellor, and in 1867, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli introduced the custom of having the Lord Chancellor read the prorogation speech in the first person, as if the Queen were speaking the words herself.

This practice continues at Royal Commissions for prorogation today, the only difference being the speech is now read by the Leader of the House.

But even in modern times PMs do prorogue Parliament too.


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