Queen Elizabeth II has formally given approval to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend British parliament, a statement from the official body of advisers to the Queen, known as the Privy Council, said on Wednesday.
In a letter to lawmakers, Boris Johnson said he “spoke to Her Majesty The Queen to request an end to the current parliamentary session.”
The move will largely prevent lawmakers from pushing through new legislation and ultimately sabotaging the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
“As always my door is open to all colleagues should you wish to discuss this or any other matter,” Johnson told lawmakers.
A statement from the Queen confirmed that parliament would be suspended on a day between Sept. 9 and Sept. 12, until Oct. 14.
“It is this day ordered by Her Majesty in Council that the Parliament be prorogued on a day no earlier than Monday the 9th day of September and no later than Thursday the 12th day of September 2019 to Monday the 14th day of October 2019,” the statement said.
Boris Johnson said the Queen will deliver after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline “very exciting agenda”, BBC reported.
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.”
“Shutting down Parliament would be an offense against the democratic process and the rights of parliamentarians as the people’s elected representatives,” Bercow said. “Surely at this early stage in his premiership, the prime minister should be seeking to establish rather than undermine his democratic credentials and indeed his commitment to Parliamentary democracy.”
Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party, said the move would make a no-confidence motion in Johnson “certain,” adding that “a general election is more likely and is seen as a positive move by Brexiteers.”
Shortly after the announcement, the pound fell to $1.2203 on Wednesday from about $1.2300 the day before — a sign that investors are alarmed by the prospect of Britain falling out of the E.U. on Oct. 31 without a divorce deal.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the official Leader of the Opposition, says he’s “appalled at the recklessness of Johnson’s government.
“That is why Labour has been working across Parliament to hold this reckless government to account, and prevent a disastrous No Deal which Parliament has already ruled out,” Corbyn continued. “If Johnson has confidence in his plans he should put them to the people in a general election or public vote.”
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said the move is a “dangerous and unacceptable course of action” that “would be an act of cowardice from Boris Johnson.”
It’s done pic.twitter.com/YGdB0WX4zk
— Vicki Young (@BBCVickiYoung) August 28, 2019
U.S President Donald Trump said in a tweet message that it would “be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, to seek a no-confidence vote against New Prime Minister Boris Johnson, especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the U.K. has been looking for, & will prove to be “a great one!” Love U.K.”
Would be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, to seek a no-confidence vote against New Prime Minister Boris Johnson, especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the U.K. has been looking for, & will prove to be “a great one!” Love U.K.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2019
Boris Johnson became Prime Minister late last month following the resignation of Theresa May.
Johnson has long set his primary task as delivering Brexit. In his first speech as Prime Minister, he said:
“The British people have had enough of waiting and the time has come to act to give strong leadership. My job is to serve you, the people.”
Hours after the Queen’s statement was announced, a petition calling on the government not to prorogue parliament was launched by Mark Johnston, a pro-EU campaigner from Reigate in Surrey.