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Boris Johnson suspends parliament: Could Brexit nevertheless be ceased?

The Privy Council has confirmed that parliament is going to likely be prorogued from September 12 to October 14, cutting back the number of times that MPs will sit between today and the Brexit deadline on October 31.

Johnson has promised his decision to call a Queen’s speech – that will be read by Queen Elizabeth II and lays out the schedule of the new administration – has nothing to do with Brexit, asserting that as a new prime minister he’s expected to lay out his legislative agenda.

It isn’t strange for the Queen’s address to be countered using a suspension of parliament for between five and 20 days or to get parliament to enter recess at mid-September for its conference period.

But critics view the movement as a ploy to stifle opposition to Brexit from the weeks before October 31.

Johnson is expected to go to Brussels on October 17 and 18, along with the expectation is that he’ll return with a bargain, which will then have to be approved by parliament. Given the option between his contract along with a no-deal on October 31, his critics will probably opt for the former.

So what will the resistance do?

Britain’s resistance has three alternatives to prevent Johnson at the time that’s abandoned, states Tim Bale, professor of politics at the Queen Mary University of London.

The moment parliament reconvenes they can shove a piece of legislation that mandates the government to request an expansion of Article 50.

They can also pass laws which require the prime minister to reverse Article 50 entirely, stopping Brexit. That is less likely since it might hurt Labour MPs from pro-Brexit constituencies.

Finally, they might predict a vote of no confidence in Johnson that, when it passed, would probably trigger an election. This last choice, states Bale, is just about the worst one.

“[This] may earn a vote of no confidence marginally more inclined – and I am pretty sure that is what Johnson would enjoy – but should they have any feeling they’ll continue to steer clear of this rather than falling into his trap,” he explained.