Boris Johnson Calls on Queen to Close UK Parliament

Published August 28th, 2019 - 11:38 GMT
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks towards his meeting in Biarritz, south-west France, on the third day of the annual G7 Summit. (AFP/ File Photo)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks towards his meeting in Biarritz, south-west France, on the third day of the annual G7 Summit. (AFP/ File Photo)
Highlights
Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday to shut down Parliament for at least a few weeks.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday to shut down Parliament for at least a few weeks, igniting a controversy some worry could bloom into a full-blown constitutional crisis.

Johnson asked the queen to temporarily suspend Parliament from September to mid-October, saying the move will allow him to better pursue his domestic policies. Opponents say the motive is clear -- he's trying to ward off interference from lawmakers over leaving the European Union on Oct. 31.

Johnson has promised Britain will have departed the 28-nation alliance by Nov. 1, with or without an agreement with the EU.

Johnson also said a reason for his request to suspend Parliament from Sept. 9 to Oct. 14 is because the present session has gone on for too long.

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Labor lawmaker Ben Bradshaw called Johnson's move Wednesday a "coup" attempt that could "drag the monarch into an unprecedented constitutional crisis." Scottish Parliament leader Nicola Sturgeon said Wednesday will go down in history as a "dark" day for British democracy.

Johnson denied the move had anything to do with Britain's EU exit, and said there will be "ample time" for lawmakers to debate before a key summit of EU leaders in Belgium Oct. 17.

"We are bringing forward a new legislative program on crime, hospitals, making sure we have the education funding we need," the prime minister said.

Queen Elizabeth II will deliver her annual speech on Oct. 14 that outlines the prime minister's legislative agenda.

Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Tuesday he wants to stage a vote of no confidence for Johnson's leadership.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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