In a historical ceremony known as “prorogation” to take place once Commons business is concluded on Monday evening, MPs will be summoned to the House of Lords to hear a message from the Queen halting business in both houses until 14 October.
The move means the PM will not attempt again to force a snapgeneral electionin October if MPs vote down his attempt to do so today.
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Opposition parties have agreed to vote down Mr Johnson’s call for an early election on 15 October, which requires a two-thirds majority in the Commons. If they go through with that decision, the earliest an election could then come will be late November – possibly the 21 st or 28 Th.
They fear that a vote next month might allow the PM to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on Halloween, despite legislation due to become law today barring him from doing so unless he has reached a deal with Brussels or secured parliamentary approval for no-deal.
Following a meeting of opposition leaders hosted by Jeremy Corbyn this morning, a Labor Party spokesperson said: “They agreed to work together today to hold the government to account in Parliament.
“All leaders agreed that they would not support Boris Johnson’s ploy to deny the people their decision by crashing us out of the EU with no deal during a general election campaign.”
The initial prorogration announcement made after leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg visited the Queen at Balmoral a fortnight ago stated that the longest prorogation since 1945 could begin on any date between 9 and (September.
By choosing the first possible date, Mr Johnson avoids being grilled by MPs at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday as well as a 90 – minute appearance before a panel of senior parliamentarians on the Commons Liaison Committee later the same day in which he could have faced questions on the activities of his adviser Dominic Cummings, the decision to slash the size of his Brexit negotiation team or his own defiance of the legal requirement to extend Brexit talks.
But it also means he has abandoned alternative routes for securing an early election, such as a vote of no confidence in his own government, or a single-line bill overruling fixed-term parliaments legislation.
Liaison committee member Hilary Benn said: “It is extraordinary that Boris Johnson will shut down parliament this evening for over a month at the very moment when we need our elected MPs to be in the House of Commons holding the government to account. It also means that the prime minister will avoid having to face questions from the Liaison Committee on Wednesday. I don’t think he was relishing the prospect. ”
The PM’s official spokesman said that while the government would obey the law Mr Johnson would not be requesting another extension of the Article 50 EU withdrawal process.
Under repeated questioning at a Westminster media briefing, he did not rule out the possibility of Mr Johnson resigning.
“The prime minister is not going to seek an extension,” the spokesman said.
“If MPs want to resolve this there is an easy way – vote for an election today and let the public decide.”
The spokesman dismissed suggestions that Mr Johnson might appoint another minister or official to request an extension on his behalf, in order to avoid breaking his promise that he would “die in a ditch” rather than delayBrexit.
“The prime minister’s government will not be seeking an extension,” said the spokesman. “The prime minister’s government will not be extending the Article 50 process. “