Brexit: Protests as five-week Parliament suspension begins

Obinwannem News Some MPs voiced their objection to the suspension in the Commons

Parliament has officially been suspended for five weeks, with MPs not due back until 14 October.

Amid unprecedented scenes in the Commons, some MPs protested against the suspension with signs saying “silenced” while shouting: “Shame on you.”

It comes after PM Boris Johnson’s bid to call a snap election in October was defeated for a second time.

Opposition MPs refused to back it, insisting a law blocking a no-deal Brexit must be implemented first.

In all, 293 MPs voted for the prime minister’s motion for an early election, far short of the two thirds needed.

Parliament was suspended – or prorogued – at just before 02:00 BST on Tuesday.

As Speaker John Bercow – who earlier announced his resignation – was due to lead MPs in a procession to the House of Lords to mark the suspension, a group of angry opposition backbenchers tried to block his way.

Late into the night, MPs also burst into song on the Commons benches, singing traditional Welsh and Scottish songs.

During the five-week suspension, parties will hold their annual conferences but no debates, votes or committee scrutiny sessions will take place.

Boris Johnson will not face Prime Minister’s Questions until the period is over and his scheduled questioning by the Commons liaison committee on Wednesday has been cancelled.

Parliament’s suspension means MPs will not get another chance to vote for an early election until they return, meaning a poll would not be possible until November at the earliest.

Media captionBrexit: What happened on Monday?

It is normal for new governments to suspend Parliament – it allows them to schedule a Queen’s Speech to set out a fresh legislative programme – but the length and timing of the prorogation in this case has sparked controversy.

The decision to prorogue was entirely in the hands of the government, although there have been failed attempts via the courts to stop it.Skip Twitter post by @RosieDuffield1

Rosie Duffield MP@RosieDuffield1

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Elsewhere on Monday, in a hectic day of political developments:

  • The prime minister also suffered another defeat, as MPs backed calls for the publication of government communications relating to the suspension of Parliament and its no-deal plans;
  • Mr Johnson was warned he could face legal action for flouting the law blocking no deal;
  • MPs approved, without a vote, a motion from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanding the government abide by the rule of law.

At present, UK law states that the country will leave the EU on 31 October, regardless of whether a withdrawal deal has been agreed with Brussels or not.

But new legislation, which was granted royal assent on Monday, changes that, and will force the prime minister to seek a delay until 31 January 2020 unless a deal – or a no-deal exit – is approved by MPs by 19 October.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said although No 10 insisted it was not looking to break the new law, efforts were under way to examine ways of getting around it.

Mr Johnson said the government would use the time Parliament was suspended to press on with negotiating a deal with the EU, while still “preparing to leave without one”.

“No matter how many devices this Parliament invents to tie my hands, I will strive to get an agreement in the national interest,” he said.

“This government will not delay Brexit any furth

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