Proroguing parliament would be end of democracy in UK, says former attorney general

By | July 9, 2019

The Guardian reports:

Proroguing the House of Commons to achieve a no-deal Brexit would be “the end of parliamentary democracy” in the UK, Dominic Grieve has said in defending his move to seek to remove the option.

Grieve’s amendment, which has cross-party support including from a handful of fellow Conservative MPs, is to the Northern Ireland bill going through the Commons, and would require fortnightly reports on that country’s formation of an executive, which has been vacant since 2017.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Grieve said the amendment calls for “regular motions before parliament in September and particularly October”. If passed, it would prevent the parliamentary session being prorogued, or abruptly ended, in the lead-up to the 31 October departure date.

Grieve, a former attorney general, said “the idea that it is constitutionally proper to prorogue parliament as a device for bringing about a no-deal Brexit is outrageous … I have never come across a more extraordinary suggestion. [Continue reading…]

The Week reports:

Prorogation is the formal term for the end of a parliamentary session and is marked with a ceremony in the House of Lords. It normally entails an announcement and speech on behalf of the Queen.

According to Parliament.uk, once the Commons has been prorogued, all motions that have not been answered, or bills that have not obtained Royal Assent, will not progress any further. A bill can, however, be reintroduced in the next session by an MP or continue in the next session if a carry-over motion has been passed.

“If a new prime minister is concerned about MPs blocking the UK’s exit from the EU, they could advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament,” says the BBC. “This would send MPs away so that they cannot do anything in the Commons to hold up Brexit.” [Continue reading…]

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