MNI Media's Breakdown: What Johnson’s Parliament Suspension Move Means for Brexit

As politicians gear up to fight over this suspension and how Brexit should play out, here’s a look at what Johnson’s gambit means for Brexit.

MNI Media's Breakdown: What Johnson’s Parliament Suspension Move Means for Brexit

In this file photo dated Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves from the steps outside 10 Downing Street in London. In a letter released Wednesday Aug. 28, 2019, Prime Minister Johnson has written to fellow lawmakers explaining his decision to ask Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament as part of the government plans before the Brexit split from Europe. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILE)

The following questions and related answers on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament gives a clear outline of what it means, and the implications. 

As has been reported by many media outlets covering this huge story,  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's play to suspend Parliament in September could make it more likely that the United Kingdom drops out of the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal (no-deal), which could potentially bring mayhem for the British people and businesses.

The decision is being pilloried by many both within and outside of the political fray as the ploy of a sure dictator.

However, it is also being reported that many BREXIT supporters see this as a bold and decisive move by Johnson to do what he promised in taking the UK out of the EU on October 31st, three years after the British people voted to leave.

As politicians are now laying into Johnson against this move, the AP presented earlier an outlay of what Johnson’s gambit means for BREXIT. The details are outlined below her on MNI Media with permission: 

WHAT DID JOHNSON DO?


The Prime Minister asked Queen Elizabeth II to give her speech outlining the government’s agenda on Oct. 14. Parliament is normally suspended before a so-called Queen’s Speech, usually by about a week.

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

It could make a no-deal Brexit more likely.

The suspension would add to an already planned suspension — from mid-September for about three weeks — that is meant to allow the main political parties to hold their annual conferences. That means that when lawmakers come back to work on Sept. 3, they would have only a few days of work before they break up again until mid-October. That would leave them very little time to debate and pass legislation to keep Britain from leaving the EU without a deal on Oct. 31.

Johnson has said he will bring Britain out of the EU on that date no matter what. That could create huge disruption, particularly to business and trade, as border checks and tariffs are restored between Britain and the EU.

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CAN UK LAWMAKERS PREVENT THIS SUSPENSION?


It’s unclear, but they will try.

The lawmakers could call for a no-confidence vote in the government, which if passed would normally cause it to collapse. But Johnson is likely to simply ignore that call, says Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham.

The lawmakers are likely to try to keep parliament open by passing emergency legislation when they reconvene on Sept. 3. And there will be battles in court starting immediately, Lucas said. But it’s unclear whether they will have enough time.

“This is the biggest constitutional crisis since the 1930s,” when King Edward VIII abdicated, Lucas says.

The outlook is murky because, unlike many modern democracies, Britain does not have a written constitution and relies heavily on convention to guide it.

WHAT IS THE QUEEN’S ROLE? CAN SHE PREVENT A NO-DEAL BREXIT?

While the Queen in theory has the power to block laws or pick a new government, the convention is that she should not take political decisions on her own. For example, it is the government that writes the Queen’s Speech; she just reads it out.

Queen Elizabeth is known for being cautious about intervening in any political matters.

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CAN THE EU STOP A NO-DEAL BREXIT IF THE UK PARLIAMENT CANNOT?

No. Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 unless one of three things happen: the country’s divorce deal with the EU is ratified by Parliament; it asks for an extension to the date and the EU agrees; or Britain withdraws its decision to leave the EU.

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HOW LIKELY IS A NO-DEAL BREXIT NOW?


The likelihood has risen since Johnson became prime minister in July, and the suspension of parliament seems to increase that possibility. The pound, which is one of the best indicators of international investors’ confidence in the country, fell on Wednesday’s news. It is around $1.2211, from $1.2290 the day before and not far from the 28-month lows of below $1.2100 it hit earlier this month.

Brexit supporters say that if Johnson makes the threat of a no-deal Brexit credible, he is more likely to be able to get the EU to renegotiate the divorce deal before Oct. 31. But some experts note that the EU is already taking that threat seriously and that the U.K. has more to lose economically than the rest of the EU.