British PM Suspends Parliament Until Oct. 14
Wednesday, 28 August 2019 23:34 WIB |
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that parliament would be suspended until mid-October, a move that angered lawmakers opposed to his planned withdrawal from the European Union on October 31 without a deal and cuts the time they will have to try to block him.
The new British leader's unexpected announcement threw the debate over Brexit into a new uproar three years after voters narrowly decided to leave the EU 46 years after it joined the 28-nation bloc.
Queen Elizabeth, as the head of state, approved Johnson's plan to suspend parliament. She will reopen parliament October 14 with an address outlining the government's legislative priorities.
Johnson said that would give parliamentarians favoring and opposing Brexit "ample time" for debate ahead of an October 17-18 summit of EU leaders, which could reach an ultimate decision on whether Britain leaves the EU with or without a divorce deal spelling out the terms of its departure.
Johnson said it was "completely untrue" that the suspension of parliament was designed to block lawmakers from thwarting his Brexit plans. Rather, he said, it was to "bring forward a new bold and ambitious domestic legislative agenda for the renewal of our country after Brexit."
John McDonnell, the second most powerful lawmaker in the opposition Labour Party, said, "Make no mistake, this is a very British coup. Whatever one's views on Brexit, once you allow a prime minister to prevent the full and free operation of our democratic institutions you are on a very precarious path."
A group of Church of England bishops attacked plans for a no-deal Brexit, saying the economic upheaval that might occur would particularly hurt the poor and other vulnerable people.
The 25 bishops said they had "particular concerns about the potential cost of a No Deal Brexit to those least resilient to economic shocks."
Source : VOA