Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament as Brexit plans hit snag

UK Parliament faces shutdown after Johnson's failure in Ireland

Boris Johnson reacts as Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar dashes any hopes of ditching the'Irish backstop

By many measures, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson just had his worst week: A couple of Cabinet members including his own brother resigned; the House of Commons rejected Johnson's request to hold an election on October 15; the House of Lords approved a bill that passed the House of Commons, supported by some senior Tories, that would block Johnson's attempt to leave the European Union without a deal and force Johnson to ask the EU for a Brexit extension.

Lawson also regards Parliament's recent vote for another extension as helping prove Johnson's point to the British people that "Parliament would do anything it could to block Brexit".

Johnson also lost a separate vote, calling on the government to publish confidential papers about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit.

"It is blindingly obvious why we are being shut down - to prevent scrutiny", Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said.

On Monday, the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, who played a key role in the three-year Brexit crisis, said he would stand down from the role, issuing a warning to the Government not to "degrade" Parliament.

A small scuffle ensued as an opposition MP attempted to keep Bercow from a ceremony that officially closes Parliament.

The suspension of Parliament has garnered criticism from Johnson's political opponents who see it as anti-democratic and illegal.

An opposition-backed law compelling the government to seek a three-month delay from the European Union if no deal has been agreed by October 19 became law Monday after receiving royal assent.

"Frankly, he's probably looking forward to Parliament not being there for five weeks - so he doesn't have to get a kicking every time he turns up to speak".

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An under-pressure Boris Johnson puts his early election bill to the House.

The government is obliged to release the documents under parliamentary rules.

In a statement, the government said it would "consider the implications of this vote and respond in due course". Many lawmakers fear a no-deal Brexit would be economically devastating, and are determined to stop him.

Mr Johnson has said he would "rather be dead in a ditch" than postpone Brexit, but has few easy ways out of it. His options - all of them extreme - include disobeying the law, which could land him in court or even prison, and resigning so that someone else would have to ask for a delay.

The prime minister has had a turbulent week since Parliament returned from its summer break on September 3.

He says he will quit both as speaker and as a member of Parliament.

Early Tuesday, lawmakers rebuffed, for a second time, Johnson's request for an early election, which he said was "the only way to break the deadlock in the House".

However, any motion to hold an early election must receive the support of two-thirds of MPs to pass through the House of Commons.

They are, however, likely to attach conditions to any delay to make sure that it does not cause several further months of wrangling without resolution in the British parliament.

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If an election were to be held today, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party and a self-declared socialist, would have no chance to become the next prime minister.

On Tuesday, a cross-party group of parliamentarians branding themselves MPs for a Deal urged colleagues to look again at the rejected withdrawal agreement.

The British prime minister has had a turbulent time recently.

This would take effect if the prime minister has failed to get a divorce deal or somehow persuaded MPs to back a "no-deal" exit by 19 October.

Eurosceptics dislike Bercow for a perceived anti-Brexit bias, but he has been praised by supporters for sticking up for parliament's right to have a say in the tortuous Brexit process.

The Irish leader said more negotiations were needed and the Good Friday peace agreement, which states that no hard border is re-imposed on the island of Ireland, must be respected.

MPs have already rejected a draft deal agreed by Johnson's predecessor Theresa May three times, in large part because of its provisions to keep open the border between British Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland. That I would win it and secure a renewed mandate to take this country out the EU. "We are open to alternatives, but they must be realistic ones, legally binding and workable and we haven't received such proposals to date", the Taoiseach said.

He said he would "strive to get an agreement" at a summit in Brussels next month - the alternative being a "no-deal" departure that critics warn would spark economic chaos. "It's one of the longest for decades and it represents - not just in the minds of many colleagues, but huge numbers of people outside - an act of executive fiat". He says he is simply fulfilling his role of letting Parliament have its say.

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