Sunderland MP slams 'reckless' Boris Johnson over plan to shut down Parliament ahead of Brexit

A Sunderland MP has condemned Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘reckless’ plan to suspend Parliament.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 2:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th August 2019, 3:44 pm
Sharon Hodgson
Sharon Hodgson

The Queen has approved an order to prorogue Parliament no earlier than September 9 and no later than September 12, until October 14.

Opponents say the move is intended to deny MPs the chance to block any attempt to leave the EU without a deal.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson said: ‘’Boris Johnson’s plans to suspend Parliament are reckless and increase the risk of a No Deal Brexit.

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“Leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal would be disastrous for our country, and particularly damaging for the manufacturing industry in our region.

“This undemocratic move is yet further proof that Boris Johnson is seeking to avoid scrutiny of his plans on Brexit at every possible opportunity.

“He should have the confidence to put those plans to the people, either in a General Election or a public vote.’’

Thousands of people protested against the plans to suspend Parliament, with rallies in London, Edinburgh and other cities within hours of the announcement.

Critics, including Commons Speaker John Bercow, called the move a "constitutional outrage", designed to stop MPs from intervening as the UK heads towards a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

But the protests were dismissed as "phoney" by Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg.

He said the move was not intended to limit the time available for MPs to debate Brexit, but will allow the Government to tackle other issues.

"I think the outrage is phoney and it is created by people who don't want us to leave the European Union and are trying very hard to overturn the referendum result and don't want the benefits of leaving the European Union."

He added: "Parliament wasn't going to be sitting for most of this time anyway. This is completely constitutional and proper."

More than 1.4million people have now signed an on-line petition opposing the plan, making it one of Parliament's top five most-signed proposals.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd declined to answer questions on the suspension of Parliament during a visit to Belfast.

In June, Ms Rudd described the suggestion of proroguing Parliament as ‘absolutely outrageous’, ‘extraordinary’ and ‘ridiculous’.