Government May Have to Prorogue Again to Get Internal Market Bill Through the Lords

Despite this morning’s compromise – quelling Common’s Rebel commander Bob Neill and making MPs passing the Internal Market Bill a likelihood next week – Government sources are not at all confident of getting the Bill over the next hurdle – the Lords. The earliest the bill could go to the Upper Chamber is the 28th September. There it faces not only opposition from a lawyer-stuffed house dominated by non-Tory remainers Peers, but also Brexiteers like Michael Howard who have today refused to accept the compromise. One Lords source tells Guido that after the Commons won a concession the Lords will expect something now too…

In reality, the Government is considering a likely defeat. A senior source tells Guido that in the event the Bill is rejected by the Lords then the Government would have to convene a new session of Parliament in order to ‘Parliament Act’ the legislation through without the Lords’ consent. To convene a new session the Government would have to prorogue Parliament again (Because it went so well last time)…

If the EU fails to engage constructively by Boris’s 15th October deadline, talks will be cut off. After that date, heading for no FTA, the UK will either seek to escape the jurisdiction of the Withdrawal Agreement by declaring the EU did not act in good faith, or act more decisively to start a new session of Parliament to get the Internal Market Bill past the Lords. Or both.

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Parliament Prorogued Without a Bercow Tantrum

There were incredible scenes in Parliament last night, as the prorogation ceremony ran without a hitch; totally devoid of any singing from Labour MPs and without a tantrum from Bercow. Watch the footage above while we wait for Baroness Hale to decide whether this one’s ok or not…

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Major’s Supreme Hypocrisy


Former prime minister turned anti-prorogation crusader John Major is about to giving evidence to the Supreme Court today. Major has already been widely mocked for his hypocrisy given his 1997 pre-general election prorogation which shut down the cash for access report being published, it’s largely forgotten that he’d already used the same ruse the previous year.

Back in 1996 the Commons didn’t even usually sit in September – only in 2003 did that change. So in 1996 the Commons had not sat for close on to two and a half months, between 25 July and 14 October, due to summer recess, Major still decided to prorogue for 7 days three days after returning, ostensibly to have a Queens Speech. Meaning parliament didn’t sit for a full three

Mid to late 1996 was rather fraught time for Major, with the cash for access scandal already in full swing (Hamilton and Greer withdrew their libel action on 30 September 1996). So a three-month break in parliament was a welcome relief from difficult questions.

What will Major’s next move be? Perhaps he’ll condemn Boris for adultery…

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Boris Can Prorogue Parliament Says Scottish Judge

Boris’s planned prorogation of Parliament is lawful, says judge at the highest court in Scotland. Another defeat for QC Jolyon and Joanna Cherry MP.

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Boris’s Prorogation Will Be Shorter than Major’s

 

The news of Boris’s planned prorogation has naturally sent Remainers into hysterics, calling the move “undemocratic“, “outrageous” and comparing the PM to a “tin pot dictator” – all for using a bog-standard procedural technique. It’s set to be an entertaining day…

As Guido has reported before, prorogation has historically been used by Attlee, Major and Canadian PM Stephen Harper for political purposes. The move is even less surprising when taking into account the UK is currently enjoying the longest Parliamentary session ever since 1653, so a Queen’s Speech is long overdue.

Whilst everyone else is losing their heads, Guido thought it would be helpful to remind everyone that John Major’s prorogation – which he used to cover up the cash for questions scandal – lasted from the March 21 until the 1997 General Election: a period of 6 weeks, compare this to today’s announced prorogation that will result in Parliament losing only 4 sitting days. One rule for remainers, another for Boris. 

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BREAKING: Boris to Prorogue Parliament

It’s being reported that Boris is set to prorogue parliament from 11th September, thereby preventing MPs from being able to table a vote of no confidence before the Brexit deadline. The move, which is certain to infuriate Remain MPs, will be difficult to challenge in court as it is standard practice for the purpose of a bog-standard new Queen’s Speech. A new Queen’s Speech will be scheduled for 14th October, when Parliament will return with no time to stop No Deal…

The move, agreed to in secret, was set to be unveiled at this afternoon’s Privy Council meeting, where three privy councillors (led by Jacob Rees Mogg) will ask the Queen for a prorogation in council for 9th September. More on this as we get it…

UPDATE: Read Boris’s letter to MPs here:

 

UPDATE II: Here is the official declaration following the Queen’s approval at Council this morning. Prorogation to start between the 9th and 12th, and run through to the 14th October

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